Stradivarius hits right note to spoil Frankie's big day


We followed Big Orange from the pre-parade ring to the winner's enclosure, even if it was the No2 post rather than No1, where he took the post-race applause.

STRADIVARIUS called the tune to claim a shock victory in the Goodwood Cup and deny Big Orange a third successive win, writes Nick Metcalfe.

The race has a rich history of smart winners from Troy through to Sir Percy, Shamardal, Olympic Glory, Highland Reel and Galileo Gold and yesterday's victor might not look out of place on that illustrious roll-call, judging by how easily she skipped clear to become the first victor of Atzeni's 8,344/1 four-timer.

The John Gosden-trained colt overhauled the front-running Big Orange inside the final 400 metres to beat him by 1-3/4 lengths. But how it looked like he might make it three on the trot for such a long time in Goodwood's opening-day feature race.

Atzeni was completing a hat-trick after winning both the Group 2 prizes on Expert Eye and Breton Rock from Godolphin runners Zaman and Home Of The Brave respectively. "It's been a great day", Atzeni said.

"He pulled well clear of the older horses and the other three-year-old that was third (Desert Skyline)".

"I don't think my fella knows how good he is yet". "I thought he had a chance, as Big Orange was giving a lot of weight away and he is a 3-year-old who is improving and who stays well".

Big Orange finished second and trainer Michael Bell said: 'I'm very proud of him.

He was the first, but will not be the last, jockey to receive a holiday this week at Goodwood - a track notorious among riders for suspensions.

Gosden said of the victor: "Frankie controlled the race on Big Orange and it was clever of him coming down the centre of the track but our lad stays well".

"He will go for the Leger, obviously".

"He's not the biggest of horses and he got knocked about a bit", said Gosden. "The ground may have been softer than ideal but he has been beaten by a very good victor - and has pulled well clear of the third who, like the victor, had the three-year-old weight allowance". He's improving, I liked him at Ascot and he picked up like a nice horse.

Returning after a six-month lay-off, Qewy ran an excellent race to finish fourth again in the Queen Alexandra Stakes (beaten just over three lengths by the victor Oriental Fox, with US Army Ranger narrowly ahead of him in third), and that run should have set him up perfectly for this task.