Where, and when, did Stradivarius make his racecourse debut?

Now a 7-year-old, Stradivarius has been a fixture of the major staying races of the season since winning the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot, as a 3-year-old, in 2017. Indeed, he has won the Goodwood Cup, over 2 miles, a record four times and his three wins, so far, in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, over 2 miles 4 furlongs, has been bettered only by Yeats. Following discussions with owner Bjorn Nielsen, trainer John Gosden recently announced that Stradivarius will stay in training, as an 8-year-old, in 2022, with the Goodwood Cup and Gold Cup pencilled in as likely targets.

Already the winner of 19 of his 32 starts, including seven at Group 1 level and eight at Group 2 level, Stradivarius has amassed just shy of £3.2 million in prize money in his illustrious career, so far. However, even superstar stayers have to start somewhere and Stradivarius made a low-key racecourse debut, as a 2-year-old, in a modest maiden stakes race, over an extended mile, at Nottingham on October 5, 2016. He finished fifth of nine, beaten 4½ lengths, on that occasion and, after another unplaced run behind stable companion Cracksman in a similar race at Newmarket two weeks later, opened his account when dropped still further in class on the Tapeta surface at Newcastle in early November. From those modest beginnings, he improved 40lb throughout his 3-year-old campaign and the rest, as they say, is history.