Owner-breeder Bjorn Nielsen called time on one of the most popular and enduring horses of the modern era on Monday.
Stradivarius has been slow to recover from the bruised foot he sustained last month, prompting connections to retire the eight-year-old to stud.
Stradivarius will go to a new career as he joins the stallion roster at the National Stud in Newmarket.
Nielsen reflected: “It has been a fairytale from start to finish. He had great presence when he went to the races, which the crowds loved, and his overall soundness was rare to see in any horse – never mind one of his age. He is a tribute to John Gosden, who has trained him so brilliantly for so long.”
A stellar career saw him win 20 of his 35 starts over seven seasons, including three Ascot Gold Cups, four Goodwood Cups, three Lonsdale Stakes and the Doncaster Cup twice. The homebred chesnut won 20 of his 35 starts over seven seasons for racecourse earnings of £3,458,968.
His partnership with Frankie Dettori was one of the highlights of recent seasons.
Dettori paid tribute on his Sporting Index column:
"He’s been a huge part of my life for the last six years, a good friend and a wonderful horse that I’ve spent so many wonderful times with. I’ve never ridden a horse that’s given me so many Group wins, an amazing 15 in total.
"He was a brilliant stayer with a turn of foot like no other in that division, and he won on all types of ground, but we were always hoping the heavy showers would stay away ahead of raceday.
"He had plenty of character. Every time you walked in the yard he’d let you know he was there! I remember riding him out in work sometimes and he’d try to buck me off.
"He was also a very clever horse, like we saw at York this season. Sometimes he decided to keep a bit back for himself if he knew he’d done enough.
His trainer John Gosden commended the ‘unique’ racing career of the eight-year-old chestnut and the joy he has provided for all his team at Clarehaven Stables.
Stradivarius and Frankie Dettori win at York for trainer John Gosden and collect a £1million bonus in 2018 \. Photo Healy Racing.
“Stradivarius has been the most extraordinary and unique racehorse throughout his career. He has always maintained his total commitment and enthusiasm. He exhibited joy in his training and has given enormous pleasure to everyone, both on and off the track,” Gosden said.
“He was kept in training this year, as an eight-year-old, to run in three races, the Yorkshire Cup, the Ascot Gold Cup and the Goodwood Cup. He maintained his form at the highest level in all three races and his positive mind set remained undiminished. It is an amazing feat for an entire horse and speaks volumes for his courage and tenacity.
STRADIVARIUS and Frankie Dettori win for trainer John Gosden in August 2019 at York \. Photo Healy Racing.
“His constitution has been a marvel to behold and his exciting style of travelling easily in a race, and then quickening to pounce, reflected his character.
“As everyone noticed, he could be very vociferous and playful before a race and quite often put in a buck cantering off to the start. Always an entertainer, but with a tough competitive mind, who was all business when the starting stalls opened.
“To his owner/breeder, to everyone at Clarehaven Stables and to his loving race going public, he has been a constant source of pleasure and excitement. He goes to stud with an amazing race record and enormous affection. To train he has been a complete joy to all of us here. He will remain close to home and is already looking forward to his new career.”
Bred and owned by Bjorn Nielsen, Stradivarius will stand at the National Stud in Newmarket from 2023. In total during his racing career, spanning more than six years, Stradivarius recorded 20 wins flat.
His victory in this year’s Yorkshire Cup at York in May made him the record holder for most European Group race wins, with 18.
Stradivarius and Frankie Dettori after winning The Matchbook Yorkshire Cup York in May 2019 \Healy Racing.
Royal Ascot, ThursdayJune 21st 2018 Stradivarius ridden by Frankie Dettori winning the Gold Cup from Vazirabad ridden by Christophe Soumillon, 2nd, Torcedor ridden by Colm O’Donoghue, 3rd, and Order Of St George ridden by Ryan Moore, 4th.\ Photo.carolinenorris.i
Stradivarius and Frankie Dettori win the Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup Stakes (Group 1) at Goodwood in 2020 \ Healy Racing.