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Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

Breeder Barry Reilly pays tribute to 'brave' King George hero Poet's Word

Woodcote Stud produced the now dual Group 1 winner

Poet's Word (far side) gets up to send the Reillys into delirium
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Woodcote Stud's Barry Reilly said he and his wife Fiona were jumping around "like lunatics" as they watched Poet's Word get the better of a thrilling tussle with Crystal Ocean in Saturday's Qipco King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.

The Sir Michael Stoute-trained colt was bred by the Epsom-based Woodcote Stud and is the latest advertisement for the work of the Reillys and their small team, adding yesterday's feature to his win in the Prince Of Wales's Stakes last month.

Having watched that Royal Ascot success at home, Barry was on hand with Fiona on Saturday to celebrate the victory in person and, despite concerns about the overall strength of the race, he was in no mood to talk down the achievement, even comparing it to arguably the greatest ever renewal of the famous Ascot contest.

Race result, replay and analysis

"It's been a great day," he said. "He's such a brave horse. It always seems when you breed a horse in a good race, that year always turns out to be a weak renewal of that particular race. Whether it was weak or not the finish, well... it was not as good as Grundy and Bustino but it wasn't too bad!"

Reflecting on the race, he added: "We didn't come to Royal Ascot, we stayed with the girls who work with us. We watched it in our lounge and had a bit of a party. There were four dogs and five of us all there watching the race that day. We all ended up in the middle of the carpet and the dogs went running.

"This time we went in the parade ring before and then went through to the lawn and me and Fiona were jumping about like two lunatics. Afterwards we were introduced to Mr [Saeed] Suhail [owner] and a few other people - it's just been a great day."

The win once again highlighted the loss of his sire Poet's Voice, who died at Dalham Hall earlier this year.

"It's devastating," said Reilly. "His first crop made so much money - it just went crazy. When Charlie [Gordon-Watson] paid 300,000gns for our lad, he told us he felt he'd probably overpaid, and he wasn't being rude.

"When I went to the sales with him dreaming of a nice price for him, that was 100,000 - 75,000 would have been a result and a half because we don't normally keep colts and for a 12 grand nomination, for a small farm like us, you've got to have some income, so he's done us all proud.

"Look at the two-year-olds Poet's Voice gets though. They're tough, they're sound and they've got great minds."

Poet's Word is out of the Nashwan mare Whirly Bird, who is set to be represented on the big stage again in the coming days by Incharge, her daughter by Kingman who was sold for 200,000 guineas last year to Stroud Coleman Bloodstock and Brightwalton Stud. She is entered to make her debut in a fillies maiden at Goodwood next Thursday won in recent years by the likes of Rhododendron.

The mare does not have a yearling to be offered this year and missed a planned engagement with Iffraaj this season having delivered a colt by Kingman five weeks late.

Looking ahead to the yearling sales season, Reilly has one youngster in particular who is exciting him and is yet to make up his mind whether to sell her or not.

Out of Whirly Bird's sister Inchiri, by Sadler's Wells, the filly is by Kingston Hill, another Woodcote Stud product who did the operation proud by winning a St Leger.

"This is as nice a horse as we've had on the farm and I'm not just saying that because we bred Kingston Hill, she's just got something else," Reilly said. "She's in Book 1 but I will probably not send her because I think she's a race horse."

If you liked this, you should read:

Bittersweet first Group 1 winner for Poet's Voice as son upstages Cracksman

It was not as good as Grundy and Bustino but it wasn't too bad!
E.W. Terms
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