Glorious Goodwood is just around the corner, and the opening day of the festival not only boasts a Group 1 race, but the most prestigious race of the meeting – the Goodwood Cup. One of the leading races for stayers, it marks the second leg of the famous Stayers’ Triple Crown, and if you’re betting on Goodwood, you can look no further than Stradivarius. The John Gosden-trained chestnut horse is on the hunt for a fifth successive win in the race, so let’s take a look at some of those previous successes and who – if anyone – can beat him later on this month.
2018: Stradivarius by half a length
The odds-on favourite didn’t disappoint, winning back-to-back Goodwood Cups, after edging out nearest rival Torcedor. And it was Colm O’Donoghue’s mount that set the pace early on, but Stradivarius – ridden by Andrea Atzeni, stepping in for the suspended Frankie Dettori – was never far behind. And in the final furlong, Stradivarius took the lead, and managed to hold on, to win by half a length. Atzeni had been in the saddle for the previous victory at Goodwood, and said afterwards:
“He’s a different horse compared to last year.
“I remember when I won on him last year, he was quite narrow, but he’s done a tremendous job as a four-year-old.”
2019: Stradivarius by a neck
And if the previous win was close, the 2019 race was even closer – as Dettori returned to the saddle and won his fourth Goodwood Cup. Not only had Stradivarius made it eight successive wins, he became only the second horse after Double Trigger (1995 and 1997-98) to land a hat-trick of victories in the Group 1 race. Dettori had sat in the middle of the pack, before the race came to life in the final furlongs. Dee Ex Bee looked in the running, having taken over from early leader Wells Farhh Go, but for Stradivarius to overtake his rival in the final furlong to mark a Gosden-Dettori eighth Group One victory of 2019.
2020: Stradivarius by a length
In winning a fourth Goodwood Cup, Stradivarius made history. The win also marked Dettori’s fifth, as he shared the accolade of being the race’s leading jockey, alongside big names such as Pat Eddery and Lester Piggott. Once again, the Gosden-trained horse was the bookies’ favourite, and Stradivarius found himself up against Nayef Road, Mark Johnston’s horse he had previously beaten in the Ascot Gold Cup. The margin of victory wasn’t as substantial as that win, but was still nonetheless impressive – despite spectators being unable to witness the action, with the festival held behind closed doors. Going into the final furlong, Stradivarius looked short of room, but Dettori stayed calm and managed to win by a length.
2021: Can Stradivarius make it five?
You simply cannot look beyond him, if you’re looking at the latest Goodwood Cup betting odds. And after failing to land a record fourth Gold Cup win at Royal Ascot last month, there could be some redemption – with winner Subjectivist ruled out through injury. Gosden has said that the chestnut has been in good form since that disappointment.
Looking to challenge is the Andrew Balding-trained Spanish Mission, who came third in the Ascot Gold Cup, but beat fellow rival Santiago in the Yorkshire Cup back in May. This season may not have proved fruitful for Trueshan so far, but given his form last season, you cannot rule him out. The Alan King-trained horse won the Long Distance Cup at Ascot last October, as well as victories at Salisbury and York – and could well upset the odds.
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