Ten out of ten for Stradivarius in the Doncaster Cup
13 Sep 2019
All-conquering stayer cruises home at Town Moor to secure his eleventh win in Champions Series races.
Stradivarius and Dettori after landing the Magners Rose Doncaster Cup. Pic Steven Cargill / Racingfotos.com
Stradivarius secured his tenth successive victory with a dominant display in the Magners Rose Doncaster Cup.
John Gosden’s five-year-old has completely dominated the staying division over the past couple of seasons – with back-to-back wins in the Yorkshire Cup, Gold Cup, Goodwood Cup and Lonsdale Cup seeing him scoop the Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers’ Million in both 2018 and 2019.
In the immediate aftermath of his latest triumph at York, connections suggested his next port of call would be next month’s QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot – which he also won last season – but a late change of heart saw Gosden bring his charge to Town Moor.
With old foe Dee Ex Bee a late withdrawal, Stradivarius was the 1-9 favourite in the hands of regular partner Frankie Dettori and his legion of fans had few concerns for the duration of the two-and-a-quarter-mile contest.
After initially being left in front, Andrew Balding’s Cleonte was sent on by Oisin Murphy heading out for the second circuit in an attempt to inject some pace in the race, and he was still going great guns rounding the turn for home.
However, once popped the question by Dettori, Stradivarius swiftly reeled in the leader and kicked clear for a comfortable one-and-three-quarter-length victory.
Cleonte boxed on admirably to fill the runner-up spot, with the Willie Mullins-trained Max Dynamite – runner-up to stablemate Thomas Hobson in last year’s renewal – back in third.
Gosden said: “Frankie was right to go forward, then Oisin decided he wanted to make a race of it.
“He’s a lovely horse. I had no intention of coming here, but he was so fresh, rearing up and shouting all the time, so I thought we’d come and win the Doncaster Cup – it hadn’t been the plan, but Mr (Bjorn) Nielsen was very good about it.
“He’s a gorgeous horse to train, but he was getting so playful at home – this was a five-day entry so I had to put him in.”
He added: “I think Mr Nielsen’s big plan, if the horse is happy and well, is to go to Ascot next year. He would love to win three Gold Cups. We’ll try to do that if we can and we’ll see what comes out of the Leger as potential challengers.
“He’s had a much easier season this year than last. The race in the Gold Cup (last year) was mighty tough and he was a tired horse by the Lonsdale. This year he’s a very fresh horse still.
“I think next year’s it’s Ascot Gold Cup and probably Goodwood Cup, and then we might worry about other options.”
Dettori said: “That’s the easiest he’s won – he’s so great to ride, he relaxes, he quickens. Brilliant. He’s got one more gear than the rest.”
The 48-year-old has now ridden the winners of a reciord-equalling 12 Champions Series races this year, the same as Ryan Moore in 2017.