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10 May 2018
Issue Number: Issue 644
Seemar can only hope for another upward performance from North America
Dubai playing a key role in British racing, says Jockey Club boss
Busybody Tadhg looks to scale mountains after climbing Hills
Nass’ trial and error style seems to be working wonders for him
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Man Cracks rivals with impressive return

10/05/2018
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PARISLONGCHAMP, staging the first Group One contest since it was renamed and reopened in April, could not have hoped for a more emphatic return to the big time after the scintillating victory of Cracksman who dominated the Group 1 Prix Ganay, over an extended 1m2f. Highest rated of all those who raced in Europe throughout 2017, following a decisive success in the Group 1 Champion Stakes, he was impressive on what was his first outing since that Ascot victory in October, handling the quicker ground on this occasion.

While stablemate Enable will be a formidable obstacle if they finally meet, Cracksman’s horizons were widened considerably as he showed quick ground poses no problems, winning by four lengths. How he coped with the surface was the first thing Gosden inquired of Frankie Dettori after his stable number one performed the first flying dismount of the new era at Longchamp. The trainer was keen to stress Cracksman’s ability to handle a faster surface than he had encountered in the second half of last season would be the major lesson he took from a Prix Ganay in which Cloth Of Stars and Rhododendron promised to provide a big test.

As it turned out, Cracksman, rated 130 last year, 2lb clear of Arc-winning stablemate Enable, had plenty in hand over all six rivals. They were led home by Godolphin’s Wren’s Day, pacemaker for Cloth Of Stars, who was third, three parts of a length behind the second. “The great thing is he’s won today on good. It’s slightly the faster side of good having walked it, so that’s great, plus he goes in the soft,” said Gosden. “I was thrilled because as he passed me at the furlong pole he put his head down and low, he stretched, which is always great to see.

“He’s a stronger horse this year and is filling out from three to four, let alone four to five. I’m impressed how cool he is, how relaxed and professional he is. “He could go to Ireland for the Tattersalls Gold Cup if he was in great nick, then the Prince of Wales’s Stakes. “I know that’s what owner Mr Oppenheimer is thinking.” Despite the easy success, Dettori was nervous beforehand, saying: “It’s the first Group One of the season, he’s one of my best rides, so of course I was nervous. “It’s a relief and he has a fantastic season ahead. I can’t be any more impressed, it was a great performance.”

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