Sport Horse Racing

Saturday 15 December 2018

Ascot once again smiles on Frankie

Frankie Dettori. Photo: PA
Frankie Dettori. Photo: PA

Frankie Dettori - who else at Ascot? - did his best to steal some of Aidan O'Brien's thunder when he won the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes with Persuasive and then promptly trumped it and, pretty much most other races this year, riding Cracksman to a seven-length victory in the Qipco Champion Stakes.

Just at the point of the afternoon when a blustery seventh British Champions Day, run on heavy ground which knocked the edge off one or two of the speedier summer horses, was beginning to need a dominant, championship display to justify the weeks of hype, Cracksman produced the outstanding performance by a colt this season.

Reminiscent of his sire Frankel, who dominated the first two runnings of this end-of-season finale, he powered clear of his rivals to turn a competitive Champion Stakes into a procession coming home a long way clear of Poet's Word and the multiple Group One winner Highland Reel.

The near-miss in the Epsom Derby and a bit of bad luck in the Irish equivalent were but a distant memory yesterday. Those extra months have allowed Cracksman to develop into something near the finished article. He now looks to be not so much the each-way shot of June but an exceptional performer.

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