All roads lead to Royal Ascot once more for Stradivarius after he started his campaign in customary fashion.
John and Thady Gosden's top class stayer had too much firepower for his rivals in the Group 3 Longines Sagaro Stakes at the track.
Held up by Frankie Dettori, the 4-7 favourite was switched to the outside to challenge and showed his usual turn of foot to take the lead.
Kept up to his work to win by a length from Ocean Wind, Stradivarius' price was cut to 6-4 (from 2-1) by Coral for a record-equalling fourth Gold Cup in the summer.
If successful he would emulate the mighty Yeats, who won the race in consecutive years from 2006-2009.
"He's a gorgeous fun horse to be around," Gosden snr said.
"To have a horse like this – (winning) four Goodwood Cups, three Ascot Gold Cups is a dream come true.
"He's still got his enthusiasm as you can see, his last two races were on bottomless ground and he didn't really like either of them.
"Obviously he likes the Gold Cup distance and he'll come straight back here for the Gold Cup, I don't see the point in going anywhere in between."
Dettori added: "Yeats won four Gold Cups and people said that would never be done again, but for us, the dream is still alive!”
Stradivarius defied concerns about the ground in last year's renewal, turning the race into a procession to come home ten lengths clear.
"Having ended last season with three successive defeats, Stradivarius began this campaign with a return to winning ways and he will head to the Royal meeting as a warm favourite to equal Yeats' record of four Gold Cup wins," said Coral's David Stevens.
Source: Read Full Article