FRANKIE Dettori got a familiar tune out of brilliant seven-year-old Stradivarius at Doncaster.
There was barely a bead of sweat on horse or jockey as they returned to a hero’s welcome after an effortless Doncaster Cup win.
The horse’s task was made simpler by the withdrawal of big rival and Goodwood Cup hero Trueshan – whose wait for soft ground goes on.
In the end, it was so easy for Stradivarius that Dettori, 50, was able to take several long, lingering looks over his shoulders, just to double-check for dangers.
Any perceived threat was non-existent as the greatest stayer in a generation breezed clear of runner-up Alerta Roja for his second win in the race and 19th success overall.
Dettori and Strad are the veterans of the party these days.
But far from propping up the bar they continue to throw all their old shapes, with the swagger on full display in front of a jubilant crowd.
An emotional Dettori said: “I love him dearly. He is the people’s favourite and he makes it all look so easy.
“I can’t believe how much he still loves his racing. He has so much fun out there.
“It’s great for me and the public that we have a champion who has kept going and performing at the top level for so long.
“He is a joy to ride. What a horse.”
It remains to be seen if Stradivarius will return as an eight-year-old in 2022, but his five-time champion trainer John Gosden isn’t ruling it out.
He said: “His enthusiasm is still there and I can assure all his fans that the moment that enthusiasm isn’t there he will be retired.
“But as long as he is loving it, and he still is, then we will carry on with him.
“There are two races left for him this season, the Prix du Cadran on Arc weekend and the Long Distance Cup at Ascot.
“He has a beautiful action and small feet meaning he just sinks into deep autumn ground, so we will have to see what the weather does.
“He is a dear old horse and I have always adored Cup horses, so being able to train him is a dream come true for me.”
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