Tuesday 20 August 2019

It's all about the treble for Stradivarius

'Stradivarius, who is primed to renew battle with Ascot second Dee Ex Bee and fourth Cross Counter, is also bidding to extend his own winning sequence to eight, which is remarkable in itself for a stayer.' Stock photo: AFP/Getty Images
'Stradivarius, who is primed to renew battle with Ascot second Dee Ex Bee and fourth Cross Counter, is also bidding to extend his own winning sequence to eight, which is remarkable in itself for a stayer.' Stock photo: AFP/Getty Images

Marcus Armytage

In common with the scheduling of many racing festivals, the best shall be first - even at Glorious Goodwood, to where most of Sussex and a lot of Qatari royalty will withdraw this week.

When Goodwood tweaked the schedule and moved the Qatar Goodwood Cup to its opening day on Tuesday, it may not have reckoned that would be the case with the Sussex and Nassau Stakes set to follow later in the week.

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However, with Enable's small but mighty stable companion, Stradivarius, bidding to join Double Trigger as the only three-time winner of the two- centuries-old race in what is essentially a repeat of the Ascot Gold Cup - but, crucially, over half a mile less - the opening day's big race could well be the week's highlight.

Stradivarius, who is primed to renew battle with Ascot second Dee Ex Bee and fourth Cross Counter, is also bidding to extend his own winning sequence to eight, which is remarkable in itself for a stayer.

A day later the £1m Sussex Stakes pits the best older horses against the best three-year-olds over a mile, and Aidan O'Brien was clearly keen to have a shot at this with Circus Maximus, the St James's Palace winner, whom he has supplemented for this.

Too Darn Hot returned to winning ways in France last time over seven furlongs but Frankie Dettori's mount barely gets a mile so I would not put it past Lord Glitters adding this race to the Queen Anne.

The big one on Thursday is, of course, the Telegraph Nursery Handicap, but the race before it, the Group One Nassau Stakes for fillies, has attracted Classic winners Hermosa and Channel.

The Japanese raider Deirdre, who was holed below the waterline by the soft ground at Ascot, has stayed on for it while John Gosden and Frankie Dettori will be hoping to mop up another top-level race with Mehdaayih.

Another horse to keep an eye on is Battaash in Friday's King George Qatar Stakes over five furlongs, while handicappers get their day in the sun on Saturday in the Unibet Stewards Cup.

The trainer to follow at the meeting is usually Mark Johnston. Failing him, Richard Hannon.

Johnston fires a lot of bullets at most of the handicaps and quite often it is not his shortest-priced runner that triumphs, so backing all of his blind seems to be a pretty good system at what is usually a graveyard for punters.

Telegraph

Telegraph.co.uk

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