By Duane Fonseca
Patience is a virtue and jockey Frankie Dettori was amply rewarded for the restraint he showed aboard Stradivarius at York Racecourse on Friday, where the 5yo Sea The Stars colt won a second Group 2 Lonsdale Cup in course-record time.
Owner Bjorn Nielsen was at a loss of words after Stradivarius showed his incredible turn of foot and made his move with two furlongs left to win by a length and a quarter from archrival Dee Ex Bee, trained by Mark Johnston. Aidan O’Brien schooled Il Paradiso was a very close third.
Victory meant John Gosden’s charge claimed the Weatherbys Hamilton-sponsored £1 million bonus for the second year running. The bonus is offered to the connections of a horse that wins a spring qualifying race and then goes on to land the Gold Cup, Goodwood Cup and Lonsdale Cup.
And Gosden’s classy stayer did it for the second time under Dettori as he nailed the Yorkshire Cup in May before convincing victories at Royal Ascot and Glorious Goodwood.
Dettori, who won the Lonsdale Cup for the sixth time, said: “Dee Ex Bee was the one I had to beat, but I know Stradivarius has a tremendous turn of foot, so I waited and waited.
“Then, Wayne Lordan was going better on Il Paradiso so I got on his heels and waited until the final furlong. I asked and Stradivarius went whoosh.
“He gets a length in front and thinks the job’s done. People get attached to horses like him, you’ll always get a fight and this horse is special.”
Nielsen added: “ It’s a privilege to own him and he's a special horse.”