Superstar stayer Stradivarius has been ruled out of Friday’s Lonsdale Cup at York with a bruised foot.
The John and Thady Gosden-trained eight-year-old, who is unbeaten in six previous visits to the Knavesmire, was set to feature in a classy field for the Group Two contest on day three of the Ebor Festival.
But a last-minute setback, reportedly suffered as the team were preparing to travel north in the early hours of Friday morning, means Stradivarius will not return to defend his crown.
Stradivarius, who is enjoying a fine season in what is widely expected to be his final year on track before heading for stallion duties, won the Yorkshire Cup in May before finishing third in the Ascot Gold Cup and a thrilling second in last month’s Goodwood Cup.
Thady Gosden said: “We were checking him over this morning, as we do routinely with runners, and noticed he just wasn’t quite right and a bit sore on his foot.
“It’s pretty remarkable that he’s been able to meet every engagement over the many years, never missed a race.
“Obviously it is frustrating and disappointing for people at York who may have come to see him, but we have to do the correct thing by the horse.”
Image: Frankie Dettori poses with connections of Stradivarius in York winner’s enclosure
The three-time Gold Cup owner holds an entry in the Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot on October 15. Before that there is the option of the Doncaster Cup he won in both 2019 and 2021 on Friday September 9, although any final decision on future plans will be taken by owner-breeder Bjorn Nielsen.
Gosden added: “Possibly (Doncaster Cup), we’ll talk to Bjorn Nielsen the owner and decide what he would like to do from here.”
His absence leaves seven in the Lonsdale Cup, although Alan King’s dual Group One winner Trueshan – the mount of Sky Sports Racing ambassador Hollie Doyle – is a doubt with the ground still good, good to firm in places.
Image: Trueshan is a doubt for the race due to the ground conditions
Andrew Balding’s improving stayer Coltrane joins stablemate Nate The Great, while Quickthorn is on a hat-trick for Hughie Morrison following Group Two success in France last month.
Ian Williams’ Reshoun, Brian Ellison’s Tashkhan and the Gemma Tutty-trained Mostly Cloudy complete the line-up.
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