GBI RACING

Cracksman takes aim at Champion Stakes at Ascot

Cracksman

Cracksman will face nine rivals in the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.

Connections of the John Gosden-trained colt decided against a clash with stablemate Enable in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and he instead drops to a mile and a quarter on Champions Day.

Sir Michael Stoute has not declared Coral-Eclipse and Juddmonte International hero Ulysses, who was last seen finishing third in the Arc.

In his absence, Stoute relies upon Irish Champion Stakes runner-up Poet's Word.

Barney Roy,trained by Richard Hannon for Godolphin, was runner-up to Churchill in the 2000 Guineas before gaining his revenge in the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The Excelebration colt has since been beaten by Ulysses in the Eclipse and the Juddmonte International, but nevertheless holds strong claims.

Aidan O'Brien has whittled his team down to two, with six-times Group One winner Highland Reel joined by stable companion Cliffs Of Moher.

French challengers Brametot and Recoletos, Ken Condon's stable star Success Days, David Simcock's Desert Encounter and Gosden-trained outsider Maverick Wave complete the line-up.

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