Stradivarius’s Gold Cup dream falls apart just as history beckons | Donald McRae


A misjudged strategy by the normally masterly Frankie Dettori scuppered the horse’s chances of a fourth triumph in this race

Racing history was denied in emphatic fashion at Royal Ascot when Stradivarius, the usually mighty chestnut, finished a disappointing fourth and missed out on becoming only the second horse to win the Gold Cup four times. In a strangely misjudged race by the normally masterly Frankie Dettori, the jockey and Stradivarius suffered. Stuck in heavy traffic on the rail at the home turn, they struggled to find the space to have a sustained crack at the impressive Subjectivist, who streaked home to win by five lengths.

Stradivarius was almost 10 lengths behind with three furlongs to run and, from that position, victory already looked unlikely for even a great horse. A damp squib of a race for the favourite was sealed when, while making a late surge to close the gap on Subjectivist, Stradivarius and Dettori succumbed and were also beaten home by Princess Zoe and Spanish Mission.

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Written by Donald McRae at Ascot
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