By Andrew Atkinson
John Gosden trained Stradivarius is eyeing Royal Ascot Gold Cup glory on June 17 – under jockey Frankie Dettori – to become the second horse to win the race four times. Yeats is the only horse to do so.
Dettori, who rode Stradivarius to victory in the Group 3 Longines Sagaro Stakes in April, said: “The dream is still alive. It’s sensational to ride a stayer with a turn of foot.
“When Yeats won four Gold Cups you thought no one would ever get near it and now the dream is still alive.”
Dettori added: “He’s a character and wants to cover everything in the morning! His homework has been fantastic – as good as any other season.
“We tried the Arc route and things didn’t go his way, but this is his bread and butter and I love riding him.”
Gosden said of seven-year-old Stradivarius, ahead of a fourth Gold Cup bid: “The old horse has his enthusiasm still.
“I had every confidence the enthusiasm was still there. He’s got the speed – he likes the Gold Cup distance.”
After Stradivarius odds were clipped to 6-4 (from 7-4) Gosden said: “The Gold Cup will be tough, but as long as Stradivarius trains well between now and the Gold Cup, there’s no reason why he won’t put up one of his vintage performances.”
In 2020 Stradivarious’s steady pace lead to him pulling away, entering the straight, winning by 10 lengths.
The five days Royal Ascot meeting takes place during June 15-19: 15 June – Queen Anne Stakes Day. 16 June – Prince of Wales Stakes. 17 June – Gold Cup – Ladies Day. 18 June – Coronation Stakes. 19 June – Golden Jubilee Stakes.
Charlie Hills trained Battaash is noted in the King’s Stand Stakes. Irish-bred Battaash, twice a runner-up before returning to the winner’s enclosure victorious in 2020.
Golden Pal and Bivouac are also noted. Trainer Wesley Ward has high hopes for Golden Pal: “He is the best horse I have ever worked with”, he said.
Gosden trained Palace Pier goes to post in the Queen Anne Stakes, already a Royal Ascot winner, in winning the Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes under Dettori.
Four-year-old Palace Pier faces Order of Australia and Alpine Star, noted contenders.
Gosden saddles Lord North in the Prince of Wales Stakes, aiming to become the fourth horse to win the prestiguous race.
Lord North had a comprehensive win in 2020 faces Aidan O’Brien trio Love, Mogul, and Japan.
Trainer Wesley A. Ward saddles Campanelle in the Commonwealth Cup, open to three-year-olds.
Campanelle, joint-favourite with Supremacy, won the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2020. It will be Supremacy’s first race at Ascot underlined with three consecutive victories under his belt, including an impressive display at Newmarket.
Aidan O’Brien trained Mother Earth and Aunt Pearl are noted in the Coronation Stakes.
Aunt Pearl, who has not raced on British turf, had three impressive victories Stateside including victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. Entries include Potapova and Santa Barbara.
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