Cracksman to lead British charge at the Curragh

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Anthony Oppenheimer wants his Cracksman to ‘fly the British flag with distinction’ in Saturday’s Irish Derby at the Curragh.

The John Gosden-trained Frankel colt lost his unbeaten record earlier this month behind Wings Of Eagles in the Epsom version and will bid to overturn that form against Aidan O’Brien’s charge on his home patch.

Cracksman had previously been unbeaten in two starts before succumbing to a strong late run from Wings Of Eagles at Epsom.

Frankie Dettori’s mount fared best of those that raced close to the pace on that occasion, eventually giving best to the winner by one length as Padraig Beggy’s mount caused a massive shock in the premier British Classic.

Cracksman and Wings Of Eagles are sharing joint-favouritism at 9/4 for the Irish Derby.

Oppenheimer believes the form of the Epsom Classic now looks decidedly strong in the wake of winning performances at Royal Ascot from Benbatl in the Hampton Court Stakes and Permian in the King Edward VII Stakes.

He acknowledges French Derby runner-up Waldgeist is likely to prove a formidable adversary too, with Andre Fabre’s charge rated at 3/1 in the Irish Derby betting.

“The Derby form was given a few boosts at Ascot with Permian and Benbatl winning at Royal Ascot, which is always nice to see, and also the French form looks very good this year,” said Oppenheimer.

“Mr Fabre wouldn’t be bringing Waldgeist over if he didn’t think he’d be extremely competitive.