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Superstar stayer Stradivarius stands out among the entries for the QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup

7 Aug 2019

Stradivarius is the headline act among the 48 entries as he bids to defend his QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup crown.

STRADIVARIUS

The popular five-year-old chestnut has repeated last year’s victories in the Matchbook Yorkshire Cup and the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot. His third win in last week’s Qatar Goodwood Cup might have only come by a neck from Dee Ex Bee but he remains on target to scoop the Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers’ Million once more this year.

Trainer John Gosden said, “Stradivarius has been in good form since Goodwood. The Weatherbys Hamilton Insurance Lonsdale Cup is coming so we’ll freshen him up and then we’ll look at the QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup again -I’m all pro for running on QIPCO British Champions Day.

“Stradivarius does look after himself and that’s one of the reasons he’s been able to hold this level of form. He does what he has to do and no more.

“He’s not an old boy, he’s only five. I was always told a Flat racehorse is at its peak – its zenith – at five.”

The signs are that Stradivarius could stay in training next year as well but Gosden joked, “That’s an owner’s decision not a trainer’s decision. We’d never let anything go if it was down to us, we’d be running them forever!”

Dee Ex Bee has had to settle for a supporting role behind Stradivarius in both the Gold Cup and the Qatar Goodwood Cup. A third clash could be on the cards for trainer Mark Johnston.

He said: “We were disappointed to come second with Dee Ex Bee in the Goodwood Cup but you can’t be disappointed with the horse. He’s doing everything bar winning. The QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup is one of a few options.”

Johnston also has Goodwood winners King’s Advice and Nayef Road in the list of entries. King’s Advice made it eight wins for the season – more than any other horse in Britain this year – when holding off fellow QIPCO Long Distance Cup entry Outbox in the Qatar Summer Handicap last week.

Aidan O’Brien dominates the longest race on QIPCO British Champions Day with 18 of the 48 entries. Three-year-olds Barbados, Broome, Constantinople, Norway and Sovereign might all step up in distance to take in the Group 2 prize. They could be joined by smart older horses like the 2017 & 2018 William Hill St Leger winners Kew Gardens and Capri, as well as regular contender Southern France.

With so many entries coming from Coolmore horses it’s no surprise supersire Galileo is either the sire or grandsire of 28 of the 49 entries. Frankel is responsible for six of the potential runners.

Top handicap stayer Withhold, trained by Roger Charlton, is also on the list of potential runners, as is 2018 Lexus Melbourne Cup winner Cross Counter.

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Full entries for QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup:

Best Solution (IRE) Bin Battuta (GB) Broome (IRE) Capri (IRE) Cleonte (IRE) Constantinople (IRE) Cross Counter (GB) Cypress Creek (IRE) Dashing Willoughby (GB) Dee Ex Bee (GB) Delphinia (IRE) Dramatic Queen (USA) Eminence (IRE) Eminent Authority (IRE) Falcon Eight (IRE) Hunting Horn (IRE) Il Paradiso (USA) Ispolini (GB) Kew Gardens (IRE) King’s Advice (GB) Master of Reality (IRE) Max Dynamite (FR) Mekong (GB) Mount Everest (IRE) Nayef Road (IRE) Norway (IRE) Outbox (GB) Peach Tree (IRE) Pilaster (GB) Raheen House (IRE) Red Galileo (GB) Red Verdon (USA) Royal Line (GB) Salouen (IRE) Southern France (IRE) South Pacific (GB) South Sea Pearl (IRE) Sovereign (IRE) Stradivarius (IRE) Stratum (GB) Technician (IRE) Thomas Hobson (GB) Twilight Payment (IRE) Wells Farhh Go (IRE) Western Australia (IRE) Withhold (GB)