Sir Michael Stoute has last word in record King George success with Poet’s Word

Legendary trainer Michael Stoute won a record sixth King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes on Saturday with Poet’s Word on the same track where a month ago he became the most successful ever trainer at Royal Ascot. (AFP)
Updated 28 July 2018
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Sir Michael Stoute has last word in record King George success with Poet’s Word

LONDON: Legendary trainer Michael Stoute won a record sixth King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes on Saturday with Poet’s Word on the same track where a month ago he became the most successful ever trainer at Royal Ascot.
The 72-year-old Barbados-born handler — whose first winner of the race was the tragic Shergar in 1981 — was spoilt for choice as James Doyle, on Poet’s Word, battled past his other runner, the 6/4 favorite Crystal Ocean, for a superb 1-2.
“Two wonderful brave athletes,” said Stoute.
“My first reaction is sorry for the one that got beat.”
In typical humble fashion Stoute — who had said when he broke the Royal Ascot record that his great friend the late Henry Cecil had had less five-day meetings to set his original mark of 75 — swept aside the import of his new benchmark.
“It took a long time didn’t it!” he said.
Poet’s Word — who landed his owner Saeed Sulalil a winner’s cheque of just over £700,000 ($917,000, 787,000 euros) — gave Stoute his third Group One success of the season and the horse’s second successive top grade victory, having laid low Cracksman in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Cracksman had not re-opposed in the King George as trainer John Gosden withdrew him on the morning of the race judging the ground not to have softened sufficiently for his stable ace to run.
Doyle rode a blinder having allowed his mount to hang out toward the back of the seven-runner field, tracking Gosden’s lone runner Coronet whilst William Buick on Crystal Ocean was closer up behind the pacemaking duo of Salouen and Rostropovich.
Doyle, though, then swept round the outside as they hit the straight, and although he took a few seconds to move into full gear, then ate up the ground between him and his stablemate before finally getting the better of him inside the final furlong.
Buick sportingly shook his close friend Doyle’s hand as they pulled up and also handled being wrongly announced as the winning jockey when they entered the unsaddling enclosure in good heart too.
For Doyle there was unconfined joy.
“You’ll be doing well if there is a happier fellow today,” he said.
“He is so versatile, I was a little worried following Coronet and I thought I had left him a bit of a task.
“Everything though about him is really smooth.”
Smooth is not the adjective one would ascribe to the performances of the horses of another record-breaking trainer Aidan O’Brien at the moment.
His favored runner in the King George, Hydrangea — who had seemed to be free of a bug affecting O’Brien’s yard — never moved up a gear and instead went into reverse and finished last of the septet.


Finch's century helps fire Australia to eight-wicket win over Pakistan

Updated 12 min 24 sec ago
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Finch's century helps fire Australia to eight-wicket win over Pakistan

SHARJAH: Aaron Finch's fine century drove Australia to a convincing eight-wicket win over a new-look Pakistan in the first one-day international on Friday.
The Austraian skipper scored 116 off 135 balls for his 12th one-day international century that helped his team overhaul the 281-run target in 49 overs on a flat Sharjah stadium pitch.
The win gives Australia the lead in the five-match series and has come on the back of their 3-2 series win in India earlier this month.
Finch's match-winning knock overshadowed Haris Sohail's maiden one-day hundred (101 not out) which helped Pakistan to 280-5 in their 50 overs.
The 32-year-old smashed Shoaib Malik for a huge six towards deep mid-wicket to complete his century -- his first since June last year against England at Chester-Le-Street -- off 120 balls.
Finch, who knocked four sixes and eight boundaries, added an innings-building 172 runs for the second wicket with Shaun Marsh who scored an unbeaten 91 off 102 balls with four boundaries and two sixes.
With 46 needed Finch became Mohammad Abbas's maiden wicket but Peter Handscomb hit 30 not out to help Marsh cross the line.
Finch and Marsh came together after opener Usman Khawaja fell for 24 to medium pacer Faheem Ashraf, the only other success Pakistan's new-look bowling attack could achieve.
Pakistan rested six of their key players including regular skipper Sarfraz Ahmed in order to keep them fresh for the World Cup starting in UK from May 30.
But the young and inexperienced Pakistan led by Malik proved no match for Australia, who are on a roll after their win in India earlier this month.
Left-hander Sohail, who reached 1,000 runs in his 27th one-day international when on 40, anchored Pakistan's innings, adding 98 for the third wicket with Umar Akmal who made a 50-ball 48 in his first international match for two years.
Sohail took a single to complete his hundred in the last over, finishing with six boundaries and a six.
Pakistan had handed one-day debuts to opener Shan Masood and Abbas -- who have played 15 and 14 Tests respectively.
Masood put on 35 in an opening stand with Imam-ul-Haq (17) before off-spinner Nathan Lyon dismissed Imam in the seventh over, caught and bowled.
Masood, who hit five boundaries in his 62-ball 40, was then bowled by paceman Nathan Coulter-Nile who finished with 1-38 in his 10 overs.
Umar smashed three sixes in one Jhye Richardson over but fell one short of his half century.
Malik fell for 11 and Ashraf and Imad Wasim scored 28 each.
Wasim hit four boundaries and a six during his 13-ball unbeaten knock, helping Pakistan to 55 runs in the last five overs.
Sunday's second ODI is also being played in Sharjah, with the third in Abu Dhabi (March 27) and the last two in Dubai (March 29 and 31).