Ground warning over Strad bid

Stradivarius (right) swoops late to win the Queen's Vase

John Gosden has warned Stradivarius will sidestep next week's Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup if the Ascot ground turns too testing.

Winner of the Goodwood Cup and a half-length third in the St Leger last time out, Stradivarius could step back up to two miles and take on the likes of Order Of St George and Big Orange in the Group Two contest.

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However, if the ground were to soften in the coming days, Gosden would likely draw stumps for the year with the two-and-a-half-mile Gold Cup at next year's Royal Ascot his major objective.

Gosden said: "He is in very good order. If the ground is good or on the easy side of it he will run, if it has gone soft he won't run – it is as simple as that.

"If he didn't run at Ascot, he would wait until next year and his big target would be the Ascot Gold Cup."

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