Sir Michael Stoute took defeat on the chin after Poet’s Word finished second to Roaring Lion in the Juddmonte International at York.
The five-year-old has been one of the stories of the summer in winning the Prince of Wales’s Stakes and the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes, but did not enjoy the best of luck on the Knavesmire.
Short of room at one stage, he stuck to his task but was three and a quarter lengths behind the impressive winner at the line.
Stoute said: “James (Doyle) said it was very messy and he had to switch direction.
“We thought we were in a good position turning in and then we were in the worst position.
“He was very brave to then get balanced and come back and get second so I could only be pleased with him.
“The winner had gone when we were reorganising.”
Asked about plans, the Freemason Lodge trainer said: “The Irish Champion Stakes wouldn’t be a possibility and I don’t know where we’ll go, why should I know now, it’s too early.
“We’ll just see how we think he is, have a chat with the owner. He’s in everything he could be in.
“I think he’s equally effective over 10 furlongs and a mile and a half.”
David Menuisier was rightly proud of his gallant grey Thundering Blue, who defied odds of 50-1 to run a huge race in third, earning £114,000 for his connections, who paid £75,000 to supplement him.
He said: “I’m extremely pleased. When we looked at the final declarations, we all had a good laugh, but the horse told us he was super well.
“I’m so proud of him. The way he came home, against that calibre of opposition, I’d like to think he can win a Group One.
“The Canadian International has always been on our minds and I’d love to be invited to the Japan Cup.
“Fran (Berry) rode a lot out there and thinks it would suit him really well. We also think he’ll improve for a mile and a half.”