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Stradivarius to call the tune in Goodwood opener

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Trainer John Gosden

Trainer John Gosden

Getty Images for Ascot Racecours

Trainer John Gosden

Stradivarius can prove once again that he thoroughly belongs in the all-time list of greatest stayers by passing a new test in the Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup Stakes.

John Gosden's six-year-old is bidding to win this coveted Group One prize, the showpiece on day one of Glorious Goodwood, for the fourth time in succession.

Lying in wait, however, is a dangerous opponent with the aspirations and profile Stradivarius himself had when he first struck over this course and distance in 2017.

In receipt of almost a stone from the majority of the field as a three-year-old back then, Stradivarius lowered the colours of front-running favourite Big Orange. He did so, having signalled his staying potential with victory in Royal Ascot's Queen's Vase.

For good measure in opposition this time, Aidan O'Brien's Santiago has added a hard-fought Irish Derby success to his Ascot gains - and he is the three-year-old out to rain on the favourite's parade by taking advantage of an even bigger weight differential.

The snag for Santiago, though, is that Stradivarius demonstrated emphatically last month - with his memorable 10-length trouncing of his Gold Cup opponents at Ascot, for his third victory in that great race - that he is at least as good as ever and can be expected to have the rest dancing to his tune as usual.

SELECTIONS:

AYR: 12.20 Lyons Lane, 12.55 Readman, 1.30 Sienna Dream, 2.00 Ventura Express, 2.30 Dutch Decoy, 3.00 Stockbridge Tap, 3.30 Humbert, 4.00 Let Me Be, 4.35 Lola Showgirl.

GALWAY: 4.45 Bondi Dreams, 5.15 Mostaqqer, 5.45 Surrounding, 6.15 Meaningful Vote, 6.45 San Pedro, 7.15 Landing Zone, 7.45 New York Ballet, 8.15 Eight And Bob.

GOODWOOD: 1.10 Angel Power, 1.45 Derevo, 2.15 DEVIOUS COMPANY (NAP), 2.45 Space Blues, 3.15 Stradivarius, 3.45 Count D'Orsay, 4.20 Tawleed, 4.55 Asiaaf.

YARMOUTH: 4.30 Capla Huntress, 5.00 Awesomedude, 5.30 Hemsworth, 6.00 Holy Tiber, 6.30 Bobby On The Beat, 7.00 Camachess, 7.30 Piranesi, 8.00 Cashel, 8.30 Michaels Choice.

DOUBLE: Devious Company, Space Blues

Belfast Telegraph