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Cracksman set for farewell run on Champions Day

4 Oct 2018

The John Gosden-trained colt misses the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and will bow out with defence of Ascot crown.

Cracksman and his connections after victory on Champions Day last year. Picture:

Cracksman will bring the curtain down on his racing career by defending his crown in the QIPCO Champion Stakes on QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot on October 20.

The John Gosden-trained Frankel colt was a dazzling seven-length winner of last season’s Champion Stakes and has added two more Group 1 triumphs to his CV this year with victories in the Prix Ganay and Investec Coronation Cup.

Connections had hoped to run him in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on Sunday, en route to Ascot, but on Thursday have ruled out because of the likely quick ground.

Anthony Oppenheimer, his owner-breeder, said: “We wanted to run, but we have got to give him the opportunity to show himself at his best.

“As we’ve got nearer to the weekend, the forecast rain has got less and less. It might end up pouring down on Sunday morning or something, but we had to make a decision.

“If we did declare and then didn’t run, we’d have faced a hefty penalty, I believe, and also it wouldn’t be fair on everyone else who wants to know whether he’s running or not.”

He added: “We’ll go to Ascot now, which we’re delighted to do. He’s won the race before, it’s still a couple of weeks away, so we’ll see what the ground is like nearer the time. He’ll have to run there anyway as that will be his last race.”