23rd May 2018 –
Poet’s Word who was last seen finishing 2nd to Hawkbill in the Dubai Sheema Classic in March is a hot favourite to make a winning return on his British seasonal debut at Sandown tomorrow evening, as a field of only 5 going to post for the Matchbook Brigadier Gerard Stakes.
“He has had a good freshen up since Dubai, and we are very happy with him,” trainer Sir Michael Stoute who had been considering The Coronation Cup at Epsom.
Michael Bell saddles Fabricate for the Queen and is very hopeful that the 6-year-old who will be ridden by James Doyle, will run well.
“He’s been targeting this race since his very good run here in the Group 3 Gordon Richard Stakes (2nd behind Crystal Ocean). Unfortunately, it looks as though Sir Michael is not making life very easy for us by unleashing another ace, but Fabricate is in great form and I’m expecting him to run a very good race”
Laraaib lost his unbeaten record at Haydock in August, but Owen Burrows retains plenty of faith in his son of Pivotal.
Burrows told Matchbook: “On ratings, he’s got quite a bit to find but I’ve always thought quite a bit of him and I think Sandown will suit him well and it’s a nice place to start his season off.”
Meanwhile, Desert Encounter renews rivalry with Poet’s Word after finishing down the field in the Sheema Classic in March and David Simcock is worried about the weight he has to give to the favourite.
“He’s a talented horse in his own right. He didn’t run terribly well in Dubai but that can happen. It’s a big ask giving 3lbs to Poet’s Word and Fabricate but he goes there in very good order.”
Air Pilot completes the field and his trainer, Ralph Beckett, is relying on the rain which is forecast tomorrow to help his cause.
“We are hopeful for some rain before tomorrow’s race. There aren’t many opportunities for him at Sandown and the track will suit him but it’s not an easy task with a Group 2 penalty against the likes of Poet’s Word.”