JOHN GOSDEN was satisfied with Cracksman as he put the finishing touches to his Investec Derby preparation with a spin around Epsom on Tuesday morning.
Joint-favourite with Cliffs Of Moher for the blue riband Classic, he was one of a handful of horses to work on the track at the annual Breakfast With The Stars event. Gosden followed the same plan with 2015 Derby hero Golden Horn, who was also owned by Anthony Oppenheimer, in enjoying a sighter of the Downs track with just over a week to go until the main event.
Cracksman, who won the Derby Trial at Epsom in April from Permian, was partnered by big-race jockey Frankie Dettori as the pair worked over a mile in company with the Rab Havlin-ridden Pealer.
Gosden only decided to come to the Epsom event after abandoning plans to run Cracksman in last week’s Dante at York, subsequently won by Permian, and he felt it was the right call not to run on soft ground on the Knavesmire.
He said: “He ran round here (in April) and he ran well. He got pocketed in and he picked up nicely against a horse that was fit and streetwise and he’s come on a lot for it.
“I didn’t fancy running him 16 days out in the Dante in testing conditions. The result was positive from our point of view, though I was happy with how this went and he’s full of himself down at the stables. I think the mile and half will be right up his alley and we didn’t supplement him for fun in April.”
Dettori was also pleased with Cracksman’s gallop, emphasising that he had been far from hard on the Frankel colt. He added: “He was good, he did a bit of routine stuff, just like we did with Golden Horn, he just started at the mile and we just went round Tattenham Corner and then pulled up at the furlong marker. If I passed the winning post at snail’s pace, it was because I was already pulling up.”
CATTERICK: 1.50 Lexington Grace, 2.20 Magic Applause, 2.55 Mr Strutter, 3.30 Major Crispies, 4.05 Veiled Secret, 4.40 Juan Horsepower, 5.15 Halinka, 5.45 Sir Geoffrey.
SANDOWN: 6.00 Boycie, 6.30 Sound And Silence (treble), 7.05 BIG ORANGE (NAP), 7.35 So Mi Dar (next best), 8.10 Zainhom, 8.40 Makzeem.
GOODWOOD: 2.00 Masar, 2.35 Castle Harbour, 3.10 Under Attack, 3.45 Eldritch, 4.20 Icespire, 4.55 Button Up, 5.25 Quite A Story.
WARWICK: 2.10 Three Star General, 2.45 One For Billy, 3.20 The Tailgater, 3.55 For Instance, 4.30 Festive Affair, 5.05 Shady Glen, 5.35 The Groovy Hoovy.
CHELMSFORD: 5.50 Mighty Zip, 6.20 Brasted, 6.55 Cool Team, 7.25 Alfarris, 8.00 Noble Gift, 8.30 Glendun, 9.00 Majestic Girl.