Stradivarius On Show At Newmarket

Champion stayer Stradivarius | Racing Post

   Newmarket's second segment of its four-day Guineas meeting plays host to the re-routed G1 Hurworth Bloodstock Coronation Cup on Friday, where the dual G1 Ascot Gold Cup hero Stradivarius (Ire) (Sea the Stars {Ire}) is an unexpected yet welcome guest to the party. Where the likes of Anthony Van Dyck (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), Defoe (Ire) (Dalakhani {GB}) and Ghaiyyath (Ire) (Dubawi {GB}) are regulars at this 12-furlong trip, Bjorn Nielsen's elite stayer has not been over this type of distance since defeat in a 3-year-old handicap at Chester in May 2017. John Gosden is looking at the outing as a vital warm-up for his bid for a third consecutive victory in Royal Ascot's feature in 13 days' time.

“As I've said to everybody, Stradivarius is in good form and we are looking forward to getting him going,” he said. “It is the shortest trip he has run over for some time, but we need to have a prep race before the Gold Cup.”

Anthony Van Dyck and Broome (Ire) (Australia {GB}) are Aidan O'Brien's first runners in Britain this year and both will most likely be using this as a starting point. At his best operating on a sound surface, the G1 Epsom Derby hero Anthony Van Dyck is the pick of Ryan Moore over the long-absent Broome. No blue riband winner to have run in this race as a 4-year-old has succeeded since Roberto in 1973 and Sir Percy (GB) (Mark of Esteem {Ire}) was the last to try in 2007.

“I don't know much about the mile and a half at Newmarket, but I would imagine you'd need to get a mile and a half very well to get the trip,” the master if Ballydoyle commented. “We haven't had a lot of runners over that trip in Newmarket. We just thought soft ground at Ascot [in the King George last year] wasn't the right thing to do with Anthony Van Dyck and he paid for it. But he's in good form now, we're happy with his work and the plan would be to keep him on good ground. He's doing everything right at the moment.”

Last year's winner Defoe followed up in the G2 Hardwicke S. at Royal Ascot before also running below-par in the King George alongside Anthony Van Dyck. Second in the G2 Dubai City of Gold at Meydan Mar. 7, he may be ahead of his opponents in terms of fitness. “Defoe is a horse who tells you when he's right and is giving us the right messages,” trainer Roger Varian said. “He's on his racing weight, he's come good in his skin and he seems to have a bounce with him. He's tuned-in for the race, but it might take a career-best to win it because the race looks a touch stronger this year. He seemed to really love Epsom last year, when he put it to bed in a few strides and won going away. But, saying that, he's run well at Newmarket the couple of times he's performed there and I don't think the track holds too many fears for him.”

Like Defoe, Ghaiyyath was denied a run in the abandoned G1 Dubai Sheema Classic but trainer Charlie Appleby is happy with where last year's impressive G1 Grosser Preis von Baden winner is at present. “He came back probably about six weeks ago now and looks fantastic,” he commented. “He's a horse that we're very excited to see race this year. He's got proven form up the Rowley Mile as a winner of the Autumn S. as a 2-year-old. When he won the G3 Dubai Millennium at Meydan in February, he took it much better than his previous races. His post-race condition was much better than before. He is now the finished article. He can be a flagship for Godolphin in the top middle-distance races this year.”

In the G3 Betway Abernant S., the 2017 and 2018 winner Brando (GB) (Pivotal {GB}) is back again bidding for vengeance after finishing third in the latest renewal behind the re-opposing Keystroke (GB) (Pivotal {GB}). That race precedes the Listed Betway Paradise S. for G1 Queen Anne S. aspirants including Khalid Abdullah's 'TDN Rising Star' Sangarius (GB) (Kingman (GB), who is making his comeback having been absent since winning the G3 Hampton Court S. at the Royal meeting almost a year ago.

At Lingfield, the Listed Oaks Trial and Listed Derby Trial will offer the first Epsom pointers a year on from providing the winners of both mile-and-a-half Classics and in the former contest John Gosden saddles a trio headed by the G3 Zetland S. runner-up Miss Yoda (Ger) (Sea the Stars {Ire}). Robert Havlin said of her, “She is a filly that I know well having won on her the first two times. She is the highest-rated in the race so she goes there with a good chance, but we will find out a little bit more about her after Friday as to whether she is an Oaks filly. She has been pleasing us at home and whatever she does on Friday she will improve on. She can be a free-going filly in the morning, but she seems to be different in the afternoons and I think she will get the trip. The heavy ground would have worked against her in the Zetland last year, so her record is flawless really. She is probably the pick of three in the race from the yard, but these fillies improve over the winter.”

Mark Johnston puts forward the G3 Sweet Solera S. winner West End Girl (GB) (Golden Horn {GB}), who was last seen finishing at the tail of the field in the G1 Fillies' Mile. “Her two runs at the back-end were very disappointing and I don't know why, as nothing really came to light,” the trainer's son and assistant Charlie Johnston said. “This was an obvious starting point and on pedigree the step up in trip should suit.”

Without the usual Ballydoyle contingent, the Derby Trial lacks an element of weight and Charlie Fellowes has warned that of the race's key protagonists King Carney (GB) (Australia {GB}) is not a certain runner. Signing off his 2-year-old season with success in the Listed Silver Tankard S. at Pontefract in October, Susan Roy's representative has to give away three pounds as a result and does not need the going too quick according to his trainer. “I'm a bit concerned about the ground and I'm going to go and walk it beforehand,” Fellowes said. “If we are going to go for nice targets, he has got to go on the ground so we will find out a lot. It is the right race to go for and he is the one to beat. He has a penalty, but he has got a lovely way of going and he will suit the track. He is quite an exuberant horse on the racecourse and he is the same at home, so all the time I'm trying to do as little as possible with him.”

Bjorn Nielsen's silks are sported by the Ed Walker-trained English King (GB) (Camelot {GB}), who had this week's winner Galsworthy (GB) (Dansili {GB}) soundly beaten in third when winning a 10-furlong maiden on Newcastle's Tapeta in November.

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