Heavy ground forces Stradivarius out of Goodwood Cup defence

Stradivarius will miss out on a fifth successive victory in the Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup due to ground conditions.

John and Thady Gosden's star stayer has carried all before him in the Group One over two miles, and was aiming to return to wining ways after his defeat in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.

However, an overnight deluge saw the ground turn to heavy, soft in places before the start of racing - and after assessing conditions following the first race on the Downs, Stradivarius' handlers opted not to run.

Gosden senior said: "There has been so much rain since Sunday my stick went right to the hilt and for a horse with his acceleration, it could have become a slogging match.

"He disliked the ground at Longchamp which is next to the River Seine, and loathed it on Champions Day at Ascot. The easiest thing is to run and the hardest not to run. We had made the mistake twice and were not prepared to make it again.

"But it's been a difficult decision taking stock of the fact he would have tried to achieve something that has never been done before.

"I do think that when this happens there is an option to switch to the inner track, but as things stand we will look to run him at York in the Lonsdale Cup."

Latest Horse-racing Videos