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Cracksman in prime shape for Investec Coronation Cup

22 May 2018

Frankel colt a "more mature" specimen than when third in Investec Derby last year

Cracksman, right, finishes third in the Investec Derby. Picture:

John Gosden

believes Cracksman will be much more the finished article when he returns to Epsom for the Investec Coronation Cup on June 1 – a year on from from finishing third in the Investec Derby.

The Frankel colt finished a neck second to Capri in the Irish Derby on his next start but has since gone from strength to strength and will be a hot favourite to secure a fifth successive triumph in the QIPCO British Champions Series feature.

He was flawless when winning the QIPCO Champion Stakes by seven lengths at Ascot on QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot in October and made an exciting start to his four-year-old campaign when landing the Prix Ganay at Paris-Longchamp in late April.

“Cracksman was only 85 to 90 per cent fit for his reappearance at Longchamp. He has come on since then,” Gosden said on Tuesday.

“He was the unfinished product when he was third in the Derby and he has just kept on progressing, especially after we gave him a holiday following the Irish Derby last year. He is a horse who has matured into his frame.”

The Gosden-trained Lah Ti Dar was set to work at the Breakfast With The Stars event at Epsom on Tuesday, but the trainer decided against bringing the three-year-old filly, who is a general 9-4 favourite for the Investec Oaks.

Gosden said: “Lah Di Tar worked nicely on Friday and cantered this morning. Travelling for six hours in hot conditions was not something she quite needed 10 days ahead of the race.

“She is fit, she is well and she is happy. She has pleased us in everything that she has done and I just felt she would be better off at home rather than on the road – the Dartford Tunnel is not a lot of fun either.”

He added: “She is very much a filly crying out for a mile and a half. Her mother stayed the distance well and she is growing up like her mother.”