Dettori pleased with Cracksman

Frankie Dettori celebrates as Cracksman wins the QIPCO Champion Stakes at Ascot

Frankie Dettori has admitted he was surprised by Cracksman's ability to travel through the Champion Stakes on Saturday as he dropped back to 10 furlongs.

Despite having posted his best efforts at a mile and a half this season, he handled the shorter distance with aplomb with Dettori having been assured by both trainer John Gosden and Cracksman's work rider and weighing room colleague Rab Havlin that the Frankel colt had improved.

"He's got a magnificent stride, he reminds me of his dad a bit (as) he covers so much ground," said Dettori.

"In the spring he spent a lot of time in the air, he probably didn't know how to race, which was probably a sign of weakness. Like John said, he's put on 20 kilos since the summer and he's now the finished article.

"You've got to give tremendous credit to John Gosden – he's a genius. He gave the horse time to develop when it would have been easy to have been drawn into temptation and make the horse do something when he wasn't ready. Full credit goes to him.

"Rab Havlin rides him in his work and he told me the horse had really changed. I put him through his paces about 10 days ago and I really believed what Rab and John said – that he'd improved.

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"What surprised me yesterday, going back in distance, was how easily he was able to follow a really strong pace because in the past he was very laid back throughout his races and I had to niggle him along to keep him interested, but yesterday he never had that problem.

"It shows the improvement he's made."

Cracksman gave Dettori a first win in the Champion Stakes and added to the exploits of Enable this season, there is no hint of retirement just yet.

He told Racing UK: "It's one of our premier races so I'd like to put it on my CV and I'd ridden so many good horses in it yet never managed to win it. It does get frustrating, but you only get one chance a year so it's tremendously satisfying to have done it.

"I'm not going to ride for ever so I was running out of years, but to do it on such a champion was great.

"At the moment I'm still pretty healthy, I'm looking after myself. I don't ride day in day out, I just ride for my stables and that could prolong my career because the more you ride, the more risks you take and the more injuries you pick up.

"I'm going to carry on as long as I can, but I can't put a number on it.

"This is my 30th year of riding, I've ridden in 15,000 races so I've seen every scenario, experience counts for a lot."

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