Horses To Follow » Poet


The Ballydoyle colt Poet continued his progression with a fine performance, probably his best yet, to win the Group 3 Kilternan Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday. Sent to the front from flagfall by Johnny Murtagh, he did have it all his own way up front, but he took his field along at a fair pace down the back straight nevertheless. Murtagh began to squeeze along on exiting the back straight as Fiery Lad and Allied Powers travelled well in behind him, but before they reached the three-furlong pole, both of those rivals, as well as the other four, had come under pressure, and none of them were making any inroads into Poet’s lead. The son of Pivotal railed like a greyhound into the home straight and had a four-length break on second-placed Shreyas passing the two-furlong pole, at which point it was obvious that he wasn’t going to be caught. Allied Powers did stay on well, but Poet’s injection of pace four furlongs out had spreadeagled the field and had left Allied Powers with too much ground to make up. The Michael Bell horse simply had no answer to that surge.

This was Poet’s third win on the bounce, coming just a week after his victory in the Irish Cambridgeshire under top weight of 10st, with Sean Levey taking 5lb off. He went clear a furlong out that day as well and battled on really well under his welter burden through the soft ground. Although he got home by just a neck, it never looked likely that he would be caught from the time that he went for home two furlongs out. The form of that race was given a nice boost on Thursday when fourth-placed Choose Me went and won a listed race at Tipperary. Poet remains highly progressive now, and he should be worth following through the autumn. As a son of Pivotal, it is not surprising that he handles this testing ground well. His dam, a Shirley Heights mare, was a miler but is a half-sister to top 10-furlong performer Starcraft, so 10 furlongs could be Poet’s optimum – he certainly stayed the distance well on Saturday – but he is also effective over a mile, as long as there is cut in the ground. He is in the Solonoway Stakes at The Curragh on Sunday, and he would be worth a second look in that as long as the ground is soft. Looking further ahead, his entry in the Champion Stakes at Newmarket in October may not be a total waste of money. The ground often comes up soft for that, and Poet wouldn’t have to improve out of all recognition to be deserving of his place in the line up.

5th September 2009