Can Cracksman emulate his owner and trainers former horse Golden Horn in landing the Arc? Based on his current performances you would have to say a clear yes. On Timeform ratings he is already the joint highest rated older horse in Europe with a mark of 136. He is also improving with each run so must stand as clearly the one to beat going in.
Cracksman’s first real test was in last seasons Derby in which he was sent off the well fancied 7/2 favourite. He was driven to lead entering the final furlong and looked set to land the contest only to be overhauled in the closing stages by the O’Brien pair of Cliffs of Moher and the eventual winner in 40/1 outsider Wings of Eagles. It was a very strange race in which the horses coming from the back seemed to have a clear advantage so there is no doubt Cracksmen performance could be bumped up considering he was still able to go close having been handy throughout.
His next start was in France in the Prix Niel where he led from two furlongs out and kicked clear to win comfortably. This was a very eye catching performance and the first sign that the son of Frankel could just be another real star in waiting. Cracksman’s next start was a big step up against top class opposition in the Champion Stakes at Ascot back in October. This was a jaw dropping performance where he turned one of the most competitive looking group 1’s in to a procession. He stalked the leaders before taking it up from several furlongs out. He powered away to win by an ever-growing 7 lengths firmly establishing himself as possibly the most exciting horse in training. His owner A E Oppenheimer clearly looks to have a very smart horse on his hands and maybe one who could reach similar heights as the incredible 2015 Arc winner Golden Horn.
Following a 190 day break he returned in the Prix Ganay at Longchamp and again put in a stunning performance to clear away in the final furlong by 4 lengths from the gallant front running Wren’s day. So what next for the John Gosden trained star?
His next start is likely to be in the Coronation Cup before a tilt at the Prince of Wales Stakes at Royal Ascot in which he would take all the beating. You can bet on Royal Ascot and Cracksman is currently 10/11 on with Star Sports to further enhance is growing reputation. However considering his connections his main season target will be the Arc in October. This could also be the time we finally get to see the clash between Cracksman and super filly Enable. Enable is currently out due to injury but connections have said that she should be back in time to defend her 2017 title. This clash really would be one to savour for racing fans.