In recent seasons, Stradivarius has dominated the staying division of British Flat racing to such an extent that he has won the so-called ‘Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers’ Million’ twice, over and above £2.62 million in winning prize money alone. Inaugurated in 2018, the Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers’ Million offers, as the name suggests, a prize of £1 million for any ‘staying’ horse that wins any one of four nominated races in May, plus the Gold Cup at Ascot, Goodwood Cup and Lonsdale Cup at York.
That year, Stradivarius won the Yorkshire Cup at York in May, followed by the latter three races to become the first horse to win all four races in the same season and repeated the feat in 2019 to claim the £1 million bonus for the second consecutive season. Indeed, between May, 2018 and September, 2019, he won ten races in a row – before an agonising nose defeat by Kew Gardens in the British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot – and was, unsurprisingly, named Cartier Champion Stayer in both 2018 and 2019.
Bred and owned by Bjorn Nielson and trained by John Gosden in Newmarket, Stradivarius broke his maiden at the third time of asking, coming out best in a three-way photograph in a lowly two-year-old maiden stakes race at Newcastle in November, 2016. However, he officially improved by 40lb during his three-year-old campaign, winning the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot and the Goodwood Cup – his first Group One victory – en route to finishing third, beaten half a length and a short head, in the St. Leger Stakes at Doncaster. As of October 11, 2020, he was the fourth-highest rated Flat horse in Europe, behind just Battaash, Ghaiyyath and the three-year-old Palace Pier, according to Timeform.