It may have taken slightly longer than expected but the mighty Frankel finally sired his first Gr1 winner in Europe when the prodigiously talented Cracksman bounded to a stunning win in the Champion Stakes (10 furlongs) at Ascot on Saturday. Fittingly, Cracksman's awesome victory came on the same day and in the same race that Frankel signed off his unbeaten 14-race career to give him an overdue maiden top-flight win in Britain. Striking the lead just over two furlongs from home, the John Gosden-trained Cracksman turned in a performance reminiscent of his illustrious father surging to a powerful 7 length win over Poet's Word and Highland Reel in the £1.3 million showpiece. Gosden commented: "It's great for Frankel to have a son win the race he won and to be his first Group 1 winner in Europe," he told Racing Post. "Cracksman seems to have got bigger and stronger, like a fighter weighing more now. He started as a middleweight, he's now a light heavyweight. He's definitely improved a lot…he won it in true style." Cracksman (Frankel-Rhadegunda, by Pivotal), who races in the same colours as owner Anthony Oppenheimer's champion galloper Golden Horn, advanced his record to 5 wins (including the Gr2 Great Voltigeur Stakes & Gr2 Prix Niel) and 2 placings (the Gr1 English Derby & Gr1 Irish Derby) from 7 starts for 1,364,782 in earnings. He is now 6-1 second favourite behind superstar filly Enable (3-1) for next year's Gr1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.
At Leopardstown in Ireland, former Coolmore shuttler and triple Gr1-winning champion European sire Galileo (Sadler's Wells-Urban Sea, by Miswaki) celebrated an elite race success when 5YO UK-bred entire Decorated Knight (Galileo-Pearling, by Storm Cat) swooped late to score by 0.5 length in the €700,000 Gr1 Irish Champion Stakes (10 furlongs) for 3YO+, defeating Poet's Word & the Sir Peter Vela-owned Eminent. This was the third top-flight victory for Decorated Knight who improved his record to 8 wins (including the Gr1 Tattersalls Gold Cup & Gr1 Jebel Hatta Stakes) and 5 placings (including the Gr1 Prince Of Wales's Stakes) from 18 starts for £1,374,986 in earnings. Trainer Roger Charlton was surprised by the win. "I can't believe it. I didn't come here thinking we were going to win a race like that," he told Racing Post. "We rode for luck. We dropped in and felt they'd go very quick, and his finish down the outside was amazing, absolutely amazing." He added: "He is a mile-and-a-quarter horse so the Champion Stakes [Gr1] at Ascot would have to be on the agenda."