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‘Brilliant’ Stradivarius primed as he chases record fifth Goodwood Cup

Stradivarius has become synonymous with Glorious Goodwood – that’s what happens when you win four consecutive Group One Goodwood Cups – and the superstar stayer is back again as he looks to add a fifth to his already imperious record.

The seven-year-old, who is trained by the father and son combination of John and Thady Gosden, is all the rage ahead of the 3,210m contest, an even-money favourite in overseas fixed-odds markets.

Stradivarius comes into the race off the back of an unlucky fourth in the Group One Ascot Gold Cup but only one of those who finished ahead of him – Spanish Mission – will be there on Tuesday.

But that is not of concern to connections, who are confident the seven-time Group One winner will be at his best for his favourite race.

“He is a brilliant horse and in good form. He is now a seven-year-old but in his home work he is still showing the same enthusiasm and turn of foot. He is still right up there,” Thady Gosden said.

“At Ascot, the race didn’t go to plan. He didn’t have a clear run and although I’m not sure he would have beaten Subjectivist, I think he would have been second.

“Hopefully he’ll get a better run than at Ascot and will be able to sit behind the leaders and then sprint, which is something most stayers can’t do.”

Racing’s most famous jockey Frankie Dettori will ride Stradivarius – like he has in 18 of his past 20 starts – and he’ll be determined to avoid any trouble this time around.

Spanish Mission’s trainer Andrew Balding is hoping to spoil Stradivarius’ party, optimistic his charge can perform after beating him home last start.

“He ran a very good race in the Ascot Gold Cup and brings a strong level of form to Goodwood,” Balding said of the five-year-old who be ridden by William Buick. “Stradivarius was a little unlucky and is a tough opponent but our horse is very well and we are hopeful.”

While Spanish Mission seems the obvious danger, it is the Alan King-trained Trueshan who is second-elect in the early markets.

His stand-out run came in October when he crushed his rivals in the Group Two British Champions Long Distance Cup over this trip at Ascot.

“He has very good form but we need the hot weather to break – we need rain,” King said.

A field of 11 will line up in the feature and, surprisingly, legendary trainer Aidan O’Brien is not prominent in the market, despite saddling up three runners – Santiago, Serpentine and Amhran Na Bhfiann.

The Goodwood Cup is one of eight races on the programme, with all of them to be hosted for betting by the World Pool.

There are two other features on the card (both Group Twos over 1,409m) with Berkshire Shadow the early favourite in the Vintage Stakes and Space Blues the top elect for the Lennox Stakes.

For Hong Kong punters, the first event gets under way at 8.50pm.

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