Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Oppenheimer Set to Give Colt Crack in the Dante

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Oppenheimer Set to Give Colt Crack in the Dante

Article excerpt

Byline: Nick Robson

CRACKSMAN'S owner Anthony Oppenheimer is happy to let the colt take his chance in today's Betfred Dante Stakes at York as long as the ground does not turn heavy.

Persistent rain has turned the Knavesmire going soft, but Oppenheimer is cheered by Cracksman's pedigree, which has soft-ground performers in it.

"I think as long as the ground doesn't go heavy, we'll be happy to run," said Oppenheimer.

"Cracksman's dam, Rhadegunda, actually loved soft ground. (In) her last ever race, she won a Listed race in France on heavy going.

"If it's heavy we've a decision to make, but as long as it's soft, good to soft, I don't see a problem."

Cracksman's trainer John Gosden (pictured left) is slightly concerned about the proximity between the Dante and the Derby, too.

"Cracksman has only had two runs in his life," said Gosden.

"The Dante is closer to the Derby than usual due to a late Easter. We've lost a week, which is not helpful.

"On the other hand, he needs the experience to race if we are even to consider Epsom."

Sir Michael Stoute admits he doubts his runner Crystal Ocean will be ready to mix it with the leading players in the Investec Derby.

The Sea The Stars colt, winner of a Nottingham maiden last month, halved in price for the Classic earlier this week, seeing his odds for the notable Derby trial tumble as a result.

However, Stoute is sceptical about how many people actually backed his horse and in his own style, he is thinking long-term.

"I don't know how many tenners constitute a gamble!" said Stoute.

"We have been bringing him along steadily and I doubt he is a Derby horse."

Joseph O'Brien never won the Dante as a jockey but he has a sound chance as a trainer with Ballysax scorer Rekindling, who was with David Wachman last season. …

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