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Stradivarius Rolls On In The Yorkshire Cup

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Stradivarius | racingfotos.com

By Tom Frary

Not content with securing the inaugural Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers’ Million for connections, Bjorn Nielsen’s Stradivarius (Ire) (Sea the Stars {Ire}) was back with the real threat of doubling up on Friday as he defied a penalty and smart rivals in the G2 Matchbook Yorkshire Cup. Always travelling sweetly in mid-division, the flashy chestnut had the imposing Southern France (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) to aim at for the final three furlongs as Mildenberger (GB) (Teofilo {Ire}) tried to make a fist of it. As the latter backed out, it took until the last furlong for the 4-5 favourite to truly master the Ballydoyle challenger in a David and Goliath-style tussle. At the line, “Mighty Mouse” was the comfortable 3/4-of-a-length winner as they pulled five lengths clear of Mildenberger to suggest that they will be at the forefront when the Royal meeting’s key staying test comes.

“He was a bit rusty and there wasn’t much of a pace, so it was more of a sprint but once we got upsides there was only going to be one winner,” Dettori said. “He’s a tiger–he just put his head down and went. He’s a joy to have around.”

Stradivarius was also becoming the first since Ardross (Ire) in 1982 to win this for the second successive year and the parallels with Charles St George’s great stayer are becoming ever more credible with time. Like him, he went unbeaten through an important Cup campaign last term with the G1 Gold Cup at Royal Ascot his crowning moment. There was as much zip in this performance as there was in the 2018 equivalent and with last year’s G1 St Leger third there to make him stretch and the likes of the Feb. 28 G3 Nad Al Sheba Trophy winner Ispolini (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) well beaten it is solid form.

Trainer John Gosden obviously relishes the challenge of managing the career of the ebullient 5-year-old and said, “This was a prep for the Gold Cup and he hadn’t been trained hard for this. He’s a very proud horse and does enough in his work without being generous. The [June 20] Gold Cup is a different ball game and they slowed it right down here which is probably not ideal for him, but I liked the way he showed a bit of grit in the end. He’s not polished yet–we hope to have that at Royal Ascot. He was in the nightclub when I was saddling him, but then he goes out there and races and gets into a different zone.”

Pedigree Notes

Stradivarius, who descends from the Wildensteins’ brilliant Pawneese (Ire), is the last foal out of the dual listed-placed Private Life (Fr) (Bering {GB}), who was snapped up for just 70,000gns at the 2006 Tattersalls December Mares Sale. She also produced three other black-type performers including the G3 Bavarian Classic and G3 Furstenberg-Rennen-winning German highweight Persian Storm (Ger) (Monsun {Ger}). This is also the family of the G1 Melbourne Cup hero Protectionist (Ger) (Monsun {Ger}) and the G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and G1 Prix du Jockey Club hero and leading sire Peintre Celebre (Nureyev).

Friday, York, Britain
MATCHBOOK YORKSHIRE CUP S.-G2, £165,000, York, 5-17, 4yo/up, 13f 188yT, 3:01.21, g/f.
1–STRADIVARIUS (IRE), 130, h, 5, by Sea the Stars (Ire)
1st Dam: Private Life (Fr) (MSP-Fr), by Bering (GB)
2nd Dam: Poughkeepsie (Ire), by Sadler’s Wells
3rd Dam: Pawneese (Ire), by Carvin II
(330,000gns RNA Ylg ’15 TATOCT). O/B-Bjorn Nielsen (IRE); T-John Gosden; J-Lanfranco Dettori. £93,572. Lifetime Record: MG1SW-Eng, 15-10-1-2, $2,239,526. *1/2 to Persian Storm (Ger) (Monsun {Ger}), Hwt. 3yo-Ger at 9.5-11f & MGSW-Ger, $121,198; Rembrandt Van Rijn (Ire) (Peintre Celebre), GSP-Eng, $167,081; and Magical Eve (Ger) (Oratorio {Ire}), SP-SAf. Werk Nick Rating: A+. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Southern France (Ire), 127, c, 4, Galileo (Ire)–Alta Anna (Fr), by Anabaa. O-Derrick Smith, Susan Magnier & Michael Tabor; B-Lynch-Bages & Rhinestone Bloodstock (IRE); T-Aidan O’Brien. £35,475.
3–Mildenberger (GB), 127, c, 4, Teofilo (Ire)–Belle Josephine (GB), by Dubawi (Ire). O-Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum; B-Godolphin (GB); T-Mark Johnston. £17,754.
Margins: 3/4, 5, 1. Odds: 0.80, 5.50, 7.00.
Also Ran: Ispolini (GB), Desert Skyline (Ire), Mootasadir (GB), Sevenna Star (Ire), Aircraft Carrier (Ire). Click for the Racing Post result or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. Video, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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