Stradivarius successfully defended his Gold Cup crown to provide Frankie Dettori with a remarkable fourth successive victory on day three of Royal Ascot.
John Gosden’s star stayer enjoyed a faultless campaign in 2018 – winning the Yorkshire Cup, the Gold Cup, the Goodwood Cup and the Lonsdale Cup to land a £1 million bonus through the inaugural Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers’ Million.
The five-year-old added the Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup back at Ascot in October to his seasonal haul, just for good measure, and picked up where he left off when battling to a second Yorkshire Cup victory last month. This was the remarkable stayer's seventh win in a row.
With Dettori having already won the first three races on the card, Stradivarius was all the rage to add to his tally and supporters of the even-money favourite will have had few concerns for the duration of the two-and-a-half-mile contest.
Dee Ex Bee took the field along the way for a long way, but was being ridden along rounding the home turn, with Dettori still motionless in behind.
Just for a moment Stradivarius was caught in a pocket, but once the gap came, Gosden’s admirable chestnut quickened up smartly and was ultimately well on top as he passed the post a length to the good.
Dee Ex Bee (7/2) rallied to finish second, just a nose ahead of 66/1 shot Master Of Reality in third.
Dettori said: “What a horse, he got me out of trouble. He’s the horse for the big occasion and people love him. It’s great for everyone connected with the horse – every time he runs he delivers.”
The hugely-popular Italian kicked off his day with Al’Ali in the Norfolk Stakes for Simon Crisford, before winning the Hampton Court aboard the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Sangarius and the Ribblesdale Stakes with John Gosden’s Star Catcher.
It was then all eyes on the Gold Cup, where Dettori again emerged victorious through Gosden’s defending champion Stradivarius.
With two races left to be run, bookmakers were quaking with memories of Dettori’s ‘Magnificent Seven’, when he went through the card to win all seven races at Ascot in September 1996, very much to the fore.
And the 47-year-old rider looked certain to make it five-in-a-row when Turgenev shot clear on his field in the closing stages of the Britannia Handicap. However, the leader tired near the line and was overhauled by Biometric, ridden by Harry Bentley for trainer Ralph Beckett.
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