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Poet’s Word breaks down Cracksman to seal record breaking Royal Ascot win for Sir Michael Stoute

Jonathan Vine 23 Jun 2018
James Doyle riding Poets Word wins The Prince of Waless Stakes.

We bring you the latest news and betting developments after a record-breaking day at Royal Ascot for Sir Michael Stoute on Wednesday 20th June.

There was a non-racing related gamble during the build-up to day two at Royal Ascot and the Queen duly obliged, rewarding punters by wearing a beautiful outfit of powder blue. Her Majesty and the rest of the royal family aside, Frankie Dettori was the most-pictured figure at Ascot on Tuesday and he began the day with a ride on favourite, Chelsea Cloisters in the Queen Mary Stakes.

Wesley Ward’s filly was very weak in the betting during the course of the morning and she made an inauspicious start, with Frankie’s mount dragging herself out of the stalls. That proved to be her downfall, with the favourite barely featuring as Signora Cabello claimed a surprise Group Two victory for Oisin Murphy and John Quinn.

Despite a terrible start to the day, the Frankie factor kicked in before the Queen’s Vase, with Stream Of Stars leapfrogging a trio of Ballydoyle runners at the top of the market. In the end, the numbers game paid off for Aidan O’Brien, as Kew Gardens stormed to victory ahead of the pacesetting Nelson and fast-finishing stable, Southern France to get Aidan O’Brien off the mark with a 1-2-3.

O’Brien claimed after the race that the Irish Derby is still an option for Kew Gardens, but the St Leger will be his primary end-of-season target. Paddy Power went as short as 5/1 on Kew Gardens winning the final Classic of the season, with Southern France earning fresh quotes of 12/1.

No horse had managed to carry a Group One penalty to victory in the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes, but Matron Stakes winner Hydrangea was fancied to buck that trend. Sadly, the extra five pounds on the favourite’s back took its toll by the two-furlong pole and it was Aljazzi – second to Qemah carrying odds of 40/1 12 months ago – who powered to a tremendous Group Two victory, a first Royal winner for Italian trainer, Marco Botti.

Sir Michael Stoute (right) and Ryan Moore (jockey) discuss plans with the Queen at a previous meeting.


The stage was then set for Cracksman to strut his stuff in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes, with bookmakers on course opening with John Gosden’s charge the overwhelming 1/2 favourite. The son of Frankel looked calm before the off, a little too sedate for Frankie’s liking and Dettori had to give the favourite a couple of pre-race whip cracks to get his mind on the job.

In truth, the writing was on the wall a long way out. Frankie niggled away at Cracksman for much of the trip. The duo hit the front turning for home but they were never really travelling. Poet’s Word kept tabs with Cracksman from the off, passing the one-paced leader with apparent ease and cruising home to hand Sir Michael Stoute a record-breaking victory.

Stoute had been sitting alongside the great Sir Henry Cecil’s on 75 winners since Dartmouth won the Hardwicke Stakes in 2016. Perhaps the most surprising of his victories, Stoute will cherish his 76th winner at Royal Ascot more than any other and he claimed he “wouldn’t care” if Poet’s Word didn’t win another race.

A memorable day for Sir Michael Stoute ended on a high-note, with Aussie jockey James McDonald guiding Expert Eye to a welcome victory in the Jersey Stakes at the end of the day. That was Expert Eye’s first win since that staggering victory in the Vintage Stakes and he could lock horns with St James’s Palace Stakes victory, Without Parole later in the season.

Frankie Dettori couldn’t find any excuses for Cracksman’s lacklustre display, with John Gosden stating his horse might have got “a little too lazy to keep his mind on the job”. The King George remains the most prominent target for Cracksman, with the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe the long-term aim and his price in both races plummeted. William Hill pushed Cracksman out from 6/4 to 4/1 to win the King George here at Ascot next month, while offering 7/1 on John Gosden’s colt winning the Arc at Longchamp in October.

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Poet’s Word breaks down Cracksman to seal record breaking Royal Ascot win for Sir Michael Stoute

We bring you the latest news and betting developments after a record-breaking day at Royal Ascot for Sir Michael Stoute on Wednesday 20th June.

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