- Sire-Dam -
“A typical Sir Michael Stoute-trained improver”. A familiar phrase, and one certainly applicable to the trainer’s Poet’s Word.
Brought along steadily at two and three (two wins from six starts), he began the 2017 campaign as a four-year-old running in a handicap at Chelmsford, albeit off a lofty mark of 104, and ended it finishing runner-up to Cracksman in the QIPCO Champions Stakes at Ascot, having been touched off in the QIPCO Champions Stakes at Leopardstown on his penultimate start.
Before that, the Saeed Suhail-owned colt had won the Betfred Glorious Stakes at Goodwood
He began 2018 by travelling to Dubai and beating all bar Hawkbill in the Longines Dubai Sheema Classic. Runner-up in three Group 1 races, it seemed he might be destined to keep coming up short at the highest level.
But then came his next start at Royal Ascot when, better than ever, he took the scalp of Cracksman in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes. There was much attention on the lazy way Cracksman raced but Poet’s Word put him in place by more than two lengths, with another old foe, Hawkbill, ten lengths back in third.
“Poet’s Word is a very consistent, brave, sound horse,” Stoute said.
James Doyle, who partnered him, added: “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.”
Even better was to follow in the QIPCO-sponsored King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes back at Ascot the following month.
Crystal Ocean, his stablemate, was marginally preferred to him in the betting and the pair dominated a thrilling finish – Poet’s Word collaring him inside the final furlong and prevailing by a neck to give his trainer a record sixth win in the race.
Doyle said: “He’s a star, there were questions over his best trip, what’s his best trip now? Winning the King George over a mile and a half – he’s so versatile.
“I left him a bit of a task, they went quick and I didn’t want to start chasing a position. It looks great, but if I’d been beaten a neck I’d have been really frustrated.”
Doyle was left frustrated next time, when Poet’s Word finished runner-up in the Juddmonte International after meeting trouble in running.He would have finished closer had he not met trouble but Roaring Lion, who won by three and a quarter lengths, was the best horse on the day.
It was still a fine effort by Poet’s Word, who had five other Group 1 winners behind him.
Unfortunately, on September 18 it was announced he had met with a setback and will not run again this season.
BCS Career statistics
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