Summer & Natalma
Jockey Club Derby
Prince of Wales Stakes
Racing has returned around the world, following the lengthy break due to the coronavirus pandemic. We have now seen events given the green light, with others cancelled. An example being the world famous Grand National, which was cancelled this year. Fans are already looking ahead to the race next season, with offers available at bet-grand-national.co.uk. But others did get the go-ahead, such as Royal Ascot in the UK, which is always a well followed and supported event, with horses even travelling over from the US. Wesley Ward being one, who again had an impressive winner in the Queen Mary. However, the week was all about the John Gosden-trained stayer, Stradivarius. He has now further cemented himself as one of the world's best with a breath-taking performance to land his third Ascot Gold Cup in succession.
At six years of age, the horse is still clearly improving and the recent victory was a career best based on RPRs, which saw him awarded a rating of 125, following this performance. His previous best had been a mark of 123 in July of last year.
Stradivarius went into the recent Gold Cup with a defeat on his first start of the current campaign, but this was over an inadequate distance and he clearly improved for the outing. It also meant a third Gold Cup in succession for the horse, following victories in both 2018 and 2019. The 2018 victory saw him land joint favouritism, when battling up the Ascot straight to gamely hold on at the finish, beating the French-trained Vazirabad by just under a length.
A year later and four further victories in succession and Stradivarius went into the 2019 Gold Cup as the overwhelming favourite to pick up the victory. He again produced an impressive display to make strong late headway and win only having to be pushed out by a length from Dee Ex Bee, with Master of Reality back in third. This was yet another example of the horse's dominance in the division.
Following this performance, he won his next three starts but was then beaten for two races in succession going into the 2020 Gold Cup, so many believed he was declining and he was set to be beaten. This was despite him clearly taking on a much weaker field than in previous seasons and on top of this the ground had clearly gone against him. There was some late money for the horse and he went into the race at a shade of odds-on and this proved to be money well placed. Stradivarius travelled ominously well throughout the contest and cruised up on the bridle two furlongs out, with the rest of the field all at it. Frankie Dettori then pushed him clear and he drew away very impressively to land the odds and win the race by 10 lengths. That was a remarkable performance and could we now see the horse drop back in distance for a tilt at the Arc?
There is little doubt that over the distance, Stradivarius is now clearly the best in the world and as long as he retains this ability is going to take all the beating in any race in takes part in. Stradivarius is yet another incredible horse from the all-conquering Gosden yard.
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