Stradivarius owner Bjorn Nielsen is keen to avoid his star stayer fighting on like an “old boxer” as he plots options for the seven-year-old’s retirement.
The Doncaster Cup and Lonsdale Cup winner was beaten by Trueshan in Saturday’s Prix du Cadran at ParisLongchamp, as soft conditions fell in favour of Alan King’s five-year-old.
Nielsen hopes Stradivarius, who was beaten in the Ascot Gold Cup earlier this season, stays in England when he does eventually head to stud.
Asked whether Stradivarius will return next season, Nielsen said: “I don’t know. I’ve got to speak to John and Thady [Gosden, trainers] and see what they think.
“He’s been going a long time and was so dominant in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
“Age will get to you eventually and he is obviously not as dominant as he once was. You have to think about it and relax and take it all in.
“There are a few studs interested and I haven’t made a decision because his career has been ongoing. I haven’t finalised where he’s going, but I would like to see him stay in England.
“I don’t want him to be like an old boxer who still thinks he can carry on. I don’t want to say ‘yeah we’ll carry on, he’s running well and we’ve got excuses because of the ground’.
“At some stage you have to draw stumps and say ‘he isn’t what he was’.
“I’m not saying that’s where we are today, but that day is going to come for every horse and it is obviously getting closer.
“We’ll see how he is. John always says the day after a race he starts shouting and screaming and telling all his mates how good he is. I’m sure when he gets back tomorrow he’ll be telling everybody how unlucky he was!”
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Owner Andrew Gemmell enjoyed a successful trip to ParisLongchamp as Trueshan ran out a classy winner of the Prix du Cadran.
On the defeat to Trueshan, Nielsen added: “We got beaten by a better horse on the day, but he ran a great race.
“He’s been around a long time, he knows the game and he’s got a big heart.
“I’ve got to speak to John, but I’d say he probably won’t (run at Ascot). It’s two weeks away and he’s had a hard race today.
“You’re guaranteed the ground is going to be on the soft side at Ascot. Champions Day is probably the one place he’s done poorest at because of the ground.”