Poet’s Word creates Royal Ascot history for Dubai businessman Saeed Suhail
Victory in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes makes Suhail the most successful trainer in the meeting's history
Poet’s Word provided Dubai businessman Saeed Suhail a Group 1 winner on Day 2 at Royal Ascot when the Michael Stoute-trained horse won the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes on Wednesday.
Poet’s Word, under Godolphin jockey James Doyle, defeated the red-hot favourite Cracksman with Frankie Dettori atop to win the 2,000-metre contest by two-and-a-quarter lengths.
The victory also put Stoute out on his own as the most successful trainer in Royal Ascot history with 76 winners, one more than the late Henry Cecil.
“It's a relief because we were stuck on it last year,” Stoute said in the postrace television interview on his record breaking victory. “But as I've said, Henry did most of his training when it was a four-day meeting so I've had an advantage. Nobody respected him greater than I did as a trainer.”
Doyle and Poet’s Word took up the running on the home stretch even as Cracksman came up with his challenge, but Stoute’s charge pulled away to win convincingly.
“Cracksman beat us a long way last time and maybe Cracksman isn't at his very best now,” Stoute added. “But we've beaten the others a long way and he is a very consistent, brave and sound horse.
“He ran very well in Dubai and Sandown, where it was nice to see him winning again. He wasn't impressive, he was workman like. It's a tough race ... it should be.”
Godolphin’s Hawkbill under William Buick finished third ahead of the Aidan O’Brien-trained Cliffs Of Moher.
Cracksman came into the race on the back of winning five successive races but couldn’t replicate that form on the day.
“He's not the same horse I was riding earlier in the spring,” Dettori said of the Frankel colt. “He was very lethargic and never travelling at any stage. I gave him every chance but usually, when he turns for home the turbo kicks in.
“Today he was very one-paced and that's definitely not his running. I had a good spot but he's not the Cracksman I know.”
Godolphin do not have an entry in the Group 1 Gold Cup on Thursday but Wild Illusion starts favourite in the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes for fillies and mares.
Wild Illusion returns after placing second in the Oaks behind Forever Together at Epsom on June 1.
“She’s in great order. She looks fantastic and she’s training well,” handler Charlie Appleby told the Godolphin website.
“It wasn’t a difficult decision to back her up quickly after Epsom. She’s come out of the race well, and if she can repeat her Oaks performance she will be very hard to beat in the Ribblesdale.”
Appleby is double handed in the Group 3 Hampton Court Stakes, with Key Victory and Nordic Lights racing 35 minutes earlier.
Saeed bin Suroor, Godolphin’s senior trainer, sends out National Army in the same race.
Updated: June 20, 2018 08:48 PM