Beaten in his final three starts of 2020, Stradivarius arrived at Royal Ascot Trials Day with enough to prove despite his glittering CV and he answered those questions emphatically under his ever-green jockey Frankie Dettori. Having sat off the pace for much of the race, the seven-year-old responded immediately when Dettori asked the question, looming up ominously as they turned for home before brushing past Ocean Wind who ran well for second with Nayef Road back in third.
The John and Thady Gosden training team, along with owner Bjorn Nielsen and his many adoring fans, can now look ahead to Royal Ascot in June with Stradivarius fully tuned up for his record-equalling Gold Cup bid.
Rohaan answers the call
Rohaan produced a career best effort when flying home under Ryan Moore to land Group 3 honours in the QIPCO British Champions Series horseracinghof.com Pavilion Stakes. Moore was at his brilliant best to pick a path through the pack and the David Evans-trained son of Mayson answered every call to get the better of the prominently ridden Saint Lawrence with Spycatcher back in third.
The most exciting finish of the day came in the Listed Charlie Waller Trust Paradise Stakes with six in a line heading into the final furlong and it was Oh This Is Us who edged out Prince Eiji at the line to land a 66/1 shock. It was a 15th career victory for the eight-year-old on his 70th start as he showed his younger rivals how to do it, recording a first success at this level since 2018.
Best of the rest
Earlier on the card, Angus Villiers and Richard Spencer teamed up with Keyser Soze to be the first victors into the Ascot winners enclosure for the 2021 Flat season when landing the Women In Racing Manny Mercer Apprentice Handicap Stakes. It was a first Ascot triumph for the young jockey who got a great tune out of Keyser Soze to see off Mostawaa with Repertoire in third.
Chipotle made it two wins from two starts when landing the Royal Ascot Two-Year-Old Trial Conditions Stakes, earning himself a complimentary entry to any of the Royal Ascot two-year-old contests in June. Eve Johnson Houghton’s Brocklesby winner had to battle to win this under Charles Bishop but did so well to see off The Gatekeeper with War Of Courage in third.
Creative Flair marked herself out as a filly to follow when coming out on top in the Naas Racecourse Royal Ascot Trials Day British EBF Fillies’ Conditions Stakes under William Buick for Charlie Appleby.
Pettochside rounded out a brilliant day for the older horses as the 12-year-old won the concluding Great Racing Welfare Cycle Handicap under a brilliant waiting ride from Saffie Osborne.
Sectional spotlight with the Longines Timing System
Stradivarius delivered his customary turn-of-foot to seal the Longines Sagaro Stakes with his final three-furlong time of 35.59s being the quickest in the race by some way. He hit a top speed of 39.5mph in that section which was enough to take him to the front where his superior stamina saw him home.
Saint Lawrence looked an unlucky loser in the QIPCO British Champions Series horseracinghof.com Pavilion Stakes having been nabbed late on by Rohaan and the data confirms that view. He clocked the fastest furlong by any horse in the race with 10.95s in the fourth furlong and just paid for that exertion late on, doing well to hold on for second. He looks worthy of another try over this trip given that mid-race speed and should be winning again soon.
Chipotle put in a smart performance to land the Royal Ascot Two-Year-Old Trial Conditions Stakes on his second racecourse start with his final four furlongs all being under 12s, the only horse in the race to achieve this. That suggests he should have the stamina to stay beyond five furlongs and connections will be excited by the choices that will open up throughout the season.
Unsurprisingly the fastest furlong of the day came in the concluding Great Racing Welfare Cycle Handicap over five furlongs with Han Solo Berger and Rose Hip both clocking 10.91s through the third section. They also hit a top speed of 42mph but ultimately did too much too soon as Pettochside swept through under a perfectly timed ride with his closing sectional of 11.56s almost a second quicker than the rest of the field.
Royal Ascot Press Release
Photo: Courtesy of Royal Ascot