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Gosden joy as Stradivarius earns place among greats

 

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Hat-trick hero: Frankie Dettori celebrates after steering Stradivarius to a third straight Gold Cup

Hat-trick hero: Frankie Dettori celebrates after steering Stradivarius to a third straight Gold Cup

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Khaloosy wins the Britannia Stakes

Khaloosy wins the Britannia Stakes

PA

Hat-trick hero: Frankie Dettori celebrates after steering Stradivarius to a third straight Gold Cup

It takes a performance of exceptional quality to gain universal recognition - and Stradivarius achieved exactly that as he was given the reception of a true champion following his third Gold Cup success at Royal Ascot.

With this year's fixture taking place behind closed doors, a near silence has greeted virtually every winner at the meeting so far. However, all that changed as those allowed on site ensured the brilliant display of John Gosden's star stayer as the 4/5 favourite was commended in style.

Had the stands been packed to the rafters the roof would have been raised the moment the six-year-old hit the front - but while there was nothing of the kind, cheers and a round of applause echoed from the stands.

Those concerned about the deluge of rain in the build-up to the two-and-a-half-mile showpiece need not have worried, as the son of Sea The Stars joined the staying greats to become only the third triple winner of the race with a commanding 10-length success.

Gosden said: "It does (put a tingle down the spine) for a horse to do that. Sagaro was trained by a really good friend of mine, Francois Boutin, and he was ridden by Lester (Piggott). I remember watching all his races. He was something. Yeats was a phenomenon, so to have a horse mentioned in that bracket is what it is all about.

"We are very proud to have won the race three times and it is great for the owner-breeder Bjorn Nielsen. He is passionate about his breeding and broodmares. He has been trying to breed a Derby winner, but he has got a very good Gold Cup horse."

Frankie Dettori is never one to hide his emotions following big-race victories, and this was no different.

There was of course the trademark flying dismount, and Dettori said: "It was tremendous. I was worried about the rain. They were talking the Martyn Meade horse (Technician) up a lot. He really surprised me as he went through the ground like a hot knife through butter. I had everybody covered by the four and I was surprised I didn't have anyone to challenge me.

"I'm so proud of the horse. He has been a joy to be around and he will go down as one of the great stayers, like Yeats and Sagaro, and who knows, we will try the four next year. Bjorn, if you are watching, let's go for it!

"One day when I am sitting in my rocking chair, to say I rode the horse who won three Gold Cups in a row - that's a big number. I am very proud of it."

Khaloosy (9/2) ran out an emphatic winner of the Britannia Handicap at Royal Ascot to give the meeting's leading jockey Jim Crowley his sixth winner of the week.

It was a fourth for trainer Roger Varian and a sixth winner for owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum.

Varian said: "I think I'm going to pinch myself and I'll wake up.

"We've always liked him, but he's not flashy at home. Credit John Lowe (ex-jockey) who rides him every morning. He's been happy with his work. He had a little setback a month ago which prevented a prep race, but it was maybe a blessing in disguise."

Belfast Telegraph