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Cracksman heads Dettori’s Ascot rides

Frankie Dettori has no qualms about Cracksman dropping back in distance in the Champion Stakes at Ascot as he looks forward to a stellar book of rides at Ascot.

On the back of another memorable season, lit up by the brilliant Enable, Dettori will return to the scene of his ‘Magnificent Seven’ and will be disappointed if he leaves empty handed on Saturday.

In 1996 Dettori rode all seven winners on the program.

Journey will bid to defend her title in the Fillies & Mares race, Persuasive takes on the males in the Queen Elizabeth II and Stradivarius tackles Order Of St George in the Long Distance Cup.

But Dettori is most looking forward to Cracksman.

After plenty of discussion about whether he would run in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe against stablemate Enable, the colt drops down to 10 furlongs (2000m) for the first time since he beat Dante winner Permian in April.

“I think he’ll be fine over 10 furlongs. He’s getting stronger and if the rain comes it will help him and disadvantage some of the others like Highland Reel and Ulysses,” Dettori said.

“It will make it more of a test of stamina, so I’m praying the rain comes.

“We’re going there with lots of confidence and hoping for the best.”

While Cracksman would be suited by the forecast rain, St Leger third Stradivarius would not.

“Out of all my rides he’s the one who doesn’t want rain and I think there is a lot of rain forecast Friday night,” Dettori told Racing UK.

Journey was second at the meeting two years ago before going one better last season and heads there in top form again.

“She’s tough and she loves the track,” Dettori said.

Persuasive appears to face a tough task in the QEII, but with no fillies’ alternative at this time of year, connections have nothing to lose.

“She likes the rain, but it’s a tough race, obviously, against Ribchester and Churchill, Al Wukair and the rest,” Dettori said.

“She’s a very honest filly and the rain would help, if she can get in the first three that would be a massive run.”

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