Stradivarius is impossible to oppose as he makes a surprise appearance in the Magners Rose Doncaster Cup.
John Gosden’s remarkable five-year-old has earned himself legendary status over the past couple of seasons by completely dominating the staying division.
In 2018 Stradivarius won the Yorkshire Cup, the Gold Cup, the Goodwood Cup and the Lonsdale Cup to land a huge bonus through the inaugural Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers’ Million – before adding the Long Distance Cup to his seasonal haul, just for good measure.
Incredibly, the chestnut has defended his title successfully in the first four races this season to pick up the £1million bonus again, and all roads looked to be heading back to Champions Day at Ascot next month for what could potentially be his swansong.
However, just three weeks after his latest triumph at the Knavesmire, Bjorn Nielsen’s pride and joy will bid to add his name to the roll of honour in another prestigious staying race on Town Moor – and it is difficult to envisage a scenario where he will be beaten.
With Stradivarius expected to bypass Doncaster, it looked the perfect opportunity for old foe Dee Ex Bee to enjoy his day in the sun, having chased home the Gosden ace at Ascot, Goodwood and York. Sadly for his connections, however, he may now be forced to play the bridesmaid role once again, with Stradivarius possessing a potent blend of speed and stamina that makes him such an irresistible force.
A’Ali looks to hold every chance in the Wainwright Flying Childers Stakes.
The Simon Crisford-trained youngster has barely put a foot wrong this season and sets a high standard in this Group Two affair.
Second first time up in a good little race at Ripon, the Society Rock colt went on to record victories in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Prix Robert Papin at Deauville.
His winning run came to an end back in France, when fifth in a hot renewal of the Prix Morny. Whether or not he showed his absolute best that day is open to question – given the particularly testing conditions, even though he has handled ground with some cut in it.
Back in grade, on a much quicker surface and at a track that should suit, he ought to be very hard to beat.
Pretty Baby ran better than her placing suggests when last seen at Goodwood, and is respected in the Japan Racing Association Sceptre Stakes.
Only 11th of the 17 starters in the Oak Tree Stakes, she did come home quite well – and it is worth remembering she is twice a winner at this Group Three level. Ryan Moore takes the ride for the first time since October 2017, which has to be seen as a positive for her chance.
Close attention should be paid to the winner of the Weatherbys Global Stallions App Flying Scotsman Stakes.
The seven-furlong contest was won by the one and only Frankel in 2010 and has thrown up smart winners since then, too – with subsequent Guineas runner-up Tip Two Win scoring in 2017 and Royal Ascot victor Sangarius doing the business 12 months ago.
Molatham might be the one for this year’s running, having built on the abundant promise of his runner-up finish behind the hugely exciting Mums Tipple on his Ascot debut with victory in the usually-informative Convivial Maiden at York.
If he can follow up at Listed level, he will be likely to take his chance in one of the big juvenile events at the end of the season.
CHESTER: 1.50 Cognac, 2.25 Embolden, 3.00 Trinity Lake, 3.30 Blonde Warrior, 4.05 Two Bids, 4.40 Hereby, 5.15 Calder Prince.
DONCASTER: 2.10 Pretty Baby, 2.40 Saroog, 3.10 Stradivarius (treble), 3.45 A’ALI (NAP), 4.20 Molatham (next best), 4.55 Arabian Moon, 5.30 Flavius Titus, 6.00 Storting.
SALISBURY: 4.35 Red Missile, 5.10 Qaaddim, 5.40 Companion, 6.10 Molly’s Game, 6.40 King’s Advice, 7.10 Good Tidings.
SANDOWN: 2.20 Sand Diego, 2.50 Rewaayat, 3.20 Campari, 3.55 Casanova, 4.30 Boy In The Bar, 5.05 Hunni, 5.35 Secret Art..