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Stradivarius entered to regain Champions Day crown

12 Oct 2020

2018 QIPCO Long Distance Cup winner Stradivarius looking to regain title he lost in 2019 to Kew Gardens

The world’s top rated stayer, Stradivarius stands out among the 15 entries still in the mix for the £300,000 QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup.

The exceptional six-year-old, bred and owned by Bjorn Nielsen, won the Qatar Goodwood Cup for a record fourth time at Goodwood in July, having landed the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot for the third time the previous month.

He has won a record 13 races that fall under the QIPCO British Champions Series umbrella, including the QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup in 2018. He has run 13 times over two miles or further and been beaten just twice – when a length third to Order Of St George as a three-year-old in the 2017 QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup and when pipped a nose by Kew Gardens in last year’s riveting renewal.

The opposition to Stradivarius is headed by two-time Comer Group International Irish St Leger winner Search For A Song. She will be having her first run over two miles but has hinted she will stay and her trainer, Dermot Weld, has been responsible for two previous Long Distance Cup winners in Rite Of Passage (2012) and Forgotten Rules (2014).

Andrew Balding has two possible challengers in Spanish Mission, fluent winner of the Doncaster Cup on his latest start, and the mud-loving Morando, whose exploits last season included an eight-length drubbing of Kew Gardens in the Boodles Diamond Ormonde Stakes at Chester.

Balding said: “Spanish Mission was very impressive in the Doncaster Cup last time but I would have thought he would be effective from a mile and a half to an extended two miles. He’s a horse who historically has not wanted the ground too soft, so that’s a concern for him. If the ground got pretty testing, we’d have to think twice about running him.

“Morando, on the other hand, loves it when the mud is flying. It would be a new venture going two miles with him but the way he’s shaped in his races in the last two seasons suggests that two miles is well within his compass now and he goes well at Ascot.”

Fujaira Prince, trained by Roger Varian, was returning from a year off when an emphatic winner of the Copper Horse Handicap at Royal Ascot in June and followed up in the Sky Bet Ebor at York two months later. He chased home Search For A Song in the Irish St Leger last time out.

Aidan O’Brien has won the race three times with Fame And Glory (2011), Order Of St George (2017) and Kew Gardens (2019). This time he could be represented by Sovereign, winner of last year’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby; Broome, who was a close fourth in last year’s Investec Derby; and Dawn Patrol, third in this year’s Irish Derby.