London (AFP) - Stradivarius and Frankie Dettori won a historic third successive Goodwood Cup on Tuesday to put the horse within one win of a repeat of the million pound bonus he collected last year.
Dettori delivered his challenge on staying great Stradivarius with just under two furlongs of the two mile (3,200 metres) Group One contest to go and passed Melbourne Cup winner Cross Counter with ease.
Despite a late rally from Dee Ex Bee -- second to Stradivarius in the Ascot Gold Cup last month -- Dettori was confident enough to raise his whip hand in celebration before crossing the line. The victory extended the horse's winning streak to eight.
Double Trigger -- trained by Dee Ex Bee's handler Mark Johnston -- also won three Goodwood Cups in the 1990s, but not in successive years.
For Dettori and trainer John Gosden. it was a second huge win in four days. Star mare Enable won the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes after an epic duel with Crystal Ocean on Saturday at Ascot, paving the way for her bid to become the first horse to win three Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.
Gosden, whose faith in Dettori's abilities gave the Italian jockey a lifeline after a six months drugs ban in 2013, was happier with the performance of the horse than the rider.
"Our little hero's wave to the crowd, it is lucky he did not go over the handlebars," said Gosden.
"Stradivarius is a grand horse he never does too much, we are lucky to have him. Indeed we are blessed."
Dettori, who had picked up a four-day riding ban earlier on the first day of the Glorious Goodwood meeting, was celebrating his 70th winner at the historic meeting.
"He is a bit of a boy," Dettori said of the winner.
"What a horse! He is a jockey's dream."
Stradivarius can secure the million pound bonus by winning the Lonsdale Cup at York next month.