Star stayer Stradivarius, who went undefeated through a five-race campaign in 2018, made a winning return to action in the Group 2 Matchbook Yorkshire Cup Stakes, giving 3lbs and a three-quarter-length beating to the promising four-year-old Southern France.
Bjorn Nielsen's homebred has now won ten of his 15 starts and, if you include the huge bonus he landed last year, has earned over £2.7 million so far. The John Gosden-trained entire will now bid to repeat his Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers' Million sequence, the next leg of which is the Group 1 Gold Cup at Ascot.
The Aidan O'Brien-trained runner-up, who was third to Kew Gardens in last year's Group 1 St Leger at Doncaster but then an unplaced favourite in the Cesarewitch, is also engaged in that two-and-a-half-mile marathon, in addition to having some big-race entries over 12 furlongs, and the son of Galileo is an interesting recruit to the stayers' division.
The pair finished five lengths clear of Mildenberger in third and that Mark Johnston-trained four-year-old may be set to drop back in trip. His entries include the Group 1 Investec Coronation Cup and Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes.
Stradivarius is a son of the Timeform 140-rated standout and outstanding Gilltown Stud stallion Sea The Stars (by Cape Cross). He is a half-brother to the dual ten-furlong German Group 3 scorer Persian Storm (by Monsun) and out of Private Life (by Bering), who was listed-placed over ten and 12-and-a-half furlongs in France.
Her siblings include the listed-race winners Pretty Tough (by Desert King) and Parisienne (by Distant Relative) – the latter is the grandam of Group 1 Melbourne Cup and Group 1 Grosser Preis von Berlin hero Protectionist (by Monsun) – and she is out of Poughkeepsie (by Sadler's Wells), a winning daughter of Pawneese (by Carvin).
She won the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Group 1 Oaks Stakes and Group 1 Prix de Diane (French Oaks), was European champion three-year-old filly in 1976, rated 131 by Timeform, and a half-sister to the Group 3 Princess Elizabeth Stakes winner Petroleuse (by Habitat).
That filly became an influential broodmare too as her trio of pattern winners include Grade 2 scorer Peinture Bleue (by Alydar) and her many descendants of note feature the Group 1 stars Peintre Celebre (by Nureyev), Planteur (by Danehill Dancer), and recent mile classic scorer Persian King (by Kingman).
Stradivarius, whom Timeform rated 127 last year, is one of the best stayers of recent years and, unlike most who excel in that division, he has a pedigree that could see him become a successful flat stallion, if given the chance. He won't get flashy two-year-olds, but with the right mares he could get top winners anywhere from ten furlongs and upwards, and with the overemphasis these days on two-year-old summer speed, we need more stallions who have the potential to sire horses over the full classic range.
Sires & Winners