Magners Doncaster Cup
|Group 2, Doncaster 15:35
2m 2f, Class 1
|Friday 13th September 2019|
1 Stradivarius 1/9F
2 Cleonte 16/1
3 Max Dynamite 14/1
5 ran NR: Dee Ex Bee Distances: 1¾l, 2½l, 2½l
Time: 3m 59.28s (slow by 9.28s)
John Gosden’s Stradivarius has completely dominated the staying division over the past couple of seasons – with back-to-back wins in the Yorkshire Cup, Gold Cup, Goodwood Cup and Lonsdale Cup seeing him scoop the Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers’ Million in both 2018 and 2019.
In the immediate aftermath of his latest triumph at York, connections suggested his next port of call would be next month’s Long Distance Cup at Ascot – which he also won last season – but a late change of heart saw Gosden bring his charge to Town Moor.
With old foe Dee Ex Bee a late withdrawal, Stradivarius was the 1-9 favourite in the hands of regular partner Frankie Dettori and his legion of fans had few concerns for the duration of the two-and-a-quarter-mile contest.
After initially being left in front, Andrew Balding’s Cleonte was sent on by Oisin Murphy heading out for the second circuit in an attempt to inject some pace in the race, and he was still going great guns rounding the turn for home.
However, once popped the question by Dettori, Stradivarius swiftly reeled in the leader and kicked clear for a comfortable one-and-three-quarter-length victory.
Cleonte boxed on admirably to fill the runner-up spot, with the Willie Mullins-trained Max Dynamite – runner-up to stablemate Thomas Hobson in last year’s renewal – back in third.
Gosden said: “Frankie was right to go forward, then Oisin decided he wanted to make a race of it.
“He’s a lovely horse. I had no intention of coming here, but he was so fresh, rearing up and shouting all the time, so I thought we’d come and win the Doncaster Cup – it hadn’t been the plan, but Mr (Bjorn) Nielsen was very good about it.
“He’s a gorgeous horse to train, but he was getting so playful at home – this was a five-day entry so I had to put him in.
“If you wait for Champions Day and it’s heavy, he won’t be running.”
He went on: “I think Mr Nielsen’s big plan, if the horse is happy and well, is to go to Ascot next year. He would love to win three Gold Cups. We’ll try to do that if we can and we’ll see what comes out of the Leger as potential challengers.
“He’s had a much easier season this year than last. The race in the Gold Cup (last year) was mighty tough and he was a tired horse by the Lonsdale. This year he’s a very fresh horse still.
“I think next year’s it’s Ascot Gold Cup and probably Goodwood Cup, and then we might worry about other options.
“I think he’d like to have a Sagaro, Yorkshire Cup – go that route again if the horse is in great order, then regroup, which would be a bit of fun.”
Dettori – again in flying dismount form – said: “That’s the easiest he’s won – he’s so great to ride, he relaxes, he quickens. Brilliant. It was a messy race, but we expected it to be like that.
“I tried to make the running, but as we got to the bend he was looking at everything. Oisin was running keen and I got a tow off him. We went slow, we sprinted the last three and a half (furlongs).
“He’s got one more gear than the rest, so I used Oisin as a reference point – I gave him three or four lengths start because I knew once I passed him he thinks he’s done enough.
“I used Oisin as tow to the furlong marker and said, ‘come on let’s put the race to bed’, and he won really easily.”
(British Champions Series) (Group 2)
£100,000 added, 3yo plus, 2m 2f, Class 1
Going: Good to Firm
1 (4) Stradivarius 5 9-10 John Gosden Frankie Dettori 1/9F
2 (2) 1¾ Cleonte 6 9-5 Andrew Balding Oisin Murphy 16/1
3 (3) 2½ Max Dynamite 9 9-5 W P Mullins Ryan Moore 14/1
4 (6) 2½ Barsanti 7 9-5 Roger Varian Andrea Atzeni 10/1
5 (1) 11 Sneaky Getaway 27 6 9-5 Emmet Mullins Jamie Spencer 12/1
NR 4 (5) -11222 Dee Ex Bee 4 9-5 Mark Johnston NON RUNNER
Year Horse Trainer Jockey Owner SP
2018 Thomas Hobson
2017 Desert Skyline
2016 Sheikhzayedroad D M Simcock Martin Harley Mohammed Jaber 10/3
2014 Estimate Sir Michael Stoute Ryan Moore The Queen 11/8 fav
2013 Times Up Ed Dunlop Ryan Moore Mrs I Stewart & M Meacock 3/1
2012 Times Up John Dunlop Eddie Ahern Mrs I Stewart & M Meacock 5/1
2011 Saddler’s Rock John Oxx IRE Niall McCullagh Michael O’Flynn 11/2
2010 Samuel John Gosden William Buick Normandie Stud Ltd 5/1
2009 Askar Tau Marcus Tregoning Ryan Moore Nurlan Bizakov 5/2
2008 Honolulu Aidan O’Brien IRE Johnny Murtagh Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor 15/8 fav
2007 Septimus Aidan O'Brien IRE Johnny Murtagh Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor 11/10 fav
2006 Sergeant Cecil Rod Millman Frankie Dettori Terry Cooper Evens fav
2005 Millenary John Dunlop Richard Quinn Neil Jones 11/4
2004 DH Kasthari Howard Johnson Johnny Murtagh Elliott Bros 14/1
DH Millenary John Dunlop Richard Quinn Neil Jones 7/1
2003 Persian Punch David Elsworth Martin Dwyer Jeff Smith 3/1
2002 Boreas Luca Cumani Jamie Spencer Aston House Stud 7/2
2001 Alleluia Sir Mark Prescott Jamie Mackay Sonia Rogers 14/1
2000 Enzeli John Oxx IRE Johnny Murtagh H H Aga Khan 15/2
1999 Far Cry Martin Pipe Kevin Darley Nicky Chambers 6/1