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Stradivarius bids for Gold Cup hat-trickPosted on Friday 17th January 2020 @ 16.53

John Gosden’s star stayer could be the value bet in his bid for a third straight renewal of Ascot’s Gold Cup.

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Pre-season ante post betting can be a challenging ask on the level but the stayers have clear targets as far as UK racing is concerned and it’s fair to say that Ascot's Gold Cup will be this season’s main target for the superstar Stradivarius.

The son of Sea The Stars may have suffered his first loss since October 2017 when denied by dual Group 1 winner Kew Gardens (trained by Aidan O’Brien) but he lost no caste in defeat that day, battling on gamely to the line and arguably only beaten by a speedier rival in a race short of two miles.

Prior to that, the entire had rattled off 10 consecutive Group wins that included two Gold Cup victories and a return to the extreme trip of two miles four furlongs will be in his favour against rivals that are probably better suited to two miles.

While the six-year-old is probably at his very best on a quicker surface, he’s shown his versatility by winning on ground ranging from soft to good to firm and he seems better suited to Ascot stiff finish than many of his previous opponents.

With this race sure to be his main target once again and ground conditions no issue, the six-year-old is a more than fair price, available to back at odds of 3/1 in the Ascot betting markets.

The aforementioned Aidan O’Brien has an excellent record in the race, largely due to four-time winner Yeats and there’s no doubt the Irish handler will send another strong team in his bid to get a first win on the board since Order Of St George’s success back in 2016.

Kew Gardens is likely to be his main hope but the son of Galileo is yet to be tried at two miles or further and he has to be a slightly doubtful stayer over this extreme stamina test given the amount of natural speed he possesses at the end of his races.

We probably didn’t get to see the most of Godolphin’s best stayer last season and it would be no surprise to see Cross Counter bounce back with some better form in 2020.

The gelding had been on the go for some time, having won the Melbourne Cup in good style back in November 2018 and kick-starting his season with a Meydan success last season. However, those runs appeared to take their toll on the four-year-old towards the back end of the campaign. Having had better preparation this time around, he could be the each-way option at around 14/1.

Article Posted on Friday 17th January 2020 @ 16.53

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