Stradivarius To Be Partnered By Andrea Atzeni In Next Week's Goodwood Cup - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Stradivarius To Be Partnered By Andrea Atzeni In Next Week’s Goodwood Cup

Stradivarius on Warren Hill

John Gosden reported Stradivarius to be in enthusiastic form ahead of his bid to win a record fifth Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup (Group 1) next week. After suffering interference under Frankie Dettori in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot under Frankie Dettori, the 8-year-old will line up with Andrea Atzeni on board for the first time since the 2018 renewal at Goodwood.

Gosden, speaking on Warren Hill in Newmarket, said: “Stradivarius is happy, he's well. He's maintained his enthusiasm for the game throughout and enjoys his training. We couldn't really be more pleased with him for a chap at this stage of his career, so we're very much looking forward to it.”

Stradivarius was a late non-runner following a deluge of rain last year and Gosden is keen that the recent dry spell continues into next week.

“We're very hopeful that it's not heavy ground,” Gosden said. “He was at Goodwood in the stables last year, when Thady and I walked the track. The water was lying on the top of the track, and we knew that wasn't for him. It's a pity he couldn't have run because every time he has run at Goodwood, he's won a Goodwood Cup.”

Ahead of what could be his final career start, John Gosden reflected on Stradivarius' longevity.

“You're very lucky to have a horse or a race mare like that ever come to you, and then to enjoy their longevity and their amazing consistency at that top level,” said Gosden. “That is testament to the horse, the breeder, and to have that constitution is pretty remarkable. That is probably what has been so fulfilling and the fact he is rather like she (Enable) was. Expressive, rather outgoing and joyous.”

Stradivarius has won four Al Shaqab Goodwood Cups and three Ascot Gold Cups, but Gosden remembers his first win in each renewal as his two favorite Stradivarius memories.

“His first Goodwood Cup and his first Ascot Gold Cup would be the highlights,” the trainer said. “Winning the Goodwood Cup as a 3-year-old and then the Ascot Gold Cup as a 4-year-old. He's built on that down the years. There aren't many flat horses who stay around like him through the years. I always remember when Rachel and I came back from America, we made a point of getting in the car and taking however long it took to get there to see Desert Orchid run in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. We had a cup of tea and came back. So, it was something like six hours on the road for the sake of being there for half an hour, but it was very much worth it. When you have a horse like that, they are unique, and they need to be celebrated.”

Kyprios and Mojo Star finished ahead of Stradivarius at Ascot, but Gosden is looking forward to the rematch at Goodwood, a track that plays to Stradivarius' strengths.

He said: “It's pretty set who the key horses are (in the Goodwood Cup). We're happy at two miles, two-and-a-half miles. He would run a big race over a mile-and-a-half. So, to that extent I've been pleased with him all along and we're looking forward to it. He's quick on his feet, he's agile. That always helps around Goodwood. It's a downward turning track and he probably enjoys the twists and turns of it, he probably finds it quite entertaining like a fairground ride.”

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