Cracksman and Dettori look to land English Derby
by Craig Jones for Knightsbridge Bloodstock
The biggest British classic of them all, and one of the biggest horse races in the world, the English Derby takes place at Epsom on Saturday. The race is watched by millions around the world and excitement this year is enhanced due to the wide open nature of the field, anyone can win this race.
One of the joint favourites and a personal favourite of my own, Cracksman, looks to have a great chance of winning the race for Italian jockey Frankie Dettori. He is trained by John Gosden and although he lacks experience after just two runs, he is a hugely exciting prospect that could turn out to be a superstar. Cracksman comes from the first crop of Frankel runners and a Derby win would boost his already lofty reputation as a stallion, something I would love to see.
Although Cracksman has just had two runs, he does have one piece of course form to his name, a big thing due to the undulations at Epsom. He won the Epsom Derby Trial in April over 1m2f and after only just getting up to win that day, he looks set to relish the extra two furlongs of the Derby trip. The form of that race is working out very well, Cracksman took the race, beating Permian by a head, who has since gone on to win the Dante Derby Trial at York and those two clash again here.
The once concern for Cracksman is inexperience and trainer John Gosden was hoping to run him in the Dante, although heavy rain stopped that from happening. It will take a big effort to win the Derby on just his third start, but that is how exciting this horse is, he really could go on to be a superstar this season.
Elsewhere, the race is wide open with a number of possible winners. The all-conquering Aidan O’Brien team run six in the race with stable jockey Ryan Moore choosing to ride Cliffs Of Moher, who is currently vying for favouritism with Cracksman. Cliffs Of Moher won nicely at Chester when taking the Dee Stakes and is another in the field who really could be anything.
Permian and Benbatl came first and second in the Dante, widely regarded as the best Derby trial out there and hopefully they can both run to form. If they do, both should be close at the end of the race.
In a wide open Derby both my heart and my head side with Cracksman. It will be fascinating to see him and if he does land the Derby, he is an exciting horse going forward as he is still improving. It would also be a big day for the stallion Frankel and his reputation would go up even higher thanks to the win.
All eyes will be on Epsom this Saturday for one of the biggest and best races in the world and I for one can’t wait.
Craig Jones writes about global horse racing for Knightsbridge Bloodstock
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