Poet's Word, the joint-second highest rated runner this year according to the most recent Longines World's Best Racehorse Rankings, has been retired and enrolled onto the stallion roster at Nunnery Stud in Norfolk.
The five-year-old, trained by Sir Michael Stoute for Saeed Suhail, has been awarded an interim mark of 129 after his scintillating victories in the Prince of Wales's Stakes and King George this summer. That makes him the equal of Pegasus World Cup victor Gun Runner and only one pound below Australian wondermare Winx.
Poet's Word has not run since finishing a creditable second to Roaring Lion in the Juddmonte International in August, having suffered an injury last month that ended his season and ultimately his racing career.
Stoute paid tribute to his stable star by saying: “Poet's Word was a very athletic colt with a grand temperament. He was also a great competitor who just continued to progress.”
James Doyle, who partnered the horse to his two top-level triumphs, added: “He had a great temperament – he was solid mentally – nothing fazed him.
“The one thing that blew me away was his cruising speed, making him an incredibly easy ride. He would quite happily go forward or you could take him back and he would relax.
“He could also accelerate off that high cruising speed, emphasised when winning his two Group 1 races at Ascot. I’ve ridden some exceptional horses and he’d easily be one of the best over ten furlongs. A mile and a quarter was definitely his optimum trip.
“Finally, he was also a great mover. He flowed across the ground and although he won on slower going, a quicker surface brought out the best in him.”
Poet's Word and James Doyle winning at Royal Ascot, picture Liesl King
Bred by Woodcote Stud, Poet's Word was a 300,000gns yearling purchase by Charlie Gordon-Watson.
He finished a promising fourth on his sole start in a Newmarket maiden at two and zoomed through the handicap ranks at three.
Last year at four he landed the Group 3 Glorious Stakes before finishing second in the Irish Champion Stakes – beaten just half a length by Decorated Knight – and filling the same position behind Cracksman in the Champion Stakes at Ascot.
Earlier this year Poet's Word took second in the Dubai Sheema Classic and ran out a wide-margin winner of the Group 3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes before gaining richly deserved Group 1 laurels by turning the tables on Cracksman in the Prince of Wales's Stakes and edging out Crystal Ocean in the King George – the pair finishing nine lengths clear of the rest of the field.
He retires with a record of seven wins and seven other podium finishes from 17 starts, and prize-money of just shy of £3 million.
Poet's Word is by the late Poet's Voice, a top-class son of Dubawi who has developed into a rich source of two-year-old winners, out of the Listed-placed Nashwan mare Whirly Bird. That makes him a half-brother to Group 3 winner Malabar and to Whirly Dancer, the dam of last year's talented two-year-old Beckford.
Further back it is the family of top sire Inchinor and celebrities Harbour Law, Inchmurrin and Miss Keller.
Nunnery Stud stallions stand under the Shadwell banner and the operation's director Richard Lancaster said: “Poet's Word was a tremendous racehorse and is a great credit to Sir Michael, who gave him the time to develop into one of Europe’s elite middle-distance performers.
“He put up a huge performance when beating Cracksman in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes and then backed that up when he displayed all his tenacity and fighting spirit to beat Crystal Ocean in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
“Not only are there several precocious performers found in Poet's Word's pedigree, but he is also a beautiful looking horse, a point emphasised by his 300,000gns yearling price. He uses himself particularly well and if he can pass that trait on to his offspring, it will stand him in good stead.”
Poet's Word will be available to view at Beech House Stud in Newmarket during the Tattersalls December Sales, along with fellow Nunnery Stud newcomer Tasleet.
Their fees will be announced in the coming weeks.