Goodwood Cup Preview: Santiago to down Stradivarius

Santiago arrives here on the back of victory in the Irish Derby.
Santiago arrives here on the back of victory in the Irish Derby.

Steve Chambers previews the 2020 Goodwood Cup, which is the feature race on the opening day of Glorious Goodwood, as Stradivarius bids for a fourth win on the bounce in the marathon test.

An emphatic ten-length victory in the Ascot Gold Cup cemented Stradivarius' place at the top of the tree in the marathon division, and the John Gosden-trained superstar will attempt to break more records on Tuesday afternoon, as he looks to become the first horse in history to win four renewals of the Goodwood Cup.

Now six years old, Stradivarius showed his qualities weren't diminishing as he heads into the twilight of his career, as he was in a different stratosphere to his Gold Cup rivals at Royal Ascot, and he will now to look to continue his dominance, and is unsurprisingly a red-hot odds-on favourite for the Goodwood Cup.

A winner of the two-mile showpiece in 2017, 2018 and 2019, the Bjorn Neilsen-owned superstar will have to deal with rain-softened conditions like he did in the Gold Cup at Goodwood, but arguably the biggest danger could come in the shape of main rival Santiago, who is a fascinating contender for Aidan O'Brien, and the three-year-old can be a notable thorn in the side of the reigning champion.

Gosden and O'Brien locked horns in the King George at the weekend, with the former prevailing with Enable, but the two heavyweight handlers will lock horns once again on Tuesday afternoon - and could this produce a different outcome?

Bet £10 on Horse Racing & Get £40 Free Bets

New customers only – £10 deposit using promo code "RACING" - First bet must be placed on any market - Minimum stake £10 at odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Deposit balance is available for withdrawal at any time. General deposit method & withdrawal restrictions apply & Full T&C’s apply

After blowing the cobwebs away over an inadequate trip in the Coronation Cup at the start of the season, Stradivarius then improved immeasurably for his victory in the Gold Cup, and bearing in mind that he's excelled at Goodwood in recent seasons, it's no shock to see him a warm order, but in Santiago he could face the next potential star performer off the O'Brien production line, and he is a fascinating rival.

A hugely taking winner of the Queen's Vase at Royal Ascot last month, Santiago then enhanced his reputation by storming to glory in the Irish Derby at the Curragh. Now, it's not often that you see a Irish Derby winner take in the Goodwood Cup on his next assignment, but Santiago has been handed that test, and with a significant weight pull, could he be the next to etch his name on the illustrious roll of honour?

An exciting staying prospect, Santiago has yet to race over 1m 6f, but in that Queen's Vase romp he was not stopping at the finish, and a return to win in Group 1 company over 1m 4f in the Irish Derby shows that he not only possesses stamina, he also has a turn of foot. On his first try at two miles, the son of Authorized has a tough task on his hands, but he will be in receipt of a whopping 15 lb from Stradivarius, and that could prove all the difference in the closing stages.

Arguably, Santiago was sent to the front too quickly in the Irish Derby, but he showed guts to maintain his advantage, so if Ryan Moore can stalk Frankie Dettori on board Stradivarius and then unleash a blistering kick; Santiago may just be able to edge past Stradivarius, who may just struggle to bridge the gap against a rival that will be carrying a featherweight on his back.

Bet £10 On The Exchange & Get £30 In Free Bets + 30 Free Spins

Min £10 bet on the Exchange. Rewards valid for 7 days. Free spins apply to Arcade Daily Jackpot games (valued at £0.10), Sportsbook free bet eligible on accumulator bets (2+ legs). Exchange Mobile free bet limited to certain markets. Payment restrictions apply. T&Cs apply. 18+

There's a chasm in the betting between Stradivarius and Santiago and the rest of the sextet bidding for Goodwood Cup glory, and Nayef Road is sitting third in the betting, but he has form to turn around with Stradivarius from their Gold Cup clash. However, Mark Johnston's charge put up a bold effort in defeat as he claimed second spot in the Gold Cup, and having raced to freely on the front end and not lasting home, he could be a lively pace angle here.

A drop back in trip could well play into Nayef Road's strengths, and he has winning form at the track, having won the Gordon Stakes at Glorious Goodwood 12 months ago, but ultimately he may lack the class of the fancied two in the betting, and he will have to settle for minor honours once again.

David Simcock's Spanish Mission relished the step up to two miles in the Henry II Stakes at Sandown Park last time out, but he was no match for Dashing Willoughby that day, and while he is sure to improve for that first outing over 16 furlongs, he, like Nayef Road, will lack the class to sparkle at the highest level.

A shock winner at York last time out, Eagles By Day makes a quick reappearance, but has form to find with Spanish Mission after Simcock's charge beat the David O'Meara-trained raider in the Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket last season and can be ignored.

The Alan King-trained dual-purpose sensation Who Dares Wins completes the line-up, but the recent Queen Alexandra Stakes winner, who has a Grade 2 victory over fences to his name in recent times, is unlikely to be able to land a notable blow at this level, and the 2019 Northumberland Plate winner will look to pick up the pieces should a couple of the more fancied rivals flop.

A fascinating renewal that sees a top-class stayer in Stradivarius take on an emerging staying star in Santiago, and at the prices, and with a significant pull at the weights it's worth taking a chance on Santiago being a potential world beater over the next couple of seasons, and the Ballydoyle raider can reign supreme in an epic marathon test on day one of Glorious Goodwood.


Goodwood Cup, Goodwood, Tuesday 28th July - back Santiago at 11/4


Goodwood Cup
Santiago silk


Glorious Goodwood 2020

£20 Risk Free First Bet Money Back In Cash

New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is €/£20. T&Cs apply. 18+
Bet £10 Get £30 in Free Bets
New customers using Promo Code P30 only, min £10/€10 stake, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15 (30 days expiry), free bet/payment method/player/country restrictions apply. T&C's apply, 18+
Welcome Offer
Open Account Offer. Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. The bonus code ‘100BET365’ can be used during registration, but does not change the offer amount in any way. 18+
Bet £10 & Get £30 Free Bets + £10 Casino Bonus
Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30F - A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market - Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days • To withdraw bonus/related wins, wager bonus amount x40 within 14 days • Wagering req. vary by game • Withdrawal restrictions and Full T&C’s apply. 18+
Bet £5 Get £20 In Free Bets
Min £5 bet on the SBK. Rewards valid for 7 days. Free bets must be placed at min odds of 1.5. Exchange free bet limited to certain markets. Payment restrictions apply. T&Cs apply. 18+
Bet £10 Get £30 + 30 Free Spins
You must stake £10 or more at single/cumulative odds of Evens (2.0) or greater on your first bet. Free bet balance of £30 credited within 48 hours of your first bet being settled. Free Bets expire after 7 days. E-Wallet restrictions apply. Minimum 5 game rounds. Game restrictions apply. Maximum 30 Free Spins on selected games. Free Spins expire after 7 days. T&C's apply, 18+
Up to £30 in Free Bets
New Customers deposit and bet up to £30 at odds of 2.0 or greater within 7 days of registration, Cashed out bets excluded. Matched bonus paid in free bets; 7 day expiry. Offer valid from 09:00BST on 26/05/2020. Card payments only. Geo Restrictions and T&Cs. 18+ | | Please gamble responsibly
£25 Bet Bundle
18+. UK Customers (Excluding NI) only. Cash stakes only. Min £10 stake required for initial £5 free bet. Min odds ½. Max £25 in free bets. Subsequent free bets equal 50% average of each 3 qualifying bets. 13 bets required to receive full £25 free bet. Qualifying bet must be placed within 30 days of opening account. Cashed out bets will not qualify towards your average stake. One free bet offer per customer, household or IP address only. Free bet expires after 7 days. Payment method restrictions apply. T&Cs apply.
Money back As A Bonus Up To £40 If Your First Racing Bet Loses + £10 Casino
New customers only. 18+, Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus. Wagering requirements: Racing 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), Casino 35x. Only one bonus can be used at a time, Racing bonus must be wagered before using the Casino, unless the bonus has been forfeited. Bonus will expire after 7 days of opt-in.