With Ascot winner Subjectivist absent from the Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup on Tuesday due to injury, John and Thady Gosden’s seven-year-old is an odds-on favourite.
He has already won the race four times, more than any other horse, but Gosden would have loved to have taken on his Ascot conqueror again.
“He’s been in good order since Royal Ascot. The Gold Cup was a fascinating race and Subjectivist put in a superb performance,” he said.
“I’d love to have got in a race with the winner, but we never had the opportunity to get there and that’s life.
“I think Frankie (Dettori), having ridden him so brilliantly in previous Gold Cups, seemed to have a brainstorm and sit 12 lengths off the pace!
“I’m sorry that Subjectivist is not able to run next week, it’s heartbreaking for everyone involved and it would have been great to have enjoyed a ‘Duel on the Downs’.”
Having lost one stable star to retirement in Enable last season, Gosden is thankful to owner Bjorn Nielsen for keeping Stradivarius in training as long as he has.
“He’s very much part of family here - we had Enable with us until she was a six-year-old and him until he is seven. It doesn’t normally happen with full horses like him,” said Gosden.
“Everyone enjoys his company, and he checks everything in and out from his box and he knows Clarehaven inside and out. He enjoys going out on the Heath and shouting at the other strings!”
Subjectivist is trained at Middleham by Mark Johnston who will now be represented by Sir Ron Priestley following the horse’s battling victory over Al Aasy in the Princess Of Wales’s Tattersalls Stakes at Newmarket.
The five-year-old bounced back from two successive losses to win at Newmarket and is due to be joined by stablemate Nayef Road on the Sussex Downs.
Meanwhile Karl Burke’s Almohandesah will bid for a breakthrough Listed success in the British Stallion Studs EBF Star Stakes at Sandown today.
The two-year-old has run twice, finishing second on her debut at Redcar in early June before getting off the mark with a narrow victory at Pontefract last time out.
The daughter of Postponed will step up in both trip and grade as she tackles seven furlongs in Listed company for the first time on Thursday.
“She deserves her chance and she deserves to take a pop at some black type,” said Leyburn-based Burke.
“It looks a tough race for her, but we’re happy with the conditions, and she’s in good form. She won’t mind the ground at all, and seven furlongs will definitely suit her.”
n Martyn Meade is ready to find out just how good Lone Eagle is when his stable star runs in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.
The Galileo colt missed out agonisingly in the Irish Derby to Hurricane Lane, having made a bold bid under Frankie Dettori
On Saturday he faces another Derby winner in last month’s Epsom hero Adayar, while Aidan O’Brien’s Love also looks a formidable opponent.
“I was thrilled with his run at the Curragh - everything he did in the race was right, apart from the result I suppose,” said Meade.
“Saturday is a big task, but I’m confident he’ll produce a really good showing there.”