The British racing season is well and truly underway now. Cheltenham Festival and the Grand National are behind us but there are a number more big attractions to look forward over the summer of 2021.
Epsom Downs festival takes place in early June, followed by Royal Ascot and then Newmarket.
One of the biggest events of the summer will be Qatar Goodwood Festival, more commonly known as Glorious Goodwood, which takes place between Tuesday 27 – Saturday 31 July.
Prior to that, Royal Ascot will attract a number of visitors in person as well as a television audience across the world. Taking place between Tuesday 15 June – Saturday 19 June, the biggest attraction is the Gold Cup, which takes place on day three.
Bjorn Nielsen’s seven-year-old horse Stadivarius heads into this year’s major race as the current 6/4 favourite. That’s mainly because the horse has won the event for three consecutive years.
The now retired Order of St George had started the 2018 Royal Ascot Gold Cup as the 13/8 narrow favourite in what proved to be the final race of the horse from the Castle Hyde Stud stable.
Order of St George had won four of its previous five races dating back over nearly a year at the start of the race but ended up finishing four lengths behind the winner all the way back in fourth.
Frankie Dettori was the jockey of Stradivarius heading into Royal Ascot, having won York the previous month as the pre-race odds on favourite for the first time in its career.
The legendary jockey didn’t disappoint by bringing home the 2/1 horse by three-quarters of a length ahead of runner-up Vazirabad, who started as third favourite.
Dettori started riding Stradivarius more and more after its success at Royal Ascot in 2018. That had only been the jockey’s second race on the horse at the time before riding it twice more in its final three races of the year.
Frankie Dettori would then be the only jockey of the horse for all six of its races throughout 2019, winning the first five.
It started at York in May before starting the Ascot Gold Cup as the evens favourite this year. Dettori would then run away by one length over Dee Ex Bee, the same horse that would finish runner-up to Stradivarius the following month at Glorious Goodwood.
Having finished second in a field of nine in his final race of 2019, Stradivarius then finished third out of seven at Newmarket to start the New Year but headed into June’s Gold Cup as the 4/5 favourite.
Some tipsters had doubts over a treble for the horse at Ascot, but Frankie Dettori produced one of the best performances of any horse in this race by storming away to a 10 length victory over Nayef Road.
Currently the 6/4 favourite, the longest Stradivarius has been in the last three years, few are tipping the successful horse to be upset this year.
Although there is more than a month’s worth of racing action to take place prior to this year’s event, it’s very unlikely the horse won’t start as the clear favourite.
Subjectvist and Sir Ron Priestley are currently 6/1 second favourites and then Tiger Moth is all the way back at 10/1.