Dual Derby placegetter Cracksman has rocketed into second favouritism fort the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe after taking his rivals apart in the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York.
Five years after his sire, champion racehorse Frankel, claimed victory in the Juddmonte International at the York meeting, Cracksman produced the fireworks in the Group Two event on Wednesday (Thursday AEST) with a six length win.
But John Gosden, who also trains Arc favourite Enable who runs in the Yorkshire Oaks, is not committing Cracksman to a big end-of-season target.
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 600m out to coast home ahead of Venice Beach.
“He was only a shell of a horse earlier in the season,” Gosden said.
“We’ve spaced his races deliberately. Whether he runs again I’ll discuss with the owner. He won’t go for the Leger.
“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.”
Oppenheimer joined Gosden in sounding a cautious note on the prospect of another outing this year.
“I’m inclined not to run him again this year,” he said.
“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.”