Poet’s Word to miss Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown

Sun 26 Aug 2018

Watch our analysis of the Juddmonte International Stakes.

Sir Michael Stoute has confirmed Poet’s Word will miss the Irish Champion Stakes after his unlucky run in the Juddmonte International at York.

The King George winner was stopped in his tracks at a crucial stage of the 10-furlong Group One, but stayed on strongly to take second place behind Roaring Lion.

Owned by Saeed Suhail, the five-year-old Poet’s Word has enjoyed a fine 2018, finishing second in the Dubai Sheema Classic in March before winning the Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown and the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot on his way to the King George.

“He knew he had a race. He had two races. He had to stop and then go again,” said Stoute. “He definitely won’t go to Leopardstown.”

Poet's Word was second in the Irish Champion Stakes last year.

Roaring Lion, winner of the Juddmonte International, is heading for the Leopardstown feature and another horse who will be in action at Irish Champions Weekend will be Havana Grey after his fine effort in the Coolmore Nunthorpe at York on Friday.

Karl Burke’s three-year-old was beaten three lengths into fifth place on the Knavesmire, despite racing on his own on the far side of the track at the business end of the race.

Burke was pleased to see his charge bounce back from what he felt was a below-par performance when sixth in the King George Stakes at Goodwood, and his likely next port of call is the Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh on September 16.

Havana Grey won the Sapphire Stakes over the same course and distance in July.

Burke said: “He ran a great race (at York). We felt the Goodwood race wasn’t his true running – we felt he ran two or three lengths below his best that day – and I think he proved that at York.

“Whether we were disadvantaged by the draw or not, I’m not sure. He is a horse who can run on his own, but then again when there’s one chasing him down, he does go again. We’ll never know.

“He still hasn’t been beaten by another three-year-old this season, so there’s a lot to look forward to. We’ll probably take him to the Flying Five, where he’ll meet the same horses.”

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