At Royal Ascot, a four-time Gold Cup (G1) winner was crowned, but instead of great stayer Stradivarius being elevated into the pantheon with Yeats, Britain’s winning-most trainer Mark Johnston won the meeting’s premier event for the fourth time with Subjectivist on June 17.
The winner, a 13-2 shot ridden by 50-year-old Joe Fanning for trainer Mark Johnston, won by five lengths. Subjectivist was constantly sitting on the shoulder of the pace-setting Amhran Na Bhfiann, and when the leader flashed the white flag swinging for home, Fanning grabbed the chance and struck from the front. He was not going to be caught from that point forward.
An emphatic five-length victory for Subjectivist gave Johnston his fourth win in the race having first landed the Gold Cup in 1995 with Double Trigger and then in both 2001 and 2002 with Royal Rebel.
“It’s a sad day for Stradivarius and I know what it feels like when a champion like that goes under, but it’s going to happen one day and I’m just happy that it was us,” said Johnston, who revealed Subjectivist had to overcome more than one setback to even make it to Ascot.
Stradivarius, fail in his quest for a fourth Gold Cup
Even with Stradivarius losing vital momentum, when he did find room to sprint into; he didn’t quite give the impression he would have been able to overtake Subjectivist given a clean route. The three-time champion finished fourth, with Princess Zoe and Spanish Mission rounding out the podium.
The Gold Cup It is Britain’s most prestigious event for “stayers” – horses that specialize in racing over long distances. It is traditionally held on the third day of the Royal Ascot meeting, which is known colloquially as Ladies’ Day. Contrary to popular belief the actual title of the race does not include the word “Ascot”.
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