No Leger for Cracksman despite Great Voltigeur demolition job

Wed 23 Aug 2017

Watch a full replay of Cracksman's runaway victory in the Betway Great Voltigeur Stakes at York on Wednesday and reaction from jockey Frankie Dettori and owner Anthony Oppenheimer.

By Racinguk.com staff

John Gosden was holding fire on committing Cracksman to a big end-of-season target after he finally came of age on the big stage in taking his rivals apart in the Betway Great Voltigeur Stakes at York.

Five years after his mighty sire Frankel claimed victory in the Juddmonte International, it was the turn of one of his sons to produce the fireworks on the Knavesmire when putting in a display that was visually out of the top drawer in the Group Two event.

Although having to be nudged along by Frankie Dettori entering the home straight, the Anthony Oppenheimer-owned three-year-old quickly put the race to bed when hitting the front.

Sent on well over three furlongs out in the mile-and-a-half prize, the 4-6 favourite, who was last seen finishing second in the Irish Derby having been third in the Epsom version, quickly turned the race into a procession.

He eventually coasted home an eased-down six-length winner from Venice Beach.

Paddy Power and Betfair cut Cracksman to 7-1 and 8-1 respectively for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

Gosden said: "He was only a shell of a horse earlier in the season. We've spaced his races deliberately, whether he runs again I'll discuss with the owner. He won't go for the Leger. We've never thought of going that route.

"Maybe he could go and win the Leger, but it was never part of this horse's programme.

"He may run again this year, but the main focus is next year which is what it's about with the King George and those races, which would mean a lot to Mr Oppenheimer.

"Ascot (Champion Stakes) and the Arc are the only two possibilities this year. And they are only possibilities, not probabilities. We'll see which way we want to go.

"He's got more stronger and positive in himself. He ran brave races in the Epsom and Irish Derbys, but he's getting better all the time. He was a bit unlucky in the Irish Derby, he had to come round an awful lot of horses.

"These Frankels stays well, it's interesting."

2017 Yorkshire Ebor Festival - Juddmonte International Day - York Racecourse _Cracksman was one of four progeny of Frankel in the Great Voltigeur at York on Wednesday (PA) _ Dettori said: "He has come on a lot. He put up a good performance there, because I asked him early enough to get into top gear and stretch them out. The last two furlongs he was galloping right away from the field and I was very impressed.

"He is laid back and you have got to shake him up a bit, otherwise he is happy to follow the others, that's why I got him going plenty early enough. Once he knows it's time to go, he goes.

"We had to get him ready for the Derby. He is such a big horse with a big frame to fill. John gave him the time off to improve and he will be a force to be reckoned with next year."

Asked about the Arc, Dettori said: "I think Chantilly could be a bit sharp for him at this stage."

Oppenheimer joined Gosden and Dettori in sounding a cautious note on the prospect of another outing this year.

He said: "He needed this really, to give him confidence. He's so much stronger than he was in the Derbys.

Cracksman - Juddmonte International - Frankie Dettori - Racingfotos Frankie Dettori was winning his sixth Great Voltigeur after Bonny Scot, Stowaway, Sea Wave, Rule Of Law and Rewilding. (PA)

"I thought he'd be in the first four at Epsom, it's a pity he wasn't the same strength then as he is today, but never mind. He will make a marvellous four-year-old.

"I'm inclined not to run him again this year, he certainly won't go in the St Leger or anything like that, as we have taken him out. It depends on the trainer, if he gets very full of himself we might have to run him.

"But I think we'd rather like to take him into next year and aim for the King George and the Arc, if we're lucky."

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