The Ascot Gold Cup winner Stradivarius was one of just seven horses declared for the Group 1 Qatar Goodwood Cup on Tuesday’s opening day of Glorious Goodwood and is a top priced 8/13 shot with Bet365 to land the great race for the second year running.
John Gosden’s four-year-old has carried all before him in the staying division this term. Following wins in the Group 2 Yorkshire Cup and his gutsy triumph over French star Vazirabad at Ascot in June he is halfway to the £1 million bonus offered by Weatherbys to any horse who wins those two race plus the Goodwood Cup and next month’s Lonsdale Stakes at the York Ebor fixture.
Twelve months ago the flashy chestnut son of Sea The Stars got the better of an epic battle with the much loved Big Orange to win the Goodwood Cup, before going on to lose out by just half a length in a battle royal with Capri in the St Leger at Doncaster. On soft ground at Ascot in October he again ran well in defeat on unsuitable ground when third to Order Of St George, beaten just a length, in the Qipco British Champion Long Distance Cup.
With thunderstorms having failed to reach Goodwood by Sunday afternoon, the going at the Sussex venue remained Good to Firm for the first of the five-day fixture, a day that also includes Group 2 action in both the Vintage Stakes and the Lennox Stakes.
Stradivarius will be taken on again by his old rival, the Jessica Harrington-trained Torcedor (5/1 with BetVictor), beaten just a length into third in the Ascot Gold Cup, while a fascinating contender is another Irish challenger Idaho (10/1 with William Hill), trained by Aidan O’Brien, who steps up to two miles for the first time having taken on the best in the world on his globetrotting missions in top races at around a mile-and-a-half.
The Queen will be represented by the Belmont Gold Cup winner Call To Mind (11/1 with Ladbrokes), and David Elsworth’s Desert Skyline (20/1 with Boylesports), third in last year’s Goodwood Cup, is back for another crack at the favourite. The field is made up by William Haggas’ Dal Harraild (33/1 with Coral), and the Sir Mark Prescott-trained St Michel (25/1 with Betway).
Written by Paul Alster
Paul Alster has been part of the British and international racing media for more than three decades working as a race commentator, TV/radio presenter, journalist, betting correspondent, SP returner, and form analyst. He’s always sought out overpriced runners in handicap races, a quest that excites him as much now as it did at the start of his career.