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Potential upset or simply just too good?

27 Jul 2020

Stradivarius has beaten every challenge thrown at him in the Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup...why would this year be any different?

Tuesday 28th July 2020 could be another day in the horseracing record books with Stradivarius’s name on it.

Many horses have won the same Group 1 twice, special horses have won the same Group 1 three times, but only legends win the same Group 1 four times and that’s exactly what Stradivarius will be looking to do.

Every year Stradivarius has competed in the Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup, he has faced pressure from strong rivals coming into the race.

2017 – Public favourite Big Orange was looking for his third consecutive win in the race. Slipping under the radar, a masterful ride by Andrea Atzeni saw a young Stradivarius dethrone the loveable giant.

2018 – The defending champion’s credentials were put to the test against Torcedor, a horse that had crept his way on to the staying scene. Stradivarius had seen him off in the Gold Cup, yet Torcedor was still well supported on the day. However, the support was to be in vein as the reigning champion breezed past for a comfortable success.

2019 – A two-pronged attack from two progressive types – De Ex Bee and Cross Counter. The three had met in the Gold Cup where Stradivarius had duly obliged in exposing their weaknesses. Yet, heading into the Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup, the doubters popped up and both rivals were well supported.

The outcome was, however, far from competitive with the chestnut doing what he does best for a third successive win.

2020 – Whilst the result is as yet unknown, the build up seems to have been the same. A new horse on the scene looking to dethrone the seemingly unbeatable. This year, Aidan O’Brien will seek to execute a masterclass and take down the Champion Stayer.

His Irish Derby winner, Santiago, will be in receipt of 15lb come race day – a lot of weight to give an already proven Group 1 winner. However, if the pattern before the race has been exactly the same, why should the outcome be anything but the same?

With a thrilling battle set to unfold yet again at the Glorious Goodwood meeting, will we see the continued reign of a Champion or the crowning of a new superstar?