The three-time Yorkshire Cup winner, bidding for a fifth success in the Sussex showpiece, was just edged out by Aidan O’Brien’s 6-4 favourite Kyprios in a superb race.
Now he could head to the Knavesmire seeking a fourth victory in the Lonsdale Cup - and a seventh victory on the track - at next month’s Sky Bet Ebor Festival.
Trainer John Gosden felt the Bjorn Nielson-owned eight-year-old could have won for the 21st time had he not got lonely at the front.
“When he gets there he knows he’s done enough, he was in splendid isolation. It was a great run, a great run, he was just a bit lonely,” said Gosden.
“He was tracking the winner and he’s run an absolute blinder - when the cutaway came he’s gone right and been left with nothing else to race with. He hit the front and then he’s inclined to say ‘I’ve done enough’, and he just came back and got him. It would have been lovely if he’d stayed with the others.”
When asked if Stradivarius would remain in training, Gosden replied: “I can only tell them how he is and he’s full of the joys of spring still. If he’d got in a battle, he’d have battled, but he got left on his tod a bit. He ran a huge race.”
Middleham’s Mark and Charlie Johnston saw their Qatar Goodwood Festival get off to the best possible start as Forest Falcon landed the opening Coral Chesterfield Cup Handicap.
The four-year-old was partnered by Frankie Dettori for the 10-furlong event and started a 14-1 chance after finishing 14th of 22 when last seen in the John Smith’s Cup at York earlier in the month.
This time the gelding was a straightforward winner, racing wide and taking up the lead two furlongs from home to prevail by a length and three-quarters.
“It’s good to get off the mark on the first runner, it’s very much Charlie’s doing,” said Mark Johnston.
“He earmarked this race for this horse at the beginning of the season and said all along that this would be his D-Day and he was right. He couldn’t have won it more easily.”
Dettori added: “I always knew I was going to get a good position, Charlie told me he was a good traveller.
“He was a bit gassy at the beginning, but he had a good start and with a good lead I thought to just wait until the cutaway and get him going, and he just found another gear.
“In the space of half a furlong he had three lengths on the field, he was never in doubt.”
Ther Johnstons’ Rainbow Colours (10-1) was second in the penultimante race, the Coral Fillies Handicap over a mile.
Lord Riddiford took the Nicholson Gin Handicap for Jason Hart and Malton’s John Quinn, prevailing by half a length from Roger Varian’s Dusky Lord.
The seven-year-old was a 10-1 chance for the 15-runner affair and maintained an impressive record at the track when winning for the third time in four Goodwood runs.
“I’m absolutely delighted. He’s bounced back from two wind operations, but he loves it here,” Quinn said.
“He ran well enough at Doncaster to suggest that he was on his way back and he loves this track. The bit of rain helped him.
“He’s a very nice horse to deal with, a Christian, he’s a lovely horse.
“We are so, so pleased. His next run will be the Shergar Cup, all being well, a week on Saturday at Ascot.”
Karl Burke’s Royal Ascot winner Holloway Boy (11-8 fav) was second in the Group 2 Vintage Stakes.
Burke’s Favourite Child (66-1) was third in the finale - the World Pool EBF Fillies’ Handicap - under Clifford Lee.