Cracksman bypasses Arc date in favour of Champion Stakes swansong

Thu 4 Oct 2018

Cracksman is set to bring the curtain down on his racing career by defending his crown in the Qipco Champion Stakes after being ruled out of Sunday’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

The John Gosden-trained Frankel colt was a brilliant winner of last season’s Champion Stakes at Ascot, but has failed to reproduce that level of form in three starts this year.

With Cracksman having enjoyed a mid-season break following a shock defeat at Royal Ascot in June, his owner-breeder Anthony Oppenheimer had hoped to see his charge take on esteemed stablemate Enable at ParisLongchamp this weekend.

However, his participation has always been ground dependent and with little rain forecast, Oppenheimer confirmed he would not be left in the Arc at Thursday’s declaration stage.

Oppenheimer, who won the 2015 Arc with Golden Horn, said: “It’s very sad, as we wanted to run, but we have got to give him the opportunity to show himself at his best.

“As we’ve got nearer to the weekend, the forecast rain has got less and less. It might end up pouring down on Sunday morning or something, but we had to make a decision (before Thursday’s declaration stage).

“If we did declare and then didn’t run, we’d have faced a hefty penalty, I believe, and also it wouldn’t be fair on everyone else who wants to know whether he’s running or not.

“We’ll go to Ascot now, which we’re delighted to do. He’s won the race before, it’s still a couple of weeks away, so we’ll see what the ground is like nearer the time.

“He’ll have to run there anyway as that will be his last race.”

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