Dazzling Cracksman steals the show on Champions Day
21 Oct 2017
Son of Frankel is stunning seven-length winner of QIPCO Champion Stakes
Cracksman was a runaway winner of the QIPCO Champion Stakes. Picture: Racingfotos.com
Frankel beat Cirrus Des Aigles on Champions Day five years ago, so it was apt the John Gosden-trained Cracksman provided his sire with a first Group One win in Europe in the race in which the great horse ended his career.
Frankie Dettori kicked on turning into the straight and his mount powered clear to win by a yawning seven lengths as the 13-8 favourite.
“That was amazing, it’s my first Champion Stakes and he put a good field to bed in the manner of a champion. It was a fantastic feeling, I glanced at the big screen and he was clear. I’ve not got words to describe it, brilliant,” said Dettori.
Gosden said: “If he was a middleweight earlier in the season, he is a light heavyweight now. He’s really progressed and to do this against older horses, he’s a fast-improving horse.
“I really hope Frankie does (have a difficult decision to make between Enable and Cracksman), we hope the horses have a good winter and go through to next year, but I’ve been around long enough not to count too many chickens.”
Gosden and Dettori also teamed up to win the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (sponsored by QIPCO) with Persuasive (8-1) in impressive fashion and she has now been retired to stud.
Gosden said: “She is a phenomenally good filly. We’ve waited for this ground, she loves this ground. I don’t think she has had any luck in Group Ones.”
Ribchester was back in second with dual Guineas winner Churchill third.
Aidan O’Brien was another trainer to enjoy a double on the biggest stage and while Order Of St George’s late lunge to win the QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup was exciting, the victory of Hydrangea in the QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares was more important as it meant he drew level with the late Bobby Frankel on 25 Group One winners for the year.
Of Order Of St George, who claimed Torcedor late on, O’Brien said: “He is tough and hardy and Ryan (Moore) gave him a great ride. He never stops. In every race he has ever run in, he is always finishing.”
While after Hydrangea’s notable win, he said: “She’s by Galileo and they will not stop, their will to win is incredible. She pulled out more and it was Ryan’s idea to run her as he thought there was a chance she’d get the trip. We weren’t sure, but she did.”
He added: We’re a small link in a big chain and I’m delighted for everyone – it’s a magic, special day. The chain is so long and we’re so glad to be a little link in it.”
There was also a popular win in the QIPCO British Champions Sprint as Dean Ivory and Robert Winston combined through Librisa Breeze (10-1), with Harry Angel left floundering in ground back in fourth.
Ivory said: “I could not believe it. The ground and everything went right for us. He has been off a long time, seven weeks, and he has been so unlucky this year – we have got the luck when it mattered.”
David O’Meara’s well-backed Lord Glitters came from last to first to win the closing Balmoral Handicap.