Cracksman made a winning debut on the corresponding Newmarket card 12 months ago, earning opening quotes of 33/1 with BetVictor for both colts’ classics thereafter, and ultimately somewhat unlucky to finish third in this year’s Derby at Epsom. The son of Frankel has got better with every race this term and, after Saturday’s Champion Stakes romp, is the 5/1 from 12s second favourite for next year’s Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe.
Stablemate Enable scored under Frankie this season and is 3/1 to go back-to-back when the race returns to Longchamp next season – but who would Frankie ride? Timeform have Cracksman’s performance as 2lb better than anything we’ve seen so far this term however, BetVictor are unsure and are 10/11 for Frankie to ride either Cracksman or Enable should the pair take each other on before the end of next season.
Cracksman v Enable; Who would Frankie ride?
There’s nothing of Cracksman’s ilk on display this afternoon at Newmarket however, there are some classy colts on display in the same maiden including Al Muffrih (4.05) for the in-form yard of William Haggas. The son of Sea the Stars couldn’t be any better bred for the job and must go close on debut under the excellent Gerald Mosse.
Brundtland (4.40) is another exciting debutant, with the son of Dubawi expected to score at the first time of asking under William Buick. Trainer Charlie Appleby has a 33% strike-rate with Newmarket runners this season and after a fruitful campaign for his juveniles can claim yet another 2yo winner on The Rowley Mile.
Ed Walker’s Simpson (5.15) has been costly to follow this season with Jamie Spencer finding traffic problems on his last two starts however, he looks to be going in the right direction and is chanced to land the nursery over the extended mile. The selection was well-backed to score last time out at Windsor when third after severe problems in-running and should defy a 3lb rise at the weights.
As well as good racing on the level at Newmarket, there are excellent jumps cards at Sedgefield and Worcester, with Big Penny (3.55) a confident selection to land the feature 2m 4 Handicap Hurdle under Aidan Coleman. The mare did column readers a favour when battling bravely to land a Maiden Hurdle earlier in the month at Bangor and can follow-up now sent handicapping for the in-form yard of Jonjo O’Neill.
Strongly Suggested must go close for the yard in the opener, with Barry Geraghty an eye-catching booking in the plate for boss JP McManus. However, a 7lb rise may scupper his chances and preference lies instead with Aunty Ann (1.35) under 7lb conditional jockey Jordan Nailor.
The selection is a winning pointer who has shown promise in both starts over fences, finishing third at both Worcester and Stratford. Those were both over two and a half miles and the well-bred daughter of Vinnie Roe should improve further for the step up in trip to three miles.
I’ve always thought a lot of Brian Ellison’s Ballycrystal (3.45) who can hopefully make a winning chase debut under Danny Cook at Sedgefield. The selection was a winning pointer before joining new connections and looks a potentially useful addition when bolting-up on his hurdles debut here last October. He boasts the scope to jump a fence and has a terrific record fresh.
They go on the all-weather at Kempton where I’m very keen on the chances of Sir Michael Stoute’s Noble Conquest (8.20) from the perfect draw in stall four under Oisin Murphy. The selection bumped into one last time out at Thirsk but that form has been franked subsequently and he looks potentially ahead of his opening mark of 83.