Friday 22 June 2018
The Aga Khan Studs were strongly represented in a thrilling finish of the Group 1 Ascot Gold Cup as STRADIVARIUS, a son of Gilltown Stud’s Sea The Stars, held off top French-trained stayer VAZIRABAD, carrying the famous green and red silks.
By the unbeaten Arc winner Sea The Stars, the John Gosden-trained and Frankie Dettori-ridden STRADIVARIUS cemented his position as Europe’s highest-rated stayer. Owned and bred by Bjorn Nielsen, the four-year-old was winning his second Group 1 title following success in the Goodwood Cup against his elders last year, and his second Royal Ascot honours as he lifted the Group 2 Queen’s Vase twelve months ago.
STRADIVARIUS combines both stamina, class and courage as he fought of the late attack of H.H. Aga Khan’s VAZIRABAD. He is now on course to win the W.H. Stayers’ Million, with the next stage of this £1 million bonus series coming in the Goodwood Cup before the Lonsdale Cup in August.
Trainer John Gosden was winning the famous contest for the first time and he said, “He saw out the distance well and was going away at the finish. He’s a gorgeous horse. He’s done it really well and he loves this ground.”
A triple Group 1 winner and three-time Dubai Gold Cup scorer, VAZIRABAD (Manduro) lost nothing in defeat on his first attempt over two and a half miles, and even took the advantage for an instant inside the final furlong.
Six-year-old gelding VAZIRABAD is ultra-consistent and has never finished outside the first two in 21 races over distances superior to a mile and a half. He could also return to England to tackle the Goodwood Cup on 31st July, while the Group 1 staying contests in France in autumn will also be targets.
Updated on 22nd June.