There had been concerns about the testing ground and also his desire to show that he is very much a stallion in the pre-parade ring, but out on the track he was warrior ready for battle. But he did not have to fight to become only the third horse to win three Gold Cups – matching Sagaro (75-77) and one behind the mighty Yeats – the winner on four occasions (2006- 09).
Frankie Dettori, in the saddle like he had been in Stradivarious’s previous Gold Cup victorious, relished the moment and treated the 100 or so in attendance to a flying dismount.
“Even with no crowd I’m quite emotional,” said Dettori. “A very proud moment. I’ve ridden some great horses and he’s one of the great stayers.
“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.
“Does the fact that I have now won eight Gold Cups mean I am old, or I have been lucky in the race?”
John Gosden, the winning trainer, shed some light on Stradivarius’s antics in the pre- parade ring.
Royal Ascot: Stradivarius is the headliner on day three at Ascot
“I must change my aftershave, as he got quite coltish whilst I was saddling him,” he said. “I must have overdone the aftershave or something. He is quite a noisy character and he was having a shout and play out there – he does think life is a bit of fun and when you win races like this, I suppose it is.
“He has that exciting thing which is a turn of foot. He is a bit of a mate, as he lives below the guest bedroom. When Bjorn Nielsen comes to stay and opens the window, Stradivarius is just there looking at him.
“Yeats was a phenomenon. To have a horse mentioned in that bracket is what it is all about.”
As for the future, Gosden is uncertain about attempting to emulate Yeats.
Stradivarius won the Gold Cup for the third time
But a crack at winning a fourth Goodwood Cup is on the cards. Also, Gosden admitted he has an entry in the Arc de Triomphe, setting up an intriguing clash with Enable.
If the future is uncertain about Stradiviruis competing next year, there is no doubt that Battleground, the impressive winner of the Chesham Stakes in the hands of Ryan Moore, is destined for championship races next season.
The son of Found, the 2016 Arc de Triomphe winner, has clearly inherited his mother’s genes.
The normally reserved winning trainer Aidan O’Brien remarked: “He could be anything. He’s an unbelievable specimen really.”
The same remark also certainly applies to Stradivarius.
Royal Ascot day three schedule
1.15pm The Golden Gates Stakes (Handicap) 3 £35,000 One mile, two furlongs
The Scout’s tip: Tritonic
1st Highland Chief
3rd Global Storm
1.50pm The Wolferton Stakes (Listed) 4+ £50,000 One mile, two furlongs
The Scout’s tip: Regal Reality
1st Mountain Angel
2nd Sir Dragonet
3rd Regal Reality
2.25pm The Jersey Stakes (Group 3) 3 £60,000 Seven furlongs
The Scout’s tip: Molatham (nap)
2nd Monarch Of Egypt
3.00pm The Chesham Stakes (Listed) 2 £40,000 Seven furlongs
The Scout’s tip: Battleground
2nd March Law
3rd Seattle Rock
3.35pm The Gold Cup (Group 1) 4+ £250,000 Two miles, four furlongs
The Scout’s tip: Stradivarius (treble)
2nd Nayef Road
3rd Cross Counter
4.10pm The Britannia Stakes (Handicap) 3 colts & geldings £60,000 One mile
The Scout’s tip: Starcat
2nd Finest Sound
3rd Cherokee Trail
4.40pm The Sandringham Stakes (Handicap) 3 fillies £60,000 One mile
The Scout’s tip: African Dream (nb)
3rd Dubai Love