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WHO WILL WIN THIS MONTH

Monday, 26 April 2021

Gosden & Son Look to Have Great Team for Royal Ascot 2021

Newmarket trainer John Gosden saddled six winners at Royal Ascot last year, with at least one coming on each of the five days of Britain’s premier Flat horse racing festival. 

The racecards for this year’s edition of meeting will have a subtle change in them. Next to the names of horses hailing from the yard, it will read John & Thady Gosden after the decision was taken to share the license between father and son from the start of the UK Flat turf campaign.

This partnership across generations has already got off to the perfect start with some high-profile victories with their overseas runners in the Middle East. Gosden junior has overseen those, travelling out to Saudi Arabia and then Dubai with globetrotting colt Mishriff. 

Memorable successes in very valuable international events, the Saudi Cup on dirt and Sheema Classic over a longer trip on the turf, have opened up new horizons for this horse. Fellow Dubai World Cup Night hero in Meydan’s Dubai Turf winner Lord North is favourite for a successful defence of the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes come Royal Ascot.


Gosden senior has won that Group 1 event over 10 furlongs four times before. Only the late Sir Henry Cecil saddled more successes since the Prince Of Wales was revived in 1968. 

As any good Royal Ascot tips & preview pieces should point out, the stable also has a strong hand on paper for the opening Group 1 of the meeting, the Queen Anne Stakes. This straight mile contest for older horses could include two Gosden runners in action. 

The potential improver is Lincoln Handicap winner Haqeeqy. His victory in that historic Doncaster race was the third time he has run at one of the Flat season’s major festivals after success at the St Leger meeting last autumn. 

Although the Queen Anne is a big step up from such company, Haqeeqy would be far from alone in progressing to that elite level from handicaps. Lord North took the Cambridgeshire as a three-year-old and then made rapid improvement at four.

Team Gosden also have a past Royal Ascot winner in St James’s Palace Stakes scorer Palace Pier with the Queen Anne as an obvious target. He too went down the handicap route before a length defeat of Godolphin’s great hope Pinatubo. 

The jewel in the stable crown following the retirement of wonder-mare Enable is supreme Flat stayer Stradivarius, who remains in training as a seven-year-old. Motivation, as if it were needed for this Royal Ascot great is to match the mighty Yeats as a four-time winner of the Gold Cup. 

Stradivarius, whose record over the summer is superb, has already broken records in the Goodwood Cup. While owner Bjorn Nielsen was indulged with an autumn campaign geared around the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, it is the cup races of two miles plus where this superstar is at his very best. 

No stayer on the Flat has been able to land a blow on Stradivarius at Ascot during the royal meeting. It is going to take something very special indeed to stop him at that time of year from recording a fifth consecutive win at the meeting. The Gosdens clearly have a fearsome Royal Ascot team.

Photo: Trainer John Gosden and jockey Frankie Detttori CC BY-NC-SA2.0 by Charles Fred

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