Horse racing: Stradivarius takes third successive Ascot Gold Cup

Royal Ascot
Horse Racing - Royal Ascot - Ascot Racecourse, Ascot, Britain - June 18, 2020 Frankie Dettori celebrates after winning the Gold Cup on Stradivarius, as racing resumed behind closed doors after the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Edward Whitaker/Pool via REUTERS

June 18, 2020

LONDON (Reuters) – Stradivarius, ridden by Frankie Dettori, blew away the field to land a third successive Gold Cup at Royal Ascot on Thursday in a race run without spectators due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 4-5 favourite, trained by John Gosden, hit the front with two furlongs to go and accelerated away to win by 10 lengths from Nayef Road (11-1) and Cross Counter (7-1) in soft conditions.

Stradivarius was only the third horse in the Gold Cup’s 213-year history, after Sagaro in the 1970s and four-times winner Yeats (2006-09), to complete a hat-trick in Ascot’s flagship race.

“Even with no crowd I’m quite emotional. It’s a very proud moment,” said Dettori. “The rain this morning was against him but I was surprised when I looked over my shoulder and everyone was in trouble and he just took off.

“Maybe we’ll come back next year to try and equal Yeats’ record.

“I have ridden some great horses but he’ll go down as one of the great stayers…I’m very proud of the horse, he’s been phenomenal, he gives people so much joy,” added the Italian.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ed Osmond)