'Very vociferous' Stradivarius ready to rumble - but Gosden fears Subjectivist
Subjectivist's presence in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot next week adds "spice" to Stradivarius's attempt to emulate Yeats by winning the meeting's signature event for a fourth time, according to the star stayer's trainer John Gosden.
Stradivarius is the general 10-11 favourite for this year's Gold Cup, which received another notable player on Friday when last year's Derby winner Serpentine was supplemented for £30,000, and Gosden, who co-trains the seven-year-old with his son Thady, believes Subjectivist adds further intrigue to Thursday's content.
"I've got a lot of respect for Subjectivist and for Trueshan, but there's no doubt Subjectivist adds a lot of spice to the race," Gosden said. "Stradivarius's win in the Sagaro was tidy, pleasant and he wasn't asked too much so let's hope he's spot-on for the race on Thursday."
Despite his age – only Yeats has won the Gold Cup aged seven or older this century – Stradivarius was reported by Gosden to be as enthusiastic and as vocal as he had ever been in his training.
"He's very vociferous and he's a riot to be around," said Gosden at a press conference for the British Champions Series and Royal Ascot. "He's always been very entertaining and has a great personality. He likes to be first out and he shouts and roars at other strings – he seems to particularly like the blue of Godolphin.
"If you had to take a world tour with him there's a likelihood that by the end you'd say 'could you just shut up for a second!' He's an incredibly fun horse to have around.
"I tend to let him just enjoy himself and, as long as he's enjoying himself, that's all that matters. He seems to love his training and his racing. He can be very naughtily behaved beforehand and think he's in the covering shed, not at the racecourse, but when it comes to the race he tends to get to the start and just stands and looks at them and says 'okay, job to do, let's go'. He's been remarkable."
Stradivarius will also be attempting to win at a fifth consecutive Royal Ascot having also landed the Queen's Vase in 2017, and Gosden admitted that pressure comes with readying horses for big contests such as the Gold Cup even if outwardly he does not portray it.
"You learn down the years to disguise and put a bit of a mask on, but of course you're in knots inside," he said. "If you're not and you don't really care to that extent then I suggest you get out of the game because your heart's not really in it any more.
"I'm extremely nervous and edgy and I'm probably not the easiest person to live with coming up to a big meeting. So even if you have a calm exterior it doesn't mean that internally you're not neurotic, you have to be, that's your job as a trainer to have your antennae up seeing things with your horses. You hope that you get it right and that the fella with the size four hat gets it right as well."
Get ready for Royal Ascot:
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