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.