Ebor Festival: Next year is target for Voltigeur favourite Cracksman

Frankie Dettori rides Cracksman.
Frankie Dettori rides Cracksman.
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OWNER Anthony Oppenheimer has reiterated it is “all about next year” for the Betway Great Voltigeur Stakes favourite Cracksman.

Not even entered in the St Leger, John Gosden’s colt finished a close third in the Derby at Epsom and second in the Irish equivalent.

Gosden has repeatedly said the son of Frankel will not be seen at his best until he fills his substantial frame and whether he even runs again this season is still up for debate.

Oppenheimer said: “He’s had a good rest and has been going very well at home. It really is all about next year with him, though. He gets on here, but he’s not in the St Leger, anyway.

“What we’re hoping is that next season he’ll be in races like the King George. He just needs to fill out, and when he does you’ll see the real Cracksman.”

Gosden and Oppenheimer could be forgiven for approaching the meeting with some trepidation after what happened to Golden Horn in the Juddmonte International two years ago, when he was floored by 50-1 shot Arabian Queen.

“It was a disaster,” reflected Oppenheimer. “We ran the pacemaker (Dick Doughtywylie) and the pacemaker gave him a small bump. It took Frankie Dettori a long time to get him to settle and he just didn’t have his usual kick.”

Connor Murtagh, the Yorkshire-based jockey who has undergone three heart operations, has a first Ebor festival ride today. The 17-year-old, featured in The Yorkshire Post last Saturday, partners Shrewd in the two mile handicap.