Cracksman gets up to lift the Coronation Cup

Filed on 4 Jun 2018 @ 15:33

The red-hot favourite Cracksman (Frankel), ridden by Frankie Dettori, left it late but eventually got on top in an eventful running of the Group One Investec Coronation Cup at Epsom Downs on Friday.

The eventual runner-up Salouen (33/1) was given a peach of a ride by jockey Silvestre De Sousa and almost made every yard of the running but was denied by a head, with the 2/7 favourite getting up in the shadows of the post.

Cracksman's trainer John Gosden was in a reflective mood after the Group One event and pinpointed Royal Ascot as the four-year-old's next target.

"I was pleased with the way he finished," said the trainer.

"He's got a lot of guts and he's got a lot of class. I could see from a long way out that Frankie's elbows were just moving a little and, coming down Tattenham Corner, he wasn't comfortable.

"However, when he finally met the level ground, he just flew. They were strung out weren't they? This is testing ground - I hope it dries out for tomorrow. They were well strung out though and they are all decent mile and a half horses.

"I don't know why but he wasn't comfortable during the race - it certainly wasn't the horse we know. However, he showed guts to get up and win and that's what I'm pleased about.

"It was a brilliant ride from Silvestre (De Sousa on runner-up Salouen) as it's very difficult to come from behind on this ground - especially if you're not enjoying running downhill.

"I'm pleased he showed so much courage though - it's a good test for a horse. He didn't really take off until he met the rising ground. We'll point him towards Royal Ascot now (for the Group One Prince of Wales's Stakes over 10 furlongs) - it's only 19 days away but he loves the track. He gets to Swinley Bottom and eats up the ground - he adores it.

"I only really enjoyed the last 50 yards of that race - but Frankie didn't panic. It was a lot more exciting than people thought it would be though with a 1/3 shot as favourite!"

Owner Anthony Oppenheimer was a relieved man after the race.

"It was quite a surprise. The other horse kept going and that was as close as I like it!

"Cracksman is fantastic. He is so well-bred and a bit similar to Golden Horn (Oppenheimer's Investec Derby winner in 2015) in many ways. He loves racing, but we knew he doesn't like Epsom. The first time he ran at Epsom over a mile and a quarter, he struggled a bit, and it was the same in the Derby. He definitely fell down the hill. And it was the same again today.

"This is the last time we will be running him on a severe downhill."

Filed on 4 Jun 2018 @ 15:33