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Friday 15 November 2019

Stradivarius in tune again

BIG REWARD: Stradivarius scooped a £1million bonus for the second year running. Photo: PA
BIG REWARD: Stradivarius scooped a £1million bonus for the second year running. Photo: PA

Stradivarius scooped a £1million bonus for the second year running when showing once again he is in a class of his own in the stayers' division with victory in the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup at York.

John Gosden's remarkable five-year-old took his winning sequence to nine in his usual gritty, fighting style in the hands of Frankie Dettori.

The 4-9 favourite broke well, but Dee Ex Bee soon went on, with Il Paradiso in third and Falcon Eight bringing up the tail.

Silvestre de Sousa turned up the heat more than five furlongs out on the leader, but Dettori was unconcerned as he kept Stradivarius tucked up within hailing distance of Mark Johnston's charge.

Il Paradiso drew alongside Dee Ex Bee, but all along Stradivarius was in their slipstream, before Dettori switched him to the stands rail and swept to the front a furlong from home.

Gallant though his two closest pursuers were, they were well held and Stradivarius went on to win by a length and a quarter.

Dee Ex Bee was second for the third time running behind his nemesis, with Aidan O'Brien's Il Paradiso another nose away. Gosden said: "He's done it on most ground, soft and obviously quick today, they've broken the track record - he's just a cool character, he expresses himself.

"You don't overwork him, he does what he does in a race and once he hits the front and goes a length up he says, 'I've done my job, thank you'.

"Frankie didn't wave (before the line) today because when he did that at Goodwood he thought it was all finished. He'll be a tired horse, but by Sunday morning he'll be rearing on his hind legs, which is his party trick.

"If these stayers can get in a rhythm you are not stressing and allied with a burst of speed it disarms the others, it's a great weapon."

Battaash made it third time lucky in the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes with a blistering display to power home in the five-furlong Group One feature.

The Charlie Hills-trained gelding silenced his critics as he smashed the course record, previously held since 1990 in this race by Dayjur in the same colours of owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum.

Leading two furlongs out under Jim Crowley, Battaash (7-4) spreadeagled the field as he cruised to victory by three and three-quarter lengths from Soldier's Call, with Aidan O'Brien's So Perfect another length back in third.

So Perfect's stablemate Ten Sovereigns, winner of the July Cup, was sent off the 13-8 favourite, but had to settle for sixth place.

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