Monday 27 July 2020 9:56 pm

Stradivarius can win his duel on the Downs with Santiago

Bill Esdaile is City A.M. racing editor and managing director of Square in the Air.

SOMETIMES you have to hold your hands up and admit you got it totally wrong.

Well, my theory that STRADIVARIUS’ best days were behind him was blown to pieces in a stunning display in last month’s Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.

John Gosden’s six-year-old ran away with the Group One prize for a third time by ten lengths and arrives at Goodwood (3.15pm) today in an attempt to win their staying crown for a record fourth time. 

That was a breath-taking display of speed and stamina and it would be a major surprise should he fail to win this afternoon. 

However, trainer Aidan O’Brien has thrown the proverbial cat amongst the pigeons by running his three-year-old Irish Derby winner Santiago who gets a massive 15lbs weight concession from John Gosden’s stable star. 

Santiago had previously landed the 1m6f Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot suggesting this two-mile trip should be no problem. 

It simply comes down to whether that weight is enough to swing the balance of power in favour of the younger generation. 

There is no getting away from the fact that it is a huge advantage, but I’m not sure it will be enough to derail Stradivarius. 

At the back of my mind I am conscious that he has never been at his brilliant best at Goodwood, but he has still got the job done on three consecutive occasions. 

Santiago may be the toughest battle he has had to date, but the result should be the same. 


Stradivarius 3.15pm Goodwood