Goodwood Cup: Stradivarius ruled out because of soft ground as John and Thady Gosden refuse to make same ‘mistake’

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Stradivarius was a late withdrawal from the Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup due to ground conditions.

John and Thady Gosden’s star stayer had been due to bid for a fifth successive win in the Group One contest over two miles.

However, an overnight deluge saw the ground turn to heavy, soft in places and after assessing conditions following the first race on the Downs, Stradivarius’ handlers opted not to run.

John Gosden told ITV: “Obviously we were very keen to do something that’s never been done before, which is win five Goodwood Cups in a row.

“He’s in great form, he’s full of himself, ready to run. But I’m afraid you got 60mm of rain since mid-day Sunday, and another bucketload last night.

“I walked the track out in the country with Thady, and the stick is going straight into the bottom – and it turns it into a bit of a two-mile slog.

“This is a horse who can travel with a great acceleration, turn of foot and put pretty amazing fractions to the last two or three furlongs – but he’s not going to do it on that ground.

“I think at his age you’ve got to play to his strengths – and also we made foolish decisions last year, one to run him at Longchamp on bottomless ground by the River Seine, which he loathed, and then even more stupid we ran on Champions Day on heavy ground at Ascot.

“Having made the mistake twice, we weren’t quite prepared to do the same again.”

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