Ascot Champions' Day Review

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Once again Champions Day at Ascot did not disappoint with notable wins provided by Order Of St George, Librisa Breeze, Hydrangea and Persuasive. It was the performance of the John Gosden-trained Cracksman however which really set the Berkshire track alight with his spectacular wide-margin victory in the Qipco Champion Stakes under the ever-popular Frankie Dettori.



The son of the great Frankel was emulating his father who ended his illustrious career by beating Cirrus Des Aigles in the mile and a quarter contest back in 2012 and while the horse who had been placed in both the Epsom and Irish Derby’s looked a colt full of potential few were expecting such a dominant display against some of Europe’s best middle-distance horses.

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The son of the great Frankel was emulating his father who ended his illustrious career by beating Cirrus Des Aigles in the mile and a quarter contest back in 2012 and while the horse who had been placed in both the Epsom and Irish Derby’s looked a colt full of potential few were expecting such a dominant display against some of Europe’s best middle-distance horses.

After victories over an extra two furlongs at York and Chantilly connections were taking a chance in dropping Cracksman back in trip but any misgivings were soon put to bed as the 13-8 favourite took the race by the scruff of the neck at the two furlong pole, leaving the likes of Poet’s Word, Highland Reel, Barney Roy and French Derby winner Brametot trailing in his wake, coming home by a long-looking seven lengths.

With both Cracksman and impressive Arc winner Enable being kept in training for four-year-old campaigns Gosden’s biggest problem next year will be to keep the pair apart until a possible clash in the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe which will be back to it’s rightful home at Longchamp. Cracksman’s owner Anthony Oppenheimer has made no secret of the fact that he wants Dettori to partner his horse in all of it’s races so the likelihood is that Enable will be kept to her own sex for most of the season, taking in races like Goodwood’s Nassau Stakes and the Yorkshire Oaks.

The Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot, Sandown’s Eclipse Stakes, the King George and Juddmonte International are sure to be short listed target for Cracksman and should both horses get to Longchamp in tip-top shape the popular Italian jockey could be faced with one of the most difficult decisions of his riding career.

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Enable currently heads the ante-post market for next year’s Arc at a general 3-1 with stablemate Cracksman a best price 6-1 with Coral. Bookmakers go 20-1 bar the two at this early stage.

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