Outstanding middle-distance horse Poet’s Word pleased in his latest gallop and is on course for the £1 million G1 Juddmonte International Stakes on the opening day of York’s Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival.
Bruce Raymond, racing manager to owner Saeed Suhail, reported this morning that the Sir Michael Stoute-trained King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner had a weekend workout with a lead horse on the Al Bahathri exercise ground in Newmarket.
Raymond said: “Poet’s Word worked very well on Sunday morning. He worked on the all-weather, which he has done most of his work on. He just had a nice breeze and that was good. Michael was very happy with him and he is on schedule to run at York.”
Poet’s Word will be stepping back in trip from a mile and a half at Ascot to an extended mile and a quarter on the Knavesmire. But the 5-year-old son of Port’s Voice has already shown that won’t be a concern, winning a G1 at both distances.
Raymond confirmed: “It’s not a problem. He’s very versatile. A mile and a quarter, a mile and a half, it’s the same for him.”
Poet’s Word has been yet another beneficiary of Stoute’s masterful touch when it comes to improving a horse year on year. And he is the bookies’ favourite to give the master of Freemason Lodge a seventh victory in the Juddmonte International, which will be run next Wednesday, August 22.
Raymond added: “He would have a good favourite’s chance. I think they’ve got to beat him, rather than the other way round.”
Stoute took the prize as recently as last season, courtesy of Ulysses, with his previous stars being Notnowcato (2006), Singspiel (1997), dual winner Ezzoud (1993 and 1994) and Shardari (1986).