08/25/2011 10:28AM

Goodwood: Poet's Voice favored for repeat victory in Celebration Mile


Defending champion Poet’s Voice will be a strong favorite to win his first stakes of 2011 in Saturday’s Group 2 Celebration Mile at Goodwood, England, a race that could have implications for the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Churchill Downs in November.

Poet’s Voice has not started since finishing last of 14 in the Dubai World Cup in March, but solidified his status as the favorite for the Celebration Mile after Strong Suit and Zoffany were withdrawn on Thursday. Poet’s Voice was listed as a 6-4 chance as of Thursday, and will have six rivals.

Trained by Saeed bin Suroor for Godolphin Racing, Poet’s Voice followed his win in the 2010 Celebration Mile with a victory in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot.

Trainer Richard Hannon will start Dubawi Gold, who was second in the English and Irish 2000 Guineas in May, but has been unplaced in his last two starts. Beacon Lodge will be after his first group stakes win this year. He was second in the Group Hungerford Stakes over seven furlongs at Newbury last month, a race in which Dubawi Gold was fourth.

The Celebration Mile has a recent history of producing Breeders’ Cup runners. In 2008, Raven’s Pass won the Celebration Mile and later won the BC Classic at Santa Anita.