Grand National Festival

Cracksman Back with a Bang in Prix Ganay Romp

Cracksman threw down the gauntlet to the rest of the middle-distance crop with a taking success in the Prix Ganay at Longchamp on Sunday.

John Gosden’s charge was one of the starts of the 2017 season, as he improved throughout the campaign and signed off with a scintillating win in the Champion Stakes at Ascot.

Gosden has another superstar middle-distance performer in his stable in the shape of Enable, and they are likely to be kept apart until the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in October.

Cracksman was the first to show his hand, and he did not disappoint with a four-and-a-half-length success in the Group 1 contest.

The son of Frankel tracked the pace for the first three-quarters of a mile, before being asked for his effort at the top of the straight by Frankie Dettori.

The enterprisingly ridden Wren’s Day pinched an advantage of a couple of lengths as the field headed for home, but once Cracksman found his stride he picked up the leader and was well on top at the line.

It was a performance that thrilled his trainer on a number of fronts, one being that it proved Cracksman is happy on ground that was on the firm side of good.

“The great thing is he has won today on good – it’s slightly the faster side of good having walked it – so that’s great and he goes in the soft and is versatile,” Gosden said, per the Racing Post.

“It was a lovely performance, a pretty taking effort, he gets low and runs straight, and it will bring him on.”

It’s highly likely that Cracksman’s next visit to the track will be in the Prince of Wales’ Stakes at Royal Ascot, as Gosden now has no qualms about running his charge on summer ground.

Much can happen between now and October, but anticipation will build for when Cracksman and Enable do eventually lock horns.

If they do both power on through the summer, Dettori will suffer a few sleepless nights deciding which of the two he will partner. The Italian has struck up a brilliant rapport with both horses and while many would love to be in his position, it will be a tough choice to make.

At this stage of the campaign, the market makers favour Enable as 188BET have her priced up for Arc glory at 3/1, while Cracksman can be backed at 4/1.

The three-year-old crop have yet to show their hand, which is why the third horse in the betting for the Arc, Saxon Warrior, can be backed at 20/1.