Gosden happy with Stradivarius as £1million Knavesmire bid looms

Wed 15 Aug 2018

Watch video analysis of the Goodwood Cup from The Verdict

John Gosden is looking forward to Stradivarius bidding to land the Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers Million in the Lonsdale Cup at York next Friday

The seven-figure incentive was launched at the start of the season, offered if a horse could win one of four recognised prep races before going on to land the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, the Goodwood Cup and the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup.

Straidvarius started the season with victory in the Yorkshire Cup and then recorded his signatiure win so far in the Gold Cup at Ascot before following up easily at Goodwood.

The four-year-old colt stretched out on the Al Bahathri polytrack in Newmarket this morning and is good to go, according to his trainer.

“It’s [the bonus] not been the be-all and end-all of his year. It’s just happened those races have fitted him well and he has come out on top in all of them. So we’ll see. Nothing is simple as it seems; certainly not that with horses running in races. But we’re happy with him at the moment.

Frankie Dettori plays to the crowd as Stradivarius wins the Gold Cup
Frankie Dettori plays to the crowd as Stradivarius wins the Gold Cup

“He ran a valiant race in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot and he ran a very tidy race in the Goodwood Cup. He has won nicely at York this year – the Yorkshire Cup – so it’s a track he likes. We’re pleased with him at this stage.”

Stradivarius must concede 3lb to old rival Torcedor, and is 8-11 to the 2-1 about Jessica Harrington's charge with William Hill.

Officials at York racecourse are excited about the prospect of Stradivarius bidding to win the £1million windfall.

York chief executive William Derby said: “It’s really exciting stuff. I went to the launch of the bonus back in April and there was a huge amount of scepticism, not unreasonably, about whether the bonus was realistic, let along achievable, so for a horse to be in contention going into the last leg in its first year is amazing.

“We’re hugely proud and excited to be staging the last leg and I think it will be an interesting race.

“Obviously Torcedor gets a 3lb pull from Goodwood with this being a Group Two so it will be interesting to see whether he can make up the difference (half a length) which makes for a fascinating race.”

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