Stradivarius wins fourth Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup

Stradivarius wins fourth Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup

The 15/8 second favourite, this season's Gr1 Irish Derby victor Santiago held every chance two furlongs out but was unable to quicken in the final furlong and finished third. One has to guess Frankie will ride Enable, but that is no discredit to Stradivarius.

Weight, they say, stops trains and Stradivarius is not much bigger than a pony but he has become one of the great stayers and even the Irish Derby victor may struggle to match his turn of foot at the end of two miles.

Enable versus Stradivarius in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe became a realistic prospect after the latter notched his fourth straight Goodwood Cup triumph on Wednesday.

A victor of the two-mile showpiece in 2017, 2018 and 2019, the Bjorn Neilsen-owned superstar will have to deal with rain-softened conditions like he did in the Gold Cup at Goodwood, but arguably the biggest danger could come in the shape of main rival Santiago, who is a fascinating contender for Aidan O'Brien, and the three-year-old can be a notable thorn in the side of the reigning champion. "He will go to the Prix Foy and if he runs a good race there, he will be going to the Arc", Gosden said.

Stradivarius faces six rivals, including Ascot Gold Cup runner-up Nayef Road and Queen Alexandra Stakes victor Who Dares Wins.

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"He is a horse you like to play along with the way he wants to do things - he is a great character". Everybody rode to beat me and he still gets out and wins. I wanted to get cover so I had to drop back one place, and then as we go to the back, I got in behind the wheels of Santiago, and I thought, you know, we have got 15lb less weight, he will make that weight difference count and kick early, but it turned out to be a two-furlong sprint. Day 1 featured eight races and the most important of them were the Gr1 Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup Stakes, the Gr2 Qatar Lennox Stakes and the Class 2 Qatar Handicap Stakes. I am not going to discourage him.

The Veuve Clicquot Vintage Stakes has a tremendous strike-rate at producing good horses.

Nayef Road was once again gallant and stuck on to finish 2nd. I know I've got a good partner and I just had to be patient. "He has done a great deal", added Gosden, who had described the race being Stradivarius's biggest test.

That weapon will be required to full effect at Longchamp for the Arc on the first Sunday in October where Stradivarius is a $13 chance to win the 2400-metre race behind $3 equal favourites Enable and Love.

Asked if Stradivarius could potentially stay in training next year, Gosden said: "If he goes to stud, he goes to stud".

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