John Gosden’s Cracksman the odds-on favourite for Wednesday’s Great Voltigeur Stakes at York racecourse


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Cracksman is the odds-on favourite for Wednesday’s contest at York but owner Anthony Oppenheimer reckons we won’t see the ‘real Cracksman’ until next year

OWNER Anthony Oppenheimer reckons we will see the ‘real Cracksman’ next year.

John Gosden’s colt is the odds-on favourite for Wednesday’s Great Voltigeur Stakes at York, and although Oppenheimer is hopeful of a big run, he reiterated that next year is the big aim.

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Cracksman will make his first start since finishing second in the Irish Derby

Oppenheimer told Press Association Sport: “He’s had a good rest and has been going very well at home. The ground is reasonable so all looks good.

“It really is all about next year with him, though, that is what the jockeys who ride him are telling us.



Capri held on narrowly from Cracksman and Wings Of Eagles to win the Irish Derby

“Pat Smullen got off him after the Irish Derby and said if we looked after him for the rest of this year he’d be some prospect next season, so that is what we are doing.

“We’ll see how he gets on here but he’s not in the St Leger, anyway.

“What we’re hoping is that next season he’ll be in races like the King George and maybe at this meeting over 10 furlongs (Juddmonte International).

“He’s a very short price and when there are all those Coolmore horses you never know how the race will be run but he’s very well.

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By Templegate

1.55 York – Edward Lewis: ‘Good stall and should be there of thereabouts after a fair season’ (add to your betslip)

2.25 York – Lansky: ‘Impressed on debut and looks up to this level’ (add to your betslip)

3.00 York – Cracksman: ‘Had a nice break since his last run and should improve again’ (add to your betslip)

3.35 York – Ulysses: ‘Far from disgraced behind Enable last time, classy colt’ (add to your betslip)

“He just needs to fill out, and when he does you’ll see the real Cracksman.

“But having had a break since the Irish Derby, he may well have done that already, we don’t know.”


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Cracksman (left) has a bright future ahead of him


Second favourite is Sir Michael Stoute’s lightly-raced Mirage Dancer.

He was beaten just over a length by Benbatl in the Hampton Court Stakes and looks sure to be suited by a step up in trip – but he is another not in the St Leger.

Mirage Dancer

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Mirage Dancer (far left) is a progressive horse

Stoute said: “We’re just leaving nice gaps between his races. He is progressive.

“We like the horse and he keeps improving. This would be as far as he would ever want to go.”

Aidan O'Brien


Aidan O’Brien has a strong hand despite the absence of Capri

Aidan O’Brien still runs three, despite the absence of Irish Derby winner Capri. He saddles Venice Beach, Spanish Steps and Douglas Macarthur.

O’Brien said: “Both Venice Beach and Spanish Steps went to Paris (Grand Prix de Paris).

Venice Beach

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Venice Beach should suit this track

“Venice Beach ran a great race – Spanish Steps was a little bit green, a little bit babyish but came forward great from it and won very nicely at Leopardstown, beating Johannes Vermeer.

“Venice Beach has been in good form since France and we think – and hope – the track will suit him well.

Douglas Macarthur


Douglas Macarthur (right) should relish this trip

“He is in good order as well. We think he is a horse who will progress through the whole year and look forward to him next year.

“We’re looking forward to seeing Douglas Macarthur run. We think he gets a mile and a half well – and might even get further.

“But he is in very good form and we’re very happy with him. He had a break after his last run and is just ready to start back again.”

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