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Poet’s Word and Crystal Ocean clipped in Arc betting after thrilling finish to King George

James Doyle cracks a smile after winning onboard Poet's Word.

We bring you the latest betting developments after Poet’s Word beats Crystal Ocean to the King George crown at Ascot on Saturday 28th July.

Despite Sir Michael Stoute holding two of the top three in the ante-post betting, all eyes were on John Gosden as he walked the course at Ascot. Gosden had been hoping the forecast thunderstorms would arrive early enough to enable Cracksman to run. Sadly, after walking the track, he decided the ground was too quick for his three-time Group One winner to take part.

Cracksman’s withdrawal left Crystal Ocean and Poet’s Word battling for favouritism and it took the bookmaker’s a long time to finally split them. As the gates at Ascot burst open, Crystal Ocean had edged ahead of his stablemate at the top of the betting, with each-way money coming late on for Coronet and the only three-year-old in the field, Rostropovich.

Rank outsider, Desert Encounter was the slowest away, leaving Salouen and Rostropovich to set the early pace. William Buick positioned Crystal Ocean near the inside rail in third, with James Doyle and Poet’s Word biding their time two from the back of the pack. At the five furlong pole, Buick decided to take closer order and, coming out of the turn for him, Crystal Ocean was angled out to go and win the King George.

The Hardwicke Stakes winner soon established a lead and was three clear of the pacemakers in the blink of an eye. James Doyle was forced to come from a little further back than he would have liked, but the five-year-old responded to his rider’s urging and set off in pursuit of his stablemate.

Poet’s Word began to eat into Crystal Ocean’s lead, closing with every step inside the final two furlongs. With Doyle and Buick shoulder to shoulder heading inside the final 200 yards, it was Poet’s Word who finished best and claimed his second Group One on the bounce.

Sir Michael Stoute, record breaker at Royal Ascot, paid tribute to both horses following the race and acknowledged the crowd as he lifted the King George trophy for the sixth time. Poet’s Word, rightly, drew all the plaudits, but Crystal Ocean lost nothing in defeat and both were immediately backed for some serious autumn objectives.

Roaring Lion was the favourite to win the Juddmonte International at York, but Poet’s Word – who won the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes over that ten furlong trip – has been leapfrogged John Gosden’s colt, with William Hill offering a fresh price of 5/2.

Crystal Ocean was also cut slightly in the betting for that Group One at York, but it’s unlikely he, or Poet’s Word, would be dropped back in trip. The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe looks the most obvious race for Sir Michael Stoute’s talented duo and William Hill handed both prices of 7/1 to win Europe’s most lucrative flat race.

Enable remains the 5/1 favourite, but she will have to prove her fitness before trying to defend her crown at Longchamp. Cracksman will now be saved for a successful autumn campaign, and he joins Crystal Ocean and Poet’s Word on 7/1 to hand John Gosden back to back Arc’s.

*Ante-Post betting markets with William Hill*

Juddmonte International Stakes (24/8/18 York)
5/2 Poet's Word, 3/1 Roaring Lion, 4/1 Saxon Warrior, 5/1 Enable, 7/1 Cracksman, Crystal Ocean, 8/1 Without Parole, 12/1 Bar

Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (7/10/18 Longchamp)
5/1 Enable, 7/1 Poet's Word, Cracksman, Crystal Ocean, 14/1 Study Of Man, 16/1 Bar

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Poet’s Word and Crystal Ocean clipped in Arc betting after thrilling finish to King George

We bring you the latest betting developments after Poet’s Word beats Crystal Ocean to the King George crown at Ascot on Saturday 28th July.

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