Poet’s Word suffers injury setback and will miss rest of year

By Andy Stephens@StevoGG
Wed 19 Sep 2018

Watch analysis of Poet's Word's Group One victories this year and read why, on the heels of Alpha Centauri and Saxon Warrior being retired, he too has almost certainly run his final race.

Poet’s Word just got the better of Crystal Ocean in the King George
Poet’s Word just got the better of Crystal Ocean in the King George

Racing fans were dealt another significant blow on Tuesday when it was revealed that Poet’s Word has almost certainly run his final race after meeting with a setback.

News that the winner of this year’s Prince of Wales’s Stakes and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes is on the sidelines comes less than 48 hours after the retirements of Alpha Centauri and Saxon Warrior because of injuries.

It is unclear of the nature of Poet’s Words problem but it means possible targets of the Arc, Champions Day and Breeders’ Cup are now off his agenda.

Sir Michael Stoute, his trainer, said in a statement issued to Press Association Sport: “Poet’s Word has sustained an injury and will not be able to race again this year.

“His owner, Saeed Suhail, will soon be coming to England and will make a decision on his future.”

It seems fanciful to think that Poet’s Word, who has competed around the world on his way to accumulating 17 runs, will be back in training as a six-year-old.

He will not be short of suitors as a stallion after coming of age this year - brushing aside Cracksman at Royal Ascot before getting the better of Crystal Ocean, his stablemate, in one of the races of the year in the King George.

On what will almost certainly be his final appearance, Poet’s Word chased home Roaring Lion in the Juddmonte International at York after meeting trouble in running. He was also runner-up in three other Group One races and has earned his connections almost £3 million in prize money.

James Doyle guided Poet’s Word to his big wins at Ascot this summer and said after the Prince of Wales’s Stakes: “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.”

Poet’s Word topped that performance in the King George, prevailing by a neck in a pulsating contest which gave Stoute a record sixth win in the race.

“He’s a star, there were questions over his best trip, what’s his best trip now?,” Doyle said. “He’s an absolute warrior.”

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