Cracksman saves the best for final run

A year on from his stunning success in the Group 1 QIPCO British Champion Stakes at Ascot, Cracksman returned with a bang to record back-to-back to victories in scintillating fashion on Saturday. Having not been seen since chasing home Poet’s Word in the Group 1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot on good to firm ground, the colt had bypassed the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

With a return to his favoured conditions and sporting first-time blinkers, the four-year-old was sent wide by jockey Frankie Dettori to make his challenge in the home straight.

Once hitting the front, Dettori pushed the button and the son of Frankel galloped to a six-length success to bring the curtain down on his career – much like his sire had done in the same race six years before. Cracksman’s success was part of a treble on the day for trainer John Gosden, who said: “It’s super to have Cracksman back and obviously he likes to get his toe in.

“He got very distracted at Royal Ascot by the girls coming back from the previous race. “We’ve freshened him up, come here and he’s back to his best. I’m a great believer in putting a semi blinker on, I’ve had a lot of luck with it down the years and it was a little trick I learnt in America.

“He’s a hugely talented horse and he showed it again today. I’m sure he’ll be off to stud now.” Details of where Cracksman will stand at stud are yet to emerge, with owner-breeder Anthony Oppenheimer saying that negotiations were due to begin.

Fourth crown for Roaring Lion

Before Cracksman sealed a memorable day for Gosden and a third trainers’ championship, Roaring Lion used every ounce of his ability to claim a fourth Group 1 in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. Roaring Lion was dropping back to a mile for the first time since finishing fifth behind Saxon Warrior in the QIPCO 2,000 Guineas.

The colt had to work hard for his victory on ground he found tough going but under Oisin Murphy, the pair roared late to secure a hard-fought neck success from I Can Fly.

Gosden said: “What a horse. At no stage was he ever on the bridle and Oisin said he absolutely hated the ground. He’s probably a good ground, good to firm ground horse but he showed his class and so did the jockey. “Oisin kept him balanced, nursed him and got him there.”

A stud career for Roaring Lion also beckons after Sheikh Fahad Al Thani and Qatar Racing announced that the son of Kitten’s Joy will join the Tweenhills Stud roster at the end of his three-year-old campaign.

There could be a final swansong for Roaring Lion in the Breeders’ Cup Classic but a decision on his participation in that race will be made depending on how the colt comes out of Ascot. Outstanding stayer Stradivarius started Gosden’s Saturday in perfect fashion when an excellent ride from Dettori saw the colt slide through a tight gap on the rail to claim the Group 2 Long Distance Cup.

First top-level successes for Magical and Sands Of Mali

The Group 1 Filly & Mare Stakes saw the beautifully bred Magical (Galileo-Halfway To Heaven) gain her first success at the highest level under a well-judged Ryan Moore rode. Coronet, representing the all-conquering Gosden stable, was closing all the way to the line but the Aidan O’Brien-trained Magical kept on in game fashion to take the prize by a length.

Richard Fahey and Paul Hanagan combined to great effect in the Group 1 QIPCO Champion Sprint Stakes when Sands Of Mali made every yard of the running and held off Godolphin’s Harry Angel to secure a first top-level victory.

Best Solution and Pat Cosgrave hold off Homesman (dark blue cap) to win the Caulfield Cup – Photo: Racing Photos

Best Solution the Cup king

Godolphin and Saeed Bin Suroor claimed their second Group 1 Caulfield Cup ten years after All The Good struck for the boys in blue when Best Solution got the better of Homesman under Pat Cosgrave in a thrilling finish to the 1m4f contest at Caulfield on Saturday. Best Solution, now set for next month’s Melbourne Cup, has gone from strength to strength this season and has won three times at the highest level in 2018.