Stradivarius Poised for More Major Glory in the British Champions Long Distance Cup
September 14, 2020
He remains one of the finest staying horses on the planet.
And after a disappointing start to the 2020 season in Newmarket’s Coronation Cup, Stradivarius has bounced back in impeccable fashion.
John Gosden’s charge became only the third horse in history to win three consecutive editions of the Ascot Gold Cup in June, with Frankie Dettori producing a typically savvy ride to sit in mid-division before streaking clear in the final furlong.
As if that wasn’t enough, the progeny of Sea the Stars then lined up in the Goodwood Cup, seeking a record fourth victory in the renewal. And, true to form, Stradivarius did the business despite getting boxed in and having to switch left in the run-in, taking the spoils by a length from Nayef Road.
It’s been another stellar campaign then, and the six-year-old will be asked to summon up another big performance to sign off the season in the Long Distance Cup, which will form part of Ascot’s British Champions Day. As ever, bettors will be checking the horse racing results from today to check lead-in form, but right now, few stayers can hold a torch to Stradivarius.
That said, he has only lost once over two-miles since 2017, and the most recent of those came in this very race a year ago – Kew Gardens triumphing by a nose in a titanic finish.
It’s doubtful that horses have feelings of redemption and the need to make amends, but connections will be hoping that Stradivarius can go one better this time around – particularly with a £300,000 purse for the winner.
Ironically, perhaps the biggest danger to his chances will come from a familiar source…
Gosden Unearths Another Gem
After a strong 2019, Enbihaar has confirmed herself as one of the best mares around.
And she will have a chance to prove that on the biggest stage of them all as she takes her place as the second favourite behind Stradivarius in the Long Distance Cup at Ascot.
Enbihaar certainly caught the eye with a couple of high-quality runs in August. First up she won the Lillie Langtry Stakes at Goodwood on the first of the month, holding off a spirited charge from Cabaletta to claim Group 2 glory – that was a telling performance from a weight of 9-6.
And then came the biggest win of her career at the Lonsdale Cup, where she took advantage of a couple of pounds in weight to haul in Stratum and Nayef Road in the final furlong.
That was Enbihaar’s first run over the two-mile mark, and the manner in which she ate up the ground heading down the straight was confirmation that John Gosden will go into the Long Distance Cup mob-handed with two proven performers in his ranks.
Others will come into the thinking of bettors – Logician, Nayef Road and even former Derby champion Anthony Van Dyck have bee mentioned as possible opponents, but it is Stradivarius – priced at 6/4 in the ante-post betting – and Enbihaar (5/1) who could be left to fight out a tremendous battle in the flat season’s customary curtain call.