Horses To Follow » Urban Poet

Urban Poet

Urban Poet ran an eye-catching race to finish second behind the highly talented pair Harbinger and Firebet in the Gordon Stakes on the opening day of Glorious Goodwood last Tuesday. Greg Fairley succeeded in getting Urban Poet to the front in the early stages of the race, but he set no more than a very sedate tempo, some of the horses, notably Tactic and Montaff, were pulling for their heads after they had gone four furlongs, with the result that he surrendered the lead to Big Bound as they passed the trees about seven furlongs out. Even after that, however, the pace did not pick up noticeably with the result that the field stacked up and the race developed into a five-furlong sprint. From being ideally positioned for such an eventuality at the head of affairs, Urban Poet was suddenly in behind runners among horses. Harbinger came through nicely to take it up at the two-furlong pole and Firebet followed him through, as Fairley endeavoured to extricate Urban Poet from the pocket under pressure. Once he moved to the outside to find clear running room, he stayed on really well to close on Firebet for the runner-up spot all the way to the line, finishing just a neck behind him and two lengths behind the winner Harbinger.
This was still a huge performance from Urban Poet on just his second ever start. A $2.9 million yearling, he arrived at Hamilton in the middle of July with a reputation that goes along with such a price tag, and duly won by nine lengths, although he was easy enough to back on the day. It was significant that Mark Johnston was happy to pitch him into teh Gordon Stakes on just his second ever start, and he reportedly wasn’t best pleased with the ride that Fairley gave him. You are used to seeing the Johnston horses out in front, dictating, but usually dictating at a decent gallop. Johnston horses are rarely lacking in resolution. The plan beforehand was obviously to set a quicker tempo, and that would undoubtedly have suited Urban Poet better, given how well he stayed on from an unpromising position after he had been passed. His pedigree doesn’t scream stamina, but he is by Dynaformer, sire of 2007 St Leger winner Lucarno, and he raced here like he needs a truly-run mile and a half to be at his best, and like he might be even better over further. He is not entered in the St Leger, but if he were to be supplemented, he would be a leading player in it. An entry in the Champion Stakes gives an indication of the esteem in which he is held, and he should be worth following wherever he goes next.

27th July 2009

© The Irish Field, 8th August 2009