Following his 4th straight Gr 1 Goodwood Cup win, last night, long-distance staying freak STADIVARIUS (Sea The Stars-Private Life) is set to compete in a Gr 1 ‘sprint’.
Well, sprint for him.
His trainer John Gosden declared he would come down to the 2400m of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and in doing so take on world champ ENABLE.
That will be an anointing of greatness race now.
When told about it, his regular rider, Frankie Dettori, who is also the regular rider for Enable, just laughed.
“Really? Well, why not. But I am on Enable…at this stage.”
When asked if his old mate Stradivarius who hasn’t run at the 2400m, would be his main threat, Dettori said, “maybe, probably. Oh please don’t ask me anymore bad questions.”
Stradivarius has dominated, completely all the major European races from 3200m upwards for a few years now and is without peer, now or ever as a long distance stayer.
But it has always been a misconception made by many punters that just because you are a stayer, you can’t accelerate as a sprinter.
Not that the Arc is a sprint.
It is one of the premier staying races on the planet and he deserves a crack at it.
The moment Gosden announced that he would take on his stablemate Enable in the Arc at Longchamp in October, social media went into a tizz over who might ride the big guy in the race.
No names no pack drills yet.
But what a mouther-watering race it will be.
As for the Goodwood Cup last night, the chestnut had to call on all his powers. He was caught in a pocket when the lighter weighted horses kicked clear and he was left giving them all a big start.
“I was nervous and coming to the furlong pole I was hoping things would open but when the gap comes he has a turn of foot,” said Gosden.
“The one thing me and Frankie were clear about was to wait as long as we could and then pounce. We didn’t want a slog the whole way up the straight and I thought he rode him cannily. Thank goodness Frankie didn’t have a crowd to wave at this year.”
Gosden was asked who win beat who home in the Arc.
Gosden truly believes Stradivarius could live with Saturday’s record-breaking King George winner Enable over 2400m, adding: “She’s exceptional and the best mile and a half horse I’ve ever trained in my life and ever will, but he’s the best Cup horse.
“It will depend on the state of the track on race day.”