Gosden so proud of battling Stradivarius at Goodwood

Stradivarius showed he still has what it takes to mix it at the highest level, having been carried out on his shield in an epic finish to the Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup.

Though he failed by a neck to hold the burst of 6-4 favourite Kyprios and win two-mile feature for a fifth time, joint-trainer John Gosden was thrilled with the Bjorn Nielsen-owned eight-year-old entire – who looks set to race on at York next month.

Had he not seen daylight a shade too early under Andrea Atzeni, his handler felt he may have won for a 21st time.

“When he gets there he knows he’s done enough, he was in splendid isolation. It was a great run, a great run, he was just a bit lonely,” said Gosden.

Stradivarius is applauded by racegoers after finishing second in the Goodwood Cup
Stradivarius is applauded by racegoers after finishing second in the Goodwood Cup (Steven Paston/PA)

“The race just changed four out, Hollie (Doyle) came quick on Trueshan so then we were on the inside. He was tracking the winner and he’s run an absolute blinder – when the cutaway came he’s gone right and been left with nothing else to race with.

“He hit the front and then he’s inclined to say ‘I’ve done enough’, and he just came back and got him. It would have been lovely if he’d stayed with the others.

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“He came in and tried to cover the third horse, which I thought was a sure sign he wasn’t too stressed by it!”

When asked if Stradivarius would remain in training, Gosden replied: “It’s entirely up to the horse and the owner-breeder, it’s not up to me.

“I can only tell them how he is and he’s full of the joys of spring still. If he’d got in a battle, he’d have battled, but he got left on his tod a bit. He ran a huge race.

“He’ll tell me. He looks pretty chilled out. We wanted to get clear run and we got a clear run, we got a bit stranded today but we got a clear run.”

He added: “Stradivarius is a wise old owl now and he knows when he gets to the front that he has done his bit. It was a super run.

“At his age, he likes something to run with and he has never been a horse to go and win by far.

“He got in front and thought that’s it and Kyprios has come back. It was a wonderful run and I have no idea on the future at the minute – the horse will tell us.

“He was in the first three in the Ascot Gold Cup and won the Yorkshire Cup so he can still compete at this level, it’s just that he is an eight-year-old entire. If he were a gelding we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

“He is the most cheerful horse to come and meet every morning. He comes out playing and shouting, he is a great character. If anyone has the blues, he will soon kick them out of you.”

Frankie Dettori lost the ride on Stradivarius having found all sorts of trouble in running in a bid to win the Ascot Gold Cup for a fourth time. It led to Gosden and Dettori having a brief “sabbatical”, but no ill-feeling.

Atzeni deputised, and Gosden added: “I was getting a bit fed up with all the politics. It’s fine. Andrea’s a great friend of his (Dettori). He ran a great race and everyone’s happy, Frankie was in the paddock with us.”

Speaking earlier in the day, Dettori had wished connections the best of luck.

“I’m very positive. I’ve had five great years. He’s the horse I’ve won more Group races on than any other,” he said.

“I talked to Bjorn last week and I wished him luck this morning.

“I’ll be in the paddock watching him because it could be his last race. A bit of my heart is sad that he’s gone, but I’m looking forward to seeing him run.”

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