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Poet’s Word gets script right for Sir Michael Stoute

20 Jun 2018

Colt proves too strong for Cracksman in Prince of Wales's Stakes to give his trainer record 76th winner at Royal Ascot.

Doyle and Poet’s Word have the Royal Ascot feature in safe keeping. Picture: Racingfotos.com
Sir Michael Stoute became the winning-most trainer at Royal Ascot as Poet’s Word conquered Cracksman in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot on Wednesday.
Ridden by James Doyle, Poet’s Word stalked Cracksman in the early stages of the ten-furlong QIPCO British Champions Series contest and produced a potent turn of foot in the straight to score comfortably by two and a quarter-lengths from the runner-up, who went off 2-5 favourite but raced indolently.
Stoute, who trained his first Royal Ascot winner back in 1977 with Etienne Gerard in the Jersey Stakes, had been tied on 75 victories at the Royal Meeting with the late Sir Henry Cecil.
Discussing the achievement Stoute said: “As I said the other night, Henry did most of his training when it was a four-day meeting, so I have had an advantage. Nobody respected him greater than I did as a trainer.
“Cracksman beat Poet’s Word a long way here last time [in the QIPCO Champion Stakes]. Maybe Cracksman is not at his very best now but we have beaten the others comprehensively. Poet’s Word is a very consistent, brave, sound horse.”
Doyle said: “They went a hell of a pace all the way. I could see Cracksman even after going a furlong was under pressure to hold his pitch. I thought, ‘I am going easy,’ and from Swinley Bottom to the home turn I was travelling all over him.
“It was just a case of hanging on and in the back of my mind I knew this horse stays a mile and a half, so I still wanted to press the button early enough. He is so tough and fair play to everyone at Sir Michael’s.”
John Gosden, trainer of Cracksman, believes the Frankel four-year-old did not have his mind on the job in hand.
“He is a clever horse and to that extent, as I said earlier before the race, he was welcoming all the fillies that were walking back from the Duke Of Cambridge on the way back to the stables,” he said. “I think we need to concentrate his mind, as we know the ability is there.
“I make absolutely no excuses whatsoever. The other horse [Poet’s Word] had him covered from two out. To my mind, he is just playing around a little bit. The ability was there but I didn’t feel he was being exactly generous with it today. You did notice from a long way out that Frankie [Dettori] was having to nudge and nudge him.”
Charlie Appleby said of third-placed Hawkbill: “The Juddmonte International [at York] looks like being his forte – it’s easier to get on the lead in a race like that, rather than having to dictate it yourself as you do overseas.”