CRACKSMAN put in an exhilarating performance when making a winning seasonal debut in the Gr1 Prix Ganay at ParisLongchamp.
Last year’s brilliant Champion Stakes scorer blew the opposition away in the final furlong with a devastating turn of foot.
Frankie Dettori had the John Gosden-trained Frankel colt in the box seat behind leader Wren’s Day, the pacemaker for his Andre Fabre-trained stablemate Cloth Of Stars, in the early stages.
Dettori edged the 1-2 favourite out to make his challenge soon after entering the top of the straight and Cracksman just needed a few strides to hit top gear.
He soon pulled several lengths clear and romped home from Wren’s Day, who kept on for second place with Cloth Of Stars third. Aidan O’Brien’s Rhododendron was fourth.
Gosden said: “He’s a stronger horse this year and is still growing. I’m very impressed with him. He was very good during the race and very relaxed afterwards, which was great to see.”
He added: “He’s become a stronger, wiser horse this year and conserves his energy better – he is much cooler and Frankie rides him beautifully.
“It was a nice pace, without being anyway near crazy. Frankie knew he was going to use the pacemaker and I particularly liked standing over a furlong down and seeing how he stretched past me.
“It’s a lovely run. There’s Cloth Of Stars and Rhododendron in there and we’ve shown them a clean pair of heels and the race will bring him on a lot.”
With Gosden’s dual Classic and King George winner Enable due to reappear in the Coronation Cup at Epsom, the long-term aim is for the pair to cross swords in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
Before that Gosden is pointing towards Royal Ascot for Cracksman, with a probable stop beforehand in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh.
The Newmarket trainer said: “The horse has put up a good performance and the dream is to come back to this every elegant grandstand, come back with Enable, too, and run them both together.
“Mr Oppenheimer (Cracksman’s owner) is talking about Ascot and the Prince of Wales’s. If it’s genuine good to firm, there’s no reason we don’t go there.
“You’ve got the Tattersalls Gold Cup and the Prince of Wales’s and they are beautifully spaced.”
Oppenheimer also indicated the Group One at the Curragh on May 27 could come into the equation for Cracksman.
He told Press Association Sport: “I’m always nervous watching him, but he really was very good.
“They went quite quick, but Frankie gave him a lovely ride. It was on the faster side of good, so that was nice to see as we know he goes really well in softer ground.
“We think he will improve from that and hopefully we will now go to Ireland and then on to Royal Ascot. He wouldn’t run in the Prince of Wales’s if it was very firm, but other than that we will go there.”
Dettori said: “We went a nice pace, I sat second, kicked early. I thought the pacemaker was going a bit, but this horse has got another gear. He’s good.”