Cracksman ruled out of Arc and unlikely to be seen again until 2018

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Barney Roy –  6-1 With Betfair Sportsbook for Qipco Champion Stakes

Speculation was finally ended on Sunday morning with the announcement that the John Gosden-trained Cracksman would bypass next weekend’s Qatar Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe at Chantilly. Owner Anthony Oppenheimer had indicated following the son of Frankel’s impressive victory in the Prix Niel over the Arc course earlier this month that the option of running the promising colt in Europe’s most valuable race was unlikely, so the decision was hardly unexpected especially with Gosden being responsible for red hot favourite Enable.

The fact that Oppenheimer was keen for Enable’s jockey Frankie Dettori to continue his relationship with the horse he had partnered to victory at York and Chantilly this season may have been the main reason for the decision, of which Gosden said: “  We already have Enable in the Arc and Frankie rides her so we thought it wise to look elsewhere.”

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While the trainer did not rule out a tilt at Ascot’s Qipco Champion Stakes on Saturday 21st October for Cracksman, Oppenheimer was less forthcoming, saying: “ He is in the Champion Stakes, which personally I would say is equally unlikely as the Arc, but that is still four weeks away.

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He is a fresh horse, but I would say the Champion Stakes is a backdrop as we’ve always said we wanted to run him as a four-year-old and we want him to be fresh for that.”

Sunday’s news resulted in bookmakers cutting the price of Enable for the Arc into a top price 5-6 with Betway and although most firms also trimmed the price of Cracksman ( 4-1 Betfair Sportsbook ) for the Champion Stakes, doubts over the colt’s participation at Ascot makes the 6-1 available about ante-post second favourite Barney Roy very tempting. Richard Hannon’s narrow Eclipse runner-up looks a certain runner while the next three in the betting – Ulysses, Winter and Enable – will be running at Chantilly next weekend with the Champion Stakes just a speculative possibility at this early stage. In three week’s time the complexion of the race could look very different making Barney Roy’s current odds very attractive.

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