Timeform 147-rated superstar Frankel (by Galileo) has been bred to some of the cream of the world's elite broodmares and, with such support, anything less than a plethora of stakes and pattern winners from the resulting offspring would be disappointing.
As of today, his tally stands at a dozen pattern winners plus one Group 2-placed listed scorer and a string of blacktype-placed representatives from his first crop, and a Group 2 winner from his second.
He is awaiting his first European Group 1 winner – to add to his champion and classic heroine Soul Stirring, in Japan – but with the manner in which Cracksman won the Group 2 Betway Great Voltigeur Stakes at York this afternoon, there is every reason to hope that this John Gosden-trained three-year-old could be one to make the breakthrough.
His six-length defeat of Venice Beach was impressive, there was a further six lengths back to Mirage Dancer – who is also by Frankel – and the talented Douglas Macarthur was another half-length behind in fourth.
This year's Group 1 Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe or Group 1 Qipco Champion Stakes, and perhaps next year's Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes were mentioned, by trainer John Gosden, as potential future targets for the colt, and it looks like Anthony Oppenheimer's Hascombe and Valiant Studs have bred another top-class racehorse.
He won a mile maiden at Newmarket in mid-October, his only start at two, and the benefit of hindsight makes his short-head victory in the Investec Derby Trial, over 10 furlongs at Epsom in late April, look so much better than it did on the day as the colt he pipped was the tragically ill-fated subsequent Group 1-placed dual Group 2 ace Permian.
The latter's talent had started to become apparent before Cracksman returned to the venue on the first Saturday in June and so, despite having just those two races under his belt, the grandson of Galileo (by Sadler's Wells) was sent off favourite for the Group 1 Investec Derby.
His inexperience showed but he still ran an excellent race, finishing third to Wings Of Eagles and Cliffs Of Moher – beaten by a length and a neck – and with the Frankel colt Eminent another three-parts of a length back in fourth.
A month later, he went to the Curragh for the Group 1 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby where, having come wide and late, he looked like an unlucky loser, crossing the line a short-head in front of Wings Of Eagles but failing by a neck to catch Capri. The Andre Fabre-trained Waldgeist was a length and a half back in fourth, with another two and a quarter back to fifth-placed Douglas Macarthur.
Cracksman is a half-brother to the Group 3 Solario Stakes winner Fantastic Moon (by Dalakhani) and he is the fourth foal out of Rhadegunda (by Pivotal), a triple winner whose tally includes the Listed Prix Solitude over nine furlongs on heavy ground at Fontainebleau, the final start in a nine-race career for the John Gosden-trained bay.
Her half-brother Halla San (by Halling) earned his blacktype with third-place finishes in 14-furlong listed contests at Nottingham and York, he was beaten by just a head when runner-up in the two-mile Northumberland Plate, and went on to some success over hurdles.
His stamina stands out in contrast to the aptitude of his sister, to his dam's Listed Sirenia Stakes-winning half-brother Art Of War (by Machiavellian), and to the classic speed of his grandam, On The House (by Be My Guest), the Group 1 1000 Guineas and Group 1 Sussex Stakes heroine of 1982.
That Timeform 125-rated star is also the grandam of Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes winner Leo (by Pivotal) and of dual Italian listed scorer Balkenhol (by Polar Falcon), and she is the third dam of Irish Field (by Dubawi), who won the Group 2 Prix Robert Papin and was runner-up in the Group 3 Prix du Bois.
In terms of optimal distance, Cracksman could have gone either way – miler or middle-distance horse. These first three generations are mostly about talent at up to nine furlongs, with Halla San an exception. That gelding, however, is by a stallion often noted for getting horses who excel from 12 furlongs to two miles, and so one could argue that this was the source of his stamina.
Frankel was bred to stay a mile and a half – something his triple Group 1-winning full-brother Noble Mission did – and so, with the right mares, it was always going to happen that some of his offspring would also be suited to that trip, and maybe a bit farther.
Should Cracksman succeed at the highest level over middle-distances, then he will not be the first member of his extended family to achieve the feat. That's because his fourth dam is Lora (by Lorenzaccio), the unraced grandam of Nuryana (by Nureyev) and Littlewick (by Green Desert).
The latter is the dam of the Chilean-bred Grade 1 Premio St Leger heroine Fontanella Borghese (by Roy), but in addition to being the stakes-winning dam of Group 1 Coronation Stakes winner Rebecca Sharp (by Machiavellian), Nuryana is a half-sister to 11 and a half-furlong Group 3 scorer and Derby sixth Mystic Knight (by Caerleon) and grandam of Golden Horn (by Cape Cross).
That Oppenheimer-bred, Timeform 134-rated champion won the Group 1 Derby, Group 1 Coral-Eclipse, Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes, and Group 1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in 2015, he stands at Dalham Hall Stud, and his first foals arrived this year.
His relationship to Crackman is remote, as are that of Nuryana, Fontanella Borghese, New Zealand-bred dual Group 1 mile star Obsession (by Bachelor Duke; grandam a half-sister to Nuryana), and Australian Group 1 scorers Kidnapped (by Viscount) and Hauraki (by Reset; their grandam is another half-sister to Nuryana).
But if Cracksman lives up to the potential that he showed at York today then he could take high rank among the very best horses that his immediate and broad family have produced, before going on to what could be a notably successful career at stud.