Frankel’s Cracksman Imperious In the Great Voltigeur

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3rd at YOR, Gr. Stk, £170,000G2 Betway Great Voltigeur S. (11f 188y)Winner: Cracksman (GB), c, 3 by Frankel (GB)

Cracksman | Racing Post

By Tom Frary

It takes a colt of real substance to place in two Derbies while still considered to be on a learning curve, but Cracksman has always looked like a special horse in the making and this was the day when youth turned into young manhood where the Oppenheimer homebred is concerned. With John Gosden keen not to overface the still-raw homebred in the G2 Dante S. here in May after a deluge hit, he was back on the Knavesmire a different proposition and the less dramatic rainfall that preceded this meeting was firmly in his favour. Taking time to warm into the June 4 G1 Epsom Derby and Irish equivalent but beaten in them a total of a length and a neck respectively, the imposing bay was again languid early as Frankie Dettori tracked the pace in fourth. Roused in early straight, he lunged to the front and past Venice Beach passing the three-furlong pole and the race was decided there. Using the powerful stride that he has inherited from his sire to dominate the last two furlongs, he won with such vigour his connections are having to think again about putting him on the shelf.

“He has come on a lot and that was a good performance, as I asked him early enough to get into top gear,” Dettori said. “For the last two furlongs he was on his own and he galloped right away from the field, so I was impressed. He is laid-back and you have to shake him up a bit or he is happy to follow the others, but once he knows it’s time to go he goes. We had to get him ready for the Derby and he’s such a big horse with a big frame to fill. He has improved and will be a force to be reckoned with next year.” John Gosden, who had seemed intent beforehand on putting him away for 2018 after this race, was so taken by the display he is now refusing to ruling out a big autumn target. “He dropped back off them and went to sleep for Frankie, so he had to go early in the straight but he took off in front,” he said. “He’s a grand horse who has matured throughout the year and whether he runs again or not I will have discuss with the owner. He only has two entries, at Chantilly [for the Oct. 1 G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe] and Ascot [for the Oct. 21 G1 Champion S.]. We never wanted the St Leger this year and it was not part of his program, as his main program is for next year and the King George which would mean a lot to his owner. He is much bigger now and can quicken. He had been showing us at home that he was stronger and more confident in himself and he’s getting better all the time. The Frankels stay well and that is interesting. Him and Eminent are two super colts for him.”

Despite talk of the Arc afterwards, Dettori who already has the plum ride on Enable (GB) (Nathaniel {Ire}) there seemed cool on the idea. “Maybe Chantilly would be a bit sharp for him at this stage,” he added. “He is basically a 4-year-old and there is a lot to look forward to. I think the plan is to put him away after that.” Owner-breeder Anthony Oppenheimer was also of that opinion. “He is much stronger than he was for the Derbies and surged forward, whereas in those he had to be pushed forward,” he said. “We knew he was getting stronger all the time and it’s a pity he didn’t have the same strength back then. When Pat Smullen got off after the Irish Derby he said he would make a marvellous 4-year-old and would be a champion if we just looked after him. He said he needed looking after and he doesn’t need too many hard races now. I’d be inclined not to run again this year, but it obviously depends on the trainer. If he gets full of himself, we might have to. Next year, he’ll be aimed at the King George and the Arc.”

Cracksman can now lay claim to being his sire’s best among his solid first crop which seems to be excelling over middle distances. The dam Rhadegunda proved able to handle deep ground when winning her sole black-type race in the Listed Prix Solitude and her first foal was the G3 Solario S. scorer Fantastic Moon. The third dam is the 1000 Guineas and Sussex S. heroine On the House, who is also the second dam of the G2 Royal Lodge S. winner Leo (GB) (Pivotal {GB}) and who is connected to the 1997 G1 Coronation S. winner Rebecca Sharp (GB) (Machiavellian) and the G1 Epsom Derby, G1 Eclipse S. and G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe hero Golden Horn (GB) (Cape Cross {Ire}). Rhadegunda also has a 2-year-old colt by New Approach (Ire) named Military Band (GB).

Wednesday, York, Britain
BETWAY GREAT VOLTIGEUR S.-G2, £170,000, YOR, 8-23, 3yo, c/g, 11f 188yT, 2:34.65, g/s.
1–CRACKSMAN (GB), 126, c, 3, by Frankel (GB)
1st Dam: Rhadegunda (GB) (SW-Fr), by Pivotal (GB)
2nd Dam: St Radegund (GB), by Green Desert
3rd Dam: On the House, by Be My Guest
*1st stakes win. O-A E Oppenheimer; B-Hascombe & Valiant Studs (GB); T-John Gosden; J-Lanfranco Dettori. £96,407. Lifetime Record: G1SP-Eng & Ire, 5-3-1-1, $722,616. *1/2 to Fantastic Moon (GB) (Dalakhani {Ire}), GSW-Eng. Werk Nick Rating: A+++ *Triple Plus*. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Venice Beach (Ire), 126, c, 3, Galileo (Ire)–Danedrop (Ire), by Danehill. O-Derrick Smith, Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor & Flaxman Stables; B-Orpendale, Chelston & Wynatt (IRE); T-Aidan O’Brien. £36,550.
3–Mirage Dancer (GB), 126, c, 3, Frankel (GB)–Heat Haze (GB), by Green Desert. O-Khalid Abdullah; B-Juddmonte Farms Ltd (GB); T-Sir Michael Stoute. £18,292.
Margins: 6, 6, HF. Odds: 0.65, 4.50, 5.00.
Also Ran: Douglas Macarthur (Ire), Spanish Steps (Ire), Atty Persse (Ire). Scratched: Count Octave (GB), Khalidi (GB). Click for the Racing Post result or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. Video, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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