Stradivarius could drop back in trip and make his seasonal debut in next week’s Coronation Cup at Newmarket
The six-year-old has dominated the staying division for the past two years, winning a Weatherbys-sponsored £1million bonus in each season after landing the Yorkshire Cup, Ascot Gold Cup, Goodwood Cup and Lonsdale Cup at York.
John Gosden’s charge was last seen suffering a shock defeat in the Long Distance Cup at Ascot on British Champions Day in October, beaten a nose by Kew Gardens on testing ground.
A hat-trick at Royal Ascot is the main target for Stradivarius, but with the delayed start to the campaign, time is short for a prep run.
While there is the Sagaro Stakes at Newcastle on Saturday week, regular rider Frankie Dettori thinks it is possible Stradivarius could instead drop back to 12 furlongs and tackle the Group One feature, which has been rerouted from Epsom, 24 hours earlier.
Speaking in his blog for Sporting Index, Dettori said: “There’s a possibility that Stradivarius will run in the Coronation Cup on the Friday.
“Strad is full of himself, he thinks he’s a stallion and is looking really well.
“His main target is obviously the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, but John felt that a prep race before then would do him plenty of good.”
Dettori is also eager to team up again with Raffle Prize if she takes her chance in the Qipco 1000 Guineas on Sunday week.
Mark Johnston’s charge was a dual Group Two winner under Dettori last term and also finished second in Group One company on two occasions.
He said: “Even though it’s just a week away, it’s very hard to know at this stage for both jockeys and trainers how things will work out in the Guineas.
“I spoke to Mark Johnston a week ago and he’s very keen to run Raffle Prize in the 1000, so that looks to be my most likely ride there.
“She’s a wonderful filly and I’ll look forward to getting back on her again.”
Dettori does not yet have a mount secured in the 2000 Guineas, as Gosden does not have a contender at this stage.
Palace Pier had been mentioned as a Classic hope, but Gosden has stated the colt is likely to head to Newcastle instead.
Dettori added: “It doesn’t look like John has anything lined up for the 2000, so I could be free to take a ride in that.”
Dual Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Enable is back again this term, with a third victory in the ParisLongchamp feature her ultimate aim.
Dettori expects her to follow a similar route to France as last year, kicking off in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown on July 5.
He said: “I’ve been going to John’s four times a week, so I’ve obviously seen a lot of Enable. I’ve not sat on her yet, but I’ll go and see her and give her a few apples, polos or whatever she fancies.
“From head to toe she looks as good as she did last season, she’s bouncing around and walking about the yard like she owns the place.
“We’ve still got some time to go before she starts racing but I’d say it’s a similar plan to last year, starting with the Eclipse at Sandown and then everything working backwards from a tilt at winning a third Arc.
“I’m so happy that Prince Khalid Abdullah has kept her in training and given her one more chance to fulfil this dream.”