Arc de Triomphe: Stradivarius is ready and has an ace up his sleeve, says Gosden

Can the superstar stayer scoop the Arc?

Stradivarius Frankie Dettori John Gosden Royal Ascot Gold Cup 2018

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John Gosden is pleased with Stradivarius’ form ahead of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe this weekend and believes soft ground will not hamper his champion stayer.

Gosden has entered the three-time Ascot Gold Cup winner in the showpiece race at Longchamp on the back of a narrow defeat to Anthony Van Dyck in the Prix Foy earlier this month – seen by many as a trial for the Arc.

And while Enable and Love may lead the markets ahead of the big day, Stradivarius’ trainer is quietly confident the six-year-old can give a good account of himself.

Speaking about Stradivarius’s recent defeat on the latest episode of Paddy Power’s twice-weekly From The Horse’s Mouth podcast, Gosden sad: “I was happy enough with his performance because it was run in a typical French Group 2 trial fashion.

“The ground was quick, times were fast on the day but they went for a nice stroll down the back and round the bend and sprinted down the straight.

“I thought for a horse who is a Gold Cup winner, he showed great acceleration in the straight going down by half a neck to Anthony Van Dyck who seems to have found his form again.

“I thought it was a very good trial from both of them and the horses behind, the French horses, could never get to them.

“So I’m very happy with him – he worked well on Saturday with Rab Havlin on board and he’s all ready to go.”

This year’s Arc is due to be run on soft ground after heavy rainfall in France this week, with 19mm over 24 hours on Monday.

Stradivarius has previously been seen as a horse that prefers drier conditions, although his latest Gold Cup win in June has caused Gosden to question that assessment.

The Suffolk sorcerer said: “We’ve always thought of him as a top of the ground horse but he did somewhat surprise us in the Ascot Gold Cup this year.

“As I drove to the track on the M25, it looked like it had flooded like a stream!

“He got there and it was soft ground, he handled it well and won by a good margin. So we slightly revised our viewpoint – it seems that he handles most ground.”

Gosden’s biggest hope of landing victory on Sunday remains Enable, who is favourite ahead of Aidan O’Brien’s Love.

But the celebrated trainer has made the decision not to run Logician due to the expected soft conditions.

“I think the way the ground’s gone, at the moment I don’t want to put him through that kind of test right now so he will run in the Cumberland Lodge at Ascot on Saturday,” explained Gosden.

*Odds quoted on the widget are Antepost prices which means that if your selection does not run in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe for whatever reason – you will lose your stake under traditional Antepost rules.

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