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Champions Series Dark Horses: Almania

13 Mar 2019

Have Sir Michael Stoute and Saeed Suhail got another star on their hands after the retirement of Poet's Word?

Sir Michael Stoute

Stoute enjoyed great success with Poet’s Word last summer. Picture: Racingfotos.com

Sir Michael Stoute and one of his long-time owners, Saeed Suhail, enjoyed great success with Poet’s Word in the QIPCO British Champions Series last year.

The colt won the Prince of Wales’s Stakes and QIPCO-sponsored King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

He was also runner-up to Roaring Lion in the Juddmonte International Stakes but unfortunately he suffered an injury afterwards and was retired to stud.

In his absence, Stoute and Suhail will be looking for another star to fill the void.

Almania has a long way to go before being mentioned in the same breath but he has bags of potential.

A son of Australia, the Derby winner, out of Sent From Heaven, who was beaten under a length when fourth in the 2010 QIPCO 1000 Guineas, he cost 500,000gns as a yearling.

Given the stamina in his pedigree, it was slightly surprising to see him start off over 6f at Ascot in late July, although the betting (he was sent off at 6/4) suggested plenty was expected.

His backers soon knew their fate as he ran green and was pushed along before halfway, only to keep on at the finish to be beaten about three lengths.

He knew more on his next start over 7f at Sandown a month later when showing a good attitude to beat then John Gosden-trained Buffalo by half a length.

The pair drew seven lengths clear and the runner-up went one better next time.

A mile and more seems certain to suit Almania this year, and there should be plenty more to come.

For what it is worth, it took Poet’s Word three attempts to lose his maiden tag and on his next start he was unable to defy a mark of 87 in a handicap.

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