Poetic Flare set down a marker at the start of the flat racing season by winning the 2,000 Guineas. However, he has not been able to maintain his high standards throughout the term, failing to close out victories at Goodwood and Deauville.
Jim Bolger’s charge has still enjoyed an excellent campaign, but he has been denied a place among the pantheon of great horses due to his near misses. There is still time for Poetic Flare to make one last effort in the British Champions Series. He is backed as one of the top contenders in the horse racing betting odds for the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot in October, although the presence of Palace Pier will make life extremely difficult for the bay colt.
Poetic Flare has surprised in the past and it would be fitting for his campaign to end the way it started. At Newmarket in May, Poetic Flare was a 16/1 outsider for the 2,000 Guineas, despite a winning performance in his first race in Ireland of the 2021 season in the 2,000 Guineas Trial Stakes at Leopardstown.
Aiden O’Brien’s Battleground was named the favourite, but Bolger’s charge blew him away and had the pace when it mattered the most in the contest to defeat his nearest rival Master of the Seas by a short head. It was a brilliant performance from both horse and jockey Kevin Manning to etch their places in the history of the British Classic.
He failed to match his performance in the French Guineas as St Mark’s Basilica rose to the occasion at Longchamp, as Poetic Flare placed down in sixth. The two horses could meet again should Bolger opt to place his charge in the Champions Stakes at Ascot in October, where the horse racing betting tips are backing St Mark’s Basilica as the overwhelming favourite for the crown. Due to his performance over a mile, Bolger is likely to push his charge towards the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, but he does have plenty of pedigree as an all-rounder.
There was a welcome return to form after his disappointment at Longchamp at the Irish Guineas even though victory just evaded Bolger’s charge down the stretch when Mac Swiney just closed out the triumph by a shorthead, a role reversal for Poetic Flare from the British Guineas. At Royal Ascot, Poetic Flare was back to his best and it was no surprise to see him to triumph in the mile race, the St James’s Palace Stakes. He was the leading contender for the crown and was outstanding in the contest, cantering to victory by four and a half lengths ahead of the field.
However, he was not able to sustain his brilliance at Goodwood, losing out to the pace of Alcohol Free in the Sussex Stakes, despite being named the favourite for the event. He and Palace Pier then battled it out with great intensity at Deauville in the Prix Jacques le Marois.
The contest proved to be a thriller, but Poetic Flare was just on the losing side in the race as he was beaten by a neck by John & Thady Gosden’s charge. Revenge will be on the agenda in a clash at Ascot where only a slight improvement will be required from Poetic Flare to end his campaign on a high note.