#ArcRoad : Cracksman holding out for the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe

29 July 2018

Photo scoopdyga.com

The champion Cracksman (Frankel) was declared as a non-runner in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Gr1), on Saturday at Ascot. The track was too firm for him, and neither his trainer, John Gosden, nor his owner, Anthony Oppenheimer, wanted to risk running the horse on quick ground, as he had when finishing second in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes (Gr1). Ground is a hugely important factor in racing. Depending on their physique, confirmation, action, or their weaknesses, horses develop preferences for different types of ground. Some, like Cracksman, are better when the track softens. Other, in contrast, need firm ground to show the best of their ability.

John Gosden explained: "The ground, after a few drops of rain, dried out very quickly between the sun and the wind. We really wanted to run him, but we got unlucky with the storms… I don’t want to run Cracksman again on quick ground. Our objective is the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and we will do everything to take him there in his best possible condition." For now, Cracksman shares favourite status for the big race with his stable companion Enable (Nathaniel), last year’s winner, who hasn’t run since her triumph in the race last year at Chantilly. After a few small physical issues, she is now nearly ready to make her comeback.