No trip worries for Frankie Dettori and Cracksman in Champion Stakes

Wed 18 Oct 2017

Watch Lydia Hislop's interview with Frankie Dettori going through his rides on QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday.

By staff

Frankie Dettori has no qualms about Cracksman dropping back in trip for the Qipco Champion Stakes as he looks forward to a stellar book of rides at Ascot on Saturday.

On the back of another memorable season, lit up by the brilliant Enable, Dettori will return to the scene of his 'Magnificent Seven' and will be disappointed if he leaves empty-handed.

Journey will bid to defend her title in the Fillies & Mares race, Persuasive takes on the boys in the Queen Elizabeth II and Stradivarius tackles Order Of St George in the Long Distance Cup - but it is Cracksman to whom Dettori is most looking forward.

After plenty of discussion about whether he would run in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe against stablemate Enable, the Frankel colt drops down to 10 furlongs for the first time since he beat Dante winner Permian in April.

"I think he'll be fine over 10 furlongs, he's getting stronger and if the rain comes it will help him and disadvantage some of the others like Highland Reel and Ulysses. It will make it more of a test of stamina, so I'm praying the rain comes," Dettori told Racing UK at Nottingham on Wednesday.

Cracksman File Photo John Gosden's charge is a best-priced 3-1 for the Champion Stakes (PA)

"I rode him this morning and he's in great nick. John (Gosden) has done a brilliant programme for him this year bearing in mind we've got next year to look forward to as well.

"We're going there with lots of confidence and hoping for the best."

While Cracksman would be suited by the forecast rain, St Leger third Stradivarius would not.

"Going back up in trip will suit, he was third in the Leger and is still in tremendous form," he added.

"Out of all my rides he's the one who doesn't want rain and I think there is a lot of rain forecast Friday night. If the ground was good I'd say he had a good chance, but with the rain coming I really don't know."

Journey was second at the meeting two years ago before going one better last season and heads there in top form again.

Dettori said: "Journey is a wonderful mare and always comes good at this time of year. She won't mind the soft ground.

"Bateel beat me well last time, but my filly is only improving, she'll have a fantastic chance.

"She's tough and she loves the track, some horses come alive this time of year and she's the perfect example. I've no idea why, she just thrives in the autumn and is a completely different horse than in the summer."

Persuasive appears to face a tough task in the QEII, but with no fillies' alternative at this time of year, connections have nothing to lose.

"She likes the rain, but it's a tough race, obviously, against Ribchester and Churchill, Al Wukair and the rest," said the Italian.

"She's a very honest filly and the rain would help, if she can get in the first three, that would be a massive run.

"We've run out of fillies' races and now have to take on the boys."

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