Stradivarius makes Goodwood Cup history; Pinatubo pulls off vintage feat - GulfToday

Stradivarius makes Goodwood Cup history; Pinatubo pulls off vintage feat


The Charlie Appleby-trained Pinatubo with James Doyle astride winning the G2 Vintage Stakes at Goodwood on Tuesday.

Stradivarius and Frankie Dettori won a historic third successive Goodwood Cup on Tuesday to put the horse within one win of a repeat of the million pound bonus he collected last year.

Dettori delivered his challenge on staying great Stradivarius with just under two furlongs of the two mile (3,200 metres) Group One contest to go and passed Melbourne Cup winner Cross Counter with ease.

Despite a late rally from Dee Ex Bee -- second to Stradivarius in the Ascot Gold Cup last month -- Dettori was confident enough to raise his whip hand in celebration before crossing the line. The victory extended the horse’s winning streak to eight.

Double Trigger -- trained by Dee Ex Bee’s handler Mark Johnston -- also won three Goodwood Cups in the 1990s, but not in successive years.

For Dettori and trainer John Gosden. it was a second huge win in four days. Star mare Enable won the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes after an epic duel with Crystal Ocean on Saturday at Ascot, paving the way for her bid to become the first horse to win three Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

Gosden, whose faith in Dettori’s abilities gave the Italian jockey a lifeline after a six months drugs ban in 2013, was happier with the performance of the horse than the rider.

“Our little hero’s wave to the crowd, it is lucky he did not go over the handlebars,” said Gosden.

“Stradivarius is a grand horse he never does too much, we are lucky to have him. Indeed we are blessed.” Dettori, who had picked up a four-day riding ban earlier on the first day of the Glorious Goodwood meeting, was celebrating his 70th winner at the historic meeting.

“He is a bit of a boy,” Dettori said of the winner.

“What a horse! He is a jockey’s dream.” Stradivarius can secure the million pound bonus by winning the Lonsdale Cup at York next month.

Earlier, Pinatubo notched up the two-year-old feat of the year so far when demolishing strong opposition in the G2 Vintage Stakes over seven furlongs and is now unbeaten in four starts.

The Shamardal colt, trained by Charlie Appleby and partnered by James Doyle, was prominent early before being settled in fourth of the seven runners. Pinatubo made ground quickly, hit the front with two furlongs remaining and soon went clear of his rivals to triumph easily, beating Positive by five lengths, with another five lengths back to the third Lope Y Fernandez in 1m 27.03s on good ground.

Shamardal captured the same Goodwood race by two and a half lengths before being crowned European Champion juvenile in 2004.

Today’s brilliant run was greeted with delight by Charlie Appleby, who commented: “I am thrilled.

“This horse is just a true professional – he jumped and travelled well and James got him into a lovely rhythm and once they turned into the straight, I couldn’t see too much coming from behind. Pinatubo has galloped out strongly.

“One of the things I said to James was that there was a bit of stamina on the dam’s side, being out of a Dalakhani mare. I told James to keep it simple as Pinatubo has won over the stiff seven furlongs at Ascot and just keep pushing forward on him, so they have to come and catch him.

“That is what has happened and I am delighted with the result. I think we have seen this acceleration on all his starts. Even when you rewind to his debut at Wolverhampton – he was a bit slow away and green before picking up really well. From there on, that is all we have ever seen.

“I would like to speak to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, but I think that probably the National Stakes (G1, 7f, the Curragh, Ireland, on Sept.15) is a likely target now. That is what we said tongue in cheek after Ascot, so thankfully it looks like we are still on target.

James Doyle added his praise of Pinatubo: “That was a pretty spectacular performance.

“We did not go all that quick and he surprised me with how well he got into a rhythm and settled.

“Frankie (Dettori on Visinari) was getting a fairly easy time of it in front, so I popped out to be on the premises ready for when we quickened, and he just took off.

Pinatubo won the Listed Chesham Stakes over seven furlongs in great style at Royal Ascot in June, having earlier been successful over six furlongs at Epsom Downs and Wolverhampton.

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