Under a perfectly timed ride by Frankie Dettori, Poet's Voice rallied furiously to deny Rip Van Winkle by a nose in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes-Sponsored by Sony (Eng-I) at Ascot Sept. 25.
Steadied at the start by Dettori, Poet’s Voice was dropped into last as Air Chief Marshal was gunned to the front by Jamie Spencer. Stablemate Rip Van Winkle sat just off the leader in second, with Johnny Murtagh content to allow Air Chief Marshal to set a swift early pace.
Longshot Red Jazz tracked the front pair in third with favored Makfi rated mid-pack by Christophe Soumillon.
Air Chief Marshal set a swift pace as he led through the first six furlongs. When the field turned for home the 3-year-old colt began to weaken and quickly surrendered the lead to Rip Van Winkle, who took command with just over a furlong left.
Rip Van Winkle led briefly but was unable to shake free from a stubborn Red Jazz. At the same time, Poet’s Voice was flying down the center of the course. The three colts hit the wire together in a blanket finish.
In the end it was Poet’s Voice who came out on top over Rip Van Winkle, who held onto second by a half-length over Red Jazz. A big disappointment was Makfi, who was never a factor and finished a dull fifth.
Final time for the eight furlongs was 1:39.76 over the good to soft going.
The victory was the fourth in 10 starts for Poet’s Voice, a 3-year-old son of Dubawi. The win also earned him a spot in the TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. IT), since the QEII was part of the “Win and You’re In” series sponsored by the Breeders’ Cup.
Winning trainer Saeed bin Suroor told the Racing Post afterward, “From day one I have always liked this horse. I was disappointed with him earlier in the year because he was too keen. In the mornings I have tried to teach him. Physically he is now much better and mentally he is more relaxed.”
“The target for him now is the Breeders’ Cup Mile,” he added.
Poet’s Voice is owned by Godolphin and was bred in England by Darley. The bay colt is out of the Chief’s Crown mare Bright Tiara, who is a full sister to multiple stakes winner Chief Honcho.