Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Poet's now a possible World Cup contender

Following a tremendous seasonal reappearance when only just denied by Wigmore Hall in the Group 2 Jebel Hatta at Meydan on March 3, Godolphin's high-class Poet's Voice is now under consideration for a crack at the Dubai World Cup back at the state-of-the-art racetrack on March 26, writes Elliot Slater.

The 122-rated four-year-old colt had not been seen in competitive action since finishing down the field when almost certainly 'over the top' in October's Group 1 Emirates Airlines Champion Stakes at Newmarket, a race won by Henry Cecil's Twice Over, now 7/2 ante-post favourite for the World Cup following a fine victory on the same Meydan card last week. Prior to his Newmarket flop the son of Dubawi had got the better of a sensational dual with Aidan O'Brien's Rip Van Winkle in the Group 1 QEII Stakes at Ascot in September, a race that confirmed him as one of the best milers in the business and anyone looking to bet on horse racing should take note.

In a blanket finish to the Meydan contest Saeed bin Suroor's charge came with what appeared to be a perfectly timed run under Frankie Dettori, challenging down the centre of the track and taking up the running 100 yards out, only to be nabbed by Michael Bell's Wigmore Hall in the shadow of the post, going under by a neck, with a nose back to the third-placed favourite Presvis, trained by Luca Cumani.

With plenty of improvement to come, bin Suroor has now opened up the option of running in the World Cup having initially been targeting the Dubai Duty Free. Poet's Voice has never run on the artificial Tapeta surface but his performance in the desert night suggested he would see out the extra furlong of the $10 million contest under the new underfoot conditions.

Bookmakers have introduced the Godolphin horse at around 10/1 in the ante-post market for the world's richest race.

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