Legendary racehorse Stradivarius, who was best known for his formidable partnership with champion jockey Frankie Dettori, has been retired at the age of eight.
The Newmarket-trained horse will go down as one of the greatest staying racehorses of all-time, having won 20 of his 35 races over seven seasons.
Those victories included three Ascot Gold Cups, as well as a record four Goodwood Cups which he won in four consecutive years from 2017 to 2020.
He also landed three Lonsdale Cups and two Doncaster Cups, and collected more than £3.4 million in prize money.
For much of his glittering career, he was ridden by the great Frankie Dettori, although fellow Italian jockey Andrea Atzeni was on board for what turned out to be his final race at the Goodwood Cup last month.
Stradivarius' glittering career
Which races did he win?
Which races did he win?
- Four Goodwood Cups
- Three Gold Cups
- Three Yorkshire Cups
- Three Lonsdale Cups
- Three Doncaster Cups
- One Long Distance Cup
- One Queen's Vase
Owner Bjorn Nielsen revealed on Monday that Stradivarius wouldn't be returning next season having struggled to recover from a bruised foot which kept him out of the Lonsdale Cup at York recently.
"He has been trotting and cantering but it has taken longer to get over the bruised foot than we thought," Nielsen told the Racing Post.
"It has been a fairytale from start to finish. Until this setback he had never been medicated and had never missed an engagement through injury.
"Even if I am fortunate to win the Derby or the Arc at some point in the future, I know I will never have another horse like him. He was hugely appreciated by the public. It was just a joy from start to finish.”
Stradivarius will now be retired to stud in Newmarket, where he will join a whole host of former stallion champions.
Nielsen also had some kind words to say about trainer John Gosden whose expertise and guidance at his base in Newmarket turned Stradivarius into a serial winner.
"He (Stradivarius) had great presence when he went to the races, which the crowds loved, and his overall soundness was rare to see in any horse – never mind one of his age," said Nielsen.
"He is a tribute to John Gosden, who has trained him so brilliantly for so long.”
Analysis from ITV News Anglia's Andy Ward
Announcing Stradivarius' retirement, owner Bjorn Nielsen said that “The music has stopped", but what a blast it's been.
Stradivarius has been labelled by some as 'the horse of a lifetime' and it's hard to disagree.
The outpouring of love on social media following Monday's announcement was testament to the immense impact that Stradivarius has had on the sport, and also showed just how much he will be missed.
Seven group one wins is a truly incredible achievement, and to win four consecutive Goodwood Cups is something that we may never see again.
Throw in a remarkable three Gold Cup wins, and you're left in no doubt as to just how special this horse was, the like of which really do only come around once in a generation.
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