Cracksman is being given time to recover from his shock defeat in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes as connections try to dissect his display at Royal Ascot.
The champion middle-distance performer, trained by John Gosden, had just scraped home in the Coronation Cup at Epsom after making an impressive start to the campaign in the Prix Ganay at ParisLongchamp.
He was sent off the 2-5 favourite at the Royal meeting and was expected to return to his best.
However, Cracksman never appeared comfortable during the 10-furlong Group One contest, with Frankie Dettori having to roust him along at times, even in the early stages.
The fact he hit the front at one stage in the straight was testament to his ability, but he was brushed aside by Poet’s Word and eventually beaten two and a quarter lengths.
Nevertheless, Cracksman was eight lengths clear of Hawkbill in third place and the time of the race was pretty fast.
Owner-breeder Anthony Oppenheimer believes the Frankel colt had mitigating circumstances for his surprise reverse and also that his performance was better than thought immediately after the race.
“It’s very complicated sometimes, because the time was quite fast. We’re not quite sure,” said Oppenheimer.
“If you talk to the sectional-timing people, the first two were very fast.
“He got unsettled by three fillies that had just finished the previous race next door to him and it didn’t help him much.
“I’ll just have to see what Mr Gosden feels.”
Cracksman holds entries in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown on July 7, the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on July 28 and the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on September 15.
Oppenheimer added: “We have absolutely no future plans until we are confident he’s up to his top ability.
“He is very well and in about two weeks’ time we’ll have a pretty good idea.”