Will Frankie Dettori Get Stradivarius to Play One More Tune at the Ascot Gold Cup?

Choosing a name for a racehorse is tricky business, but Bjorn Nielsen, the owner of Stradivarius, deserves massive credit because he is like a finely-tuned piano when he runs. As the winner of three Ascot Gold Cups, there isn’t much this horse can do that surprises the horse racing fraternity any longer.

Trainer John Gosden even entered his mount into the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in 2020, a considerable step up in class due to the trip reduction. Still, claiming a fourth victory at Ascot would be an incredible achievement for the horse, jockey and trainer. So, is the dream still alive? It appears as if it’s alive and kicking.

The Sagaro Stakes

It’s been a while since we last saw the staying supremo that is Stradivarius. Part of it is down to the ebb and flow of the season, and another issue is needing a rest. Regardless, he showed zero ring rust on his return to action at Ascot.

Letting Stag Horn and Nayef Road set a steady pace, Frankie Dettori was patient knowing that he had a legendary power unit underneath him. When the time was right, the Italian jockey showed a glimpse of the turn of foot that has become iconic in recent years. Nobody could catch him, and Dettori barely needed to let him off the bridle, never mind reach for the stick.

Let’s be clear – it was a run out for the 4-6 favourite. However, it’s evident why horse racing betting has Stradivarius as the 6/4 leader of the market for the Ascot Gold Cup in June. There’s still a lot left in the tank.

Staying Power and Acceleration.

Every horse that travels over distances needs to be able to dig in when the going gets tough. The thing is, Stradivarius isn’t the type of mount to plug away and get bogged down by his rivals. He goes through the gears like a luxury sports car on the motorway.

As Dettori himself has said, it’s the fact that the son of Sea of Stars can switch levels when necessary. Not only is he so smooth that he doesn’t lose any of his stamina, but his Frankel-esque acceleration is too much for his opponents. This attribute has sorted the strong from the weak in the Ascot Gold Cup for decades.

Yeats, the only four-time winner of the blue-ribband event at Ascot, had a similar setup. It’s a big statement to compare Stradivarius with a horse like Yeats, yet it’s clear he’s on the same level, if not better.


If there is one runner that can test the Gosdens’ stable, it’s Mark Johnstone’s Subjectivist. The colt’s form isn’t as impressive as Stradivarius, only managing five wins in 16 starts on flat turf. However, he does have six more places, which means Subjectivist has finished in the top three 11 times in his short career.

Those stats alone indicate that he will be there or three about on June 17th, and the bookies seem to agree, placing the Prix Royal-Oak winner at 6/1 second-favourite. With his pedigree too – he has Galileo and Danehill blood in him – it’s hard to see jockey Joe Fanning not being in with a chance of making life tough for Stradivarius.
Still, if all goes well, Stradivarius’ experience, staying power and lightning-quick acceleration should mean he grabs a fourth Ascot Gold Cup and writes his name in the history books.

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