Arc bid a possibility for Cracksman after Gosden ace guns down rivals
In show business they say you should always leave them wanting more. There will be a clamour to see Cracksman as soon as possible after a masterful demolition of the Great Voltigeur field, but it may be that he is not sighted again this year.
Whether to twist or stick for this year is the pleasant dilemma facing John Gosden after the Derby third and Irish Derby runner-up strolled to a magnificent six-length victory that drew warm applause from the grandstands.
In stablemate Enable, Gosden already has the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe favourite, and she will get the chance to post a riposte to Cracksman in Thursday's Darley Yorkshire Oaks.
But the case for giving Cracksman one more run this campaign looked nearly overwhelming as the son of Frankel took control of the race at the top of the straight and galloped his rivals into submission.
Gosden entertained the possibility of running him in the Arc or the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot, but stopped short of confirming Anthony Oppenheimer's colt for either highlight.
"He may well run in the autumn, we'll see," the trainer said. "He's come very strongly into this race, he's a much bigger horse, he can quicken. He was only a shell of a horse early on when he ran in the Derby.
"It's a possibility he could run [in the Arc]. He has those two engagements, but it's only a possibility at this time – not a probability."
Bookmaker reaction was to make Cracksman the general 8-1 second favourite for the Arc, with William Hill and Boylesports offering a standout 10-1.
One race that is not under consideration is the William Hill St Leger, for which Cracksman would need to be supplemented.
"We never wanted to do that for him this year," Gosden added. "You have to have a certain horse. Yes, maybe he could have gone and won a Leger but it wasn't going to be part of this horse's programme.
"His main programme is next year, and that's what it's all about, races like the King George – that sort of thing – which would mean a lot to Mr Oppenheimer."
Frankel's tremendous ability has not fallen far from the tree with his progeny, and there was an echo of his father when Cracksman zoomed to the front at the top of the straight in a matter of strides.
Frankie Dettori, who missed Cracksman's narrow Irish Derby defeat through injury, was certainly impressed, and said: "I hadn't ridden him since the Derby and John said he'd improved. He's got stronger and when I asked him to quicken he quickened and galloped right to the line."
However, when asked about the possibility of taking the colt to France, the jockey added: "Maybe Chantilly could be a bit sharp for him at this stage. He's strengthened up and is learning to race. Basically he's a four-year-old, we've got lots to look forward to. He'll have a great four-year-old campaign."
Groom Sanjay Muthanna