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2017 Epsom Derby news - Gosden confident Cracksman will be ready for Epsom after Dante withdrawal

Jonathan Vine in Latest News 18 May 2017
After torrential rain on Wednesday, John Gosden withdrew Cracksman from the Dante Stakes at York.

John Gosden takes a sly dig at flat racing’s authorities over Easter scheduling before withdrawing Cracksman from the Dante.

Weather conditions up in Yorkshire have been playing havoc with the track during York’s Dante Meeting. The rain sodden spectors on Wednesday were treated to some good quality racing, but sadly, underfoot conditions caused several big names to be withdrawn from the proceedings.

One of those to brave the going concerns was John Gosden’s Shutter Speed, who put in a solid display to claim the Musidora Stake title. After the race, Gosden lamented the conditions and the way BHA have rescheduled racing around this time of year to coincide with an unusually late Easter.

“It’s tight (the schedule),” Gosden said to ITV Racing after Shutter Speed’s win. “Because Easter was late this year, our racing has been shoved a week later but the Derby is still on the first Saturday in June (3rd).”

Gosden’s Frankel progeny, Cracksman is the leading British contender in the current entries for this year’s Epsom Derby and was the firm favourite to with the Dante Stakes at York. The Dante has long been considered a key trial for the Derby. However, thanks the much-criticised Easter reshuffle, horses have a week’s less time to recover between prospective appearances in both races.

Thanks mainly to the soft ground at York and the small amount of recovery time between what would be a very hard slog on soft ground and the main event of the season, Gosden advised Crackman’s owner, Anthony Oppenheimer to withdraw his Derby contender from the Dante. Which he subsequently did.

"I was advised by Mr Gosden that the back end of the course was very heavy and that we really couldn't run in the interests of the horse.” Oppenheimer told the press when he announced Cracksman’s withdrawal from the Dante. 

"It's sad, as he'd been going really well beforehand.” Oppenheimer went on to say. “He won't run again (before the Derby) and could maybe do a gallop somewhere, possibly Epsom. He (Gosden) did mention that, so that could be an option."

Gosden rebuffed fears that not racing for nine weeks would hinder his charges chances in the Derby. He assured viewers that Cracksman - who is currently a 7/1 shot to win the Derby with Ladbrokes - is currently in excellent form and will be 100% ready when Derby day comes around in just over two weeks’ time.

‘Since he ran at Epsom, he is very logged on. He knows what he is doing. Frankly, I wish the Derby was tomorrow.’





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2017 Epsom Derby news - Gosden confident Cracksman will be ready for Epsom after Dante withdrawal

John Gosden takes a sly dig at flat racing’s authorities over Easter scheduling before withdrawing Cracksman from the Dante.

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