John Gosden: Enable and Cracksman could both kick off 2018 abroad

By Geoffrey Riddle@Louchepunter
Tue 23 Jan 2018

By Geoffrey Riddle

Enable and Cracksman could both start their 2018 campaigns abroad as John Gosden's stable stars embark on the road to a possible crack at each other in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at the new Longchamp in the autumn.

Cracksman was named jointly with Breeders' Cup Classic winner Gun Runner as the third-best horse in the world with a rating of 130 at the Longines-sponsored World Best Racehorse event in London on Tuesday.

Although the Arc was awarded the title of the sport's highest-rated race, Enable who was ridden by Frankie Dettori at Chantilly in October, had to settle for fifth on a perch of 128. Arrogate topped the list on 134.

Enable could well start off in the Group One Prix Ganay, an extended ten-furlong contest that is scheduled to headline the official opening of the redeveloped Longchamp on April 29. Longchamp, which has been rebranded as ParisLongchamp, has been shut since Golden Horn struck for Gosden and Dettori in 2015.

“She won the world’s best race award, and if Frankie wasn’t crying over her neck in the final furlong she would have won by five lengths or so,” Gosden joked after the ceremony at Claridge’s Hotel.

“She doesn’t need the filly’s sex allowance, she can beat the boys pound for pound.

“We are very confident for next year. She’ll be able to handle it. The key races for her are the Juddmonte International as a prep for the Arc.

“I have learnt over the years to not make big plans in January and she’ll run when she is ready. She might run in the Prix Ganay at Longchamp in April, it is a strong possibility.”

Edouard de Rothschild, President of France Galop, announced at the ceremony that the Prix Ganay would carry an enhanced purse.

"In 2018 we will go back to the new ParisLongchamp, which will open on Sunday, April 8, and will be officially inaugurated on Sunday 29 April, the day of our first Group One race of the year - the €600,000 (£527,000) Prix Ganay," he said.

"We doubled the prize-money this year in order to attract as many as we can."

Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Khalid Abdullah and chairman of York racecourse, suggested a domestic alternative is also possible but agreed a drop back in trip would be a worthwhile exercise.

"She stayed with John Gosden over the winter and she came back from the Arc in good form and bouncing," he said.

Enable - Frankie Dettori - Chantilly - Arc - France Galop Enable is already favourite to land a second Arc (France Galop)

"There was not a lot to be gained by sticking her out in a field in November.

"Some (horses) feel the benefit of a break and getting their head down. In her case, she needed to be kept going and there was no great benefit in changing that routine.

"We could look at starting her in the Middleton and go on to the Coronation Cup, but no plans have been made yet. We are just going to try to make her the best she can be this season.

"It will be interesting to try over a mile and a quarter, but it's not essential."

Cracksman has the possibility of the Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan in March as a possible curtain-raiser.

It is a race that Gosden has won twice before with Dar Re Mi at the opening of Meydan in 2010 and last season with Jack Hobbs.

Last season's runaway Champion Stakes victor would then likely be aimed at Royal Ascot, with a break before a prep run to wind up for Europe’s most valuable race.

“The Dubai Sheema Classic is a possibility," he added.

"The horse is full of himself. He had a two bucks and a rear before he went out on the heath today so he is ready for action.

“The key thing is that you build them up, let them down and then you cleverly play two seasons. You peak, you let down and are strong for the autumn.

"The danger in Europe is that you get ready early, keep going and are then flat in the autumn for the Arc.

"In football you can’t hold that striker at his peak for the whole season, you have got to know when to hit the pause button.

“He was a young kid on the block, was then a middleweight and wound up as a light heavyweight and next year he could be a heavyweight, he’s going that way.

“He was bit like an adolescent, he grew so fast and was all frame and all strength. Suddenly he grew and has a neck on him like a bull now, and you want that in a colt."

Cracksman is a best-priced 2-1 for the Sheema Classic with William Hill, while Betfair and Paddy Power go 13-8.

Enable tops the betting for the Arc in her bid to emulate Treve as a dual winner and is no better than 7-2, while Cracksman is 5-1.

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