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Stoute Aiming To Create King George History
Sir Michael Stoute will attempt to claim a record-breaking sixth victory in the Group 1 King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on Saturday. Stoute, who has previously won the British summer showpiece with the likes of the legendary Shergar and, most recently, the outstanding Harbinger (2010), will this year be represented by Crystal Ocean and Poet's Word in the mile-and-a-half feature. The highly regarded Crystal Ocean is undoubtedly the more favoured of the duo having won his last three outings on the trot, including a facile win in the Gr2 Hardwicke Stakes, while Poet's Word also boasts top form having landed the Group 1 Prince Of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot. "They both seem in good shape and their preparation has gone well. They seem in good form. Touch wood, we are happy at this stage," Stoute told Sky Sports. "Crystal Ocean is from a very good family. They are good, honest horses. I've not seen the final field yet, but he is entitled to take his chance for sure." He added: "Poet's Word has been recording high levels of form and seems versatile over 10 or 12 furlongs. His preparation has gone well and again he has won at the track." However, both Crystal Ocean and Poet's Word have a long way to go before they are held in the same regard as some of Stoute's more famous King George winners: "Shergar gave us an anxious moment - he was short of room on the turn for home - but he got out of that and still won impressively," he said, adding "Harbinger would have run to the best form figure. He was a serious machine that day...he just annihilated them." Crystal Ocean and Poet's Word share favouritism at 15-8 for the King George, ahead of Gr1 Grand Prix de Paris winner Kew Gardens (5-1) and Cracksman at 8-1.