Horses To Follow » Poet


Poet ran out an impressive winner, back on his favoured soft ground, of the Group 3 10-furlong Rose of Lancaster Stakes at Haydock on Saturday. The Clive Cox-trained horse tracked the pace set by Las Fazzani, which was a fairly genuine one with Kevin Ryan’s filly going off quite hard from the start. Poet moved up to take it up quite early in the straight, and he looked to be going easily, but the patiently-ridden Class Is Class came with a dangerous-looking run from just inside the two-furlong pole. Ryan Moore’s mount looked to have the momentum, but Poet responded well for Adam Kirby, and he simply outstayed his challenger on the soft ground, appearing to win with plenty in hand in the end.

This was the first time that Poet encountered easy ground since he joined Clive Cox, he was always thought to be an easy ground horse when he was with Aidan O’Brien, all his highest Racing Post Ratings came when he encountered soft ground, including when he won the Irish Cambridgeshire and when he was an impressive winner of the Group 3 Kilternan Stakes at Leopardstown in 2009. This Group 3 race looked wide-open beforehand, you could have made a case for all of the eight runners and only 10lb separated them on official ratings, but Poet won it well, clearly appreciating the return to soft ground.

The son of Pivotal indicated a possible return to form when finishing fourth behind Red Badge at Newbury before this and he now looks interesting again. There should be plenty more opportunities for him on soft in the autumn, and he wouldn’t be without a chance in the Irish Champion Stakes on 4th September – run over the Kilternan Stakes course and distance – if the ground came up soft.

7th August 2010