Owner Anthony Oppenheimer believes that having Frankie Dettori on his back can prove a big factor when Cracksman bids for glory in the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.
Placed in both the English and Irish Derbys earlier this summer, Cracksman will attempt to secure his first Group 1 win when he drops back in distance to a mile and a quarter for the British Champions Day showpiece.
His two most recent outings have brought emphatic Group 2 successes in the Juddmonte International at York and the Prix Niel at Chantilly, both over a mile and a half.
The latter was a trial for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe but Oppenheimer elected not to run the John Gosden-trained son of Frankel in that race.
He felt it may be a year too soon for the three-year-old but the fact that Dettori was booked to ride eventual winner Enable was also a mitigating factor and the owner is delighted to have the Italian on board 3/1 favourite Cracksman going to Ascot.
“There are many jockeys that could have ridden him in the Arc but it’s very nice to have Frankie Dettori on him because he knows the horse so well,” said Oppenheimer.
“Consequently I think we can be quite certain he won’t go mad on the horse and will simply ride him to the best of his ability, which I hope gives us an advantage.
“He’s not going to go completely mad and start hitting the horse all over the place to get fourth.”
Sir Michael Stoute’s Ulysses (10/3, Champion Stakes), so impressive when landing York’s Juddmonte International over the mile and a quarter trip in August, remains amongst the potential opposition for Cracksman on Saturday.
Also in the mix is Juddmonte third and St James’s Palace Stakes winner Barney Roy, 9/2 for trainer Richard Hannon and owners Godolphin.
Oppenheimer feels the Champion Stakes will provide a real pointer as to what is in store next year for Cracksman and he suggests the vibes around the son of Frankel are good.
“We need to see how good he is now and measure him against the best horses,” said Oppenheimer. “This is going to give us a very big clue about next year.
“He’s much stronger and I’m told he is going very well indeed, much stronger, much faster.”
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