Lynam Still A Sole Man

Sole Power bids to defend his Al Quoz Sprint title on Saturday at the Dubai World Cup.

Credit: Dubai Racing Club // Andrew Watkins

Lynam Still A Sole Man

Edward Lynam believes a ferocious gallop will suit Sole Power (IRE) as the evergreen speed machine bids for his title defence in the Al Quoz Sprint sponsored by Meydan Hotels and Hospitality at Meydan on Saturday.

With plenty of pace amongst his 13 rivals in the Group 1 1000-metre dash, the nine-year-old has plenty in his favour as he prepares to repeat his win of 12 months ago.

The now-retired Richard Hughes was in the plate on that occasion but it will be Chris Hayes doing the steering this time around as Sole Power bids for a sixth victory at the top level.

And he is no stranger to Dubai, having also ran 14th, 2nd, 4th, and 7th in previous renewals of the Al Quoz Sprint.

“They can’t go too quick in the race as the faster they go the more it will suit us – it will drag him into the race,” said Lynam.

“His run in the trial was as good as he has ever ran here in his prep, and his win on the big night last year was a career best.

“He keeps himself fit with the way he trains and he is a similar weight to when he won last year – although that is 40kg heavier than when he won the Nunthorpe in 2010 - which shows the improvement he has made.

“He seems at his happiest here. I have been training 30 years and have never had a horse as happy as him. If he was an ice-cream he would lick himself to death.”

Super Saturday’s Meydan Sprint, in which Sole Power was a narrow third, was won by Fityaan (GB), trained by Musabah Al Muhairi for HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

The mount of stable jockey, Silvestre De Sousa, he has been overlooked by both the owner’s retained jockeys and Paul Hanagan, who has first pick, has sided with Ertijaal (IRE).

Trained by Ali Rashid Al Raihe, Ertijaal has won both his starts this season and is unbeaten in his last four.

Both his wins this year, at the Dubai World Cup Carnival, have been achieved over Saturday’s 1000m and his trainer, Al Raihe, said: “We have always thought he was very good and he has shown that this year.”

Hanagan added: “He has done absolutely nothing wrong and is going to be thereabouts on Saturday.”

Meanwhile, Dane O’Neill elects to partner Muthmir (IRE), trained in the UK by William Haggas and who arrives here on the back of a close third on the all-weather at Lingfield.

Haggas said: “He ran very well the last time and this is the obvious early season target. He seems in great order and should run a big race.”

The only Australian representative on the card, Buffering (AUS) is another to take his chance in the Al Quoz.

His trainer, Robert Heathcote, said: “He is not a young horse but, now aged eight, he is really showing just how good he is. He has mixed it with the best of them over the years and it is just brilliant he has brought us to Dubai. He should run a massive race.”

Godolphin’s Jungle Cat (IRE) just nosed out on Super Saturday, and last year’s Prix de L’Abbaye winner, Goldream (IRE) are just two others to consider in arguably the most competitive race of the day.

In the Dubai Golden Shaheen sponsored by Gulf News, Reynaldothewizard (USA) many not be defending his crown but Satish Seemar’s star sprinter will be trying to win the race for a second time.

Victorious in 2013, when the race was contested on the previous all-weather surface, Reynaldothewizard has won on the new Meydan dirt surface and has been kept fresh for Saturday’s outing, resting up after his third in February’s Al Shindagha Sprint.

His regular jockey Richard Mullen again rides and said: “He is never easy to predict; he shows very little in his work but he seems in great form. Obviously it is a strong race but he should run well.”

The aforementioned Al Shindagha Sprint was won by Rich Tapestry (IRE), trained in Hong Kong by Michael Chang. He was subsequently third behind the re-opposing Muarrab (GB) over the same 1200m dirt course and distance on Super Saturday.

Gerald Mosse again rides Rich Tapestry and said: “Things just did not really fall right for him on Super Saturday. Hopefully he can bounce back.”

Of Muarrab, owned by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, trainer Musabah Al Muhairi said: “We always thought he was very good but he has been better this year.

“We decided to keep him to Meydan this season and not run him at Jebel Ali. He vindicated that choice last time. He should run well.”

Godolphin surprised many by declaring Confrontation (USA) in this race. Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, Confrontation won his only UAE outing to date, the Group 3 Firebreak Stakes over 1600m. That said, over 1200m he has won three of his four starts, so this shorter assignment should not be an inconvenience.

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