Stradivarius remains on course for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe despite being denied in the Prix Foy at ParisLongchamp, as Anthony Van Dyck claimed his first victory since landing last year’s Derby.
Trained by Aidan O’Brien, Anthony Van Dyck had finished a place ahead of Stradivarius when runner-up to Ghaiyyath in the Coronation Cup at Newmarket in early June.
However, having claimed his third victory in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot and a record fourth Goodwood Cup, John Gosden’s superstar stayer was the 8-13 favourite to reverse the form in his prep race for next month’s big race back over the course and distance.
In what appeared a slowly-run affair, Mickael Barzalona set his own fractions in front aboard Anthony Van Dyck, with Stradivarius his closest pursuer throughout in the hands of Frankie Dettori.
The Italian was the first of the two to draw his whip – and Stradivarius responded to close the gap.
However, 3-1 Anthony Van Dyck refused to bend in front and repelled the late surge of the market leader in determined style.
But Gosden was far from disappointed by Stradivarius’ performance – and confirmed the Arc as his next target.
He said: “It was a very typical French trial – they didn’t go a great pace.
“In these races you can either make your own pace, run a pacemaker or just follow – I’ve known them go even slower than they did today, but they did go pretty steady.
“I was happy with the way he finished the race – his last furlong was his best furlong. In that respect he’s run a good trial for the Arc and that’s where he’ll be going.
“He’s travelled over there now and behaved himself pretty well. I’m happy with the run as a trial.”
Stradivarius is a best-priced 16-1 for the Arc, with the O’Brien-trianed Love the marginal favourite ahead of Gosden’s brilliant mare Enable, who will be bidding to win the great race for a third time.