Poet’s in fine voice for Goodwood

Saeed bin Suroor reports Poet’s Voice to be back to his best as he bids for a repeat of last year’s win in today’s Betfair Celebration Mile at Goodwood.

The four-year-old was an impressive winner of the Group 2 heat 12 months ago, accounting for Main Aim by four-and-a-half lengths without really hitting top gear. He went on to lift the Group 1 QEII Stakes at Ascot, but disappointed when upped to ten furlongs in the Champion Stakes. Godolphin then went after Dubai World Cup glory with the son of Dubawi but following a good run when second to Wigmore Hall over nine furlongs at Meydan, Poet’s Voice again failed to sparkle over a mile and a quarter in the big one.

Given a break following that defeat, he returns from a 154-day lay-off on the Sussex Downs, and Bin Suroor believes his charge is back on song. “He’s definitely in better form than he was at the start of the year,” he said. “Frankie [Dettori] rode him one week ago on the Private Gallop and he worked very well and he had a blow out yesterday. He’s ready – physically he’s in the same shape he was before.

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“He shows plenty of speed but he could go further than the mile. We tried him in the World Cup but he didn’t handle the Tapeta surface. I think he’s back to his best and mentally he’s doing really well. He’s happy, he’s been working really well and it will be good for his confidence if he can win tomorrow.”

Poet’s Voice will be joined in the line-up by stablemate Emerald Commander, who was last seen finishing seventh in the Sovereign Stakes at Salisbury earlier this month. “Emerald Commander is a nice horse and he will make sure there is a nice pace as he likes to be in front,” added Bin Suroor.

Clive Cox saddles Beacon Lodge and is delighted to see easy conditions at Goodwood. The six-year-old has only been out of the first three once in six starts this term and finished second behind Excelebration in the Hungerford Stakes last time. “He runs consistently well at this kind of level this season and he will really appreciate the softer conditions at Goodwood,” said Cox.

Dubawi Gold chased home Frankel in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket before coming close to victory when second in the Irish equivalent. He failed to shine in the Hungerford, but trainer Richard Hannon is certainly not writing him off.

“Dubawi Gold is the only three-year-old in the field, but the Classic generation came out on top the last three years and he goes there with a decent chance,” he said.

Meanwhile, Henry Candy reports Dinkum Diamond to be riding high ahead of today’s totepool Beverley Bullet Sprint Stakes at the East Yorkshire venue. The three-year-old looked to be a potential star after winning his first two starts last year, including the Listed National Stakes at Sandown, but he failed to get his head in front again until winning a conditions event at Newmarket last month.

Dinkum Diamond had run some fair races in defeat, though, most notably when a narrow second in the Flying Childers last September and when runner-up to subsequent Nunthorpe winner Margot Did in June. “He’s in very good order and is full of confidence after his run at Newmarket,” said Candy. “Hopefully it will be genuinely good ground and not too quick.”

Tomorrow, Kevin Prendergast believes La Collina has a good chance of taking her revenge on Maybe in the Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh.

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La Collina has a neck and 6lb to find on Maybe from their run in the Group 4 Silver Flash Stakes at Leopardstown in July. However, Prendergast is optimistic of turning around the form.

Not only is La Collina younger and had less racecourse experience when they met for the first time, but she has notched a Group 1 success. That came in the six-furlong Phoenix Stakes on this course three weeks ago at the main expense of the previously unbeaten colt Power. “She’s very well. The last time she met Maybe that filly had been to Ascot and had plenty of experience,” said Prendergast. “We think she has a fighting chance.”

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