Sole Power out of the shadows in the Al Quoz sprint

Dubai, UAE, March 23, 2011 - Having been responsible for one of the biggest shocks in the history of British racing, Eddie Lynam accepts that pretty much anything can happen once horses are under starters orders.

After all, the Irish trainer prepared Sole Power to become just the second ever 100/1 winner of a Group One race in Britain when taking out the Nunthorpe Stakes at York and on Saturday his four year old will make his first outing since that landmark victory last August in the US$1 million Al Quoz Sprint, sponsored by Emirates NBD.

Expectations of the Kyllachy gelding will obviously be a little higher when the gates open for the first of the Thoroughbred races on the Dubai World Cup programme, but that won’t bother Lynam who is delighted to have a serious chance on the richest day in racing.

“He’s been a super horse for the stable. He cost GB£30,000 as a foal from the Doncaster sales and I guess that looks pretty cheap now,” the trainer says with some understatement.

“It’s been the kind of result that you dream about and lining up as a chance in a race like this on Saturday was never something we would have until he did what he did at York.”

Much like the Al Quoz Sprint, the Nunthorpe is run down a straight 1000m turf chute and last year the pre-race talk concerned only the brilliant Starspangledbanner, subsequently crowned champion sprinter in both his native Australia and also Europe.

Casting his mind back to that stunning upset, Lynam recalls: “Before the race I believed he could run well. I felt he might be capable of a surprise in terms of finishing placed.

“The plan beforehand was to follow Starspangledbanner in the run but as it turned out he was behind us and our horse got first run on him and was always going to do enough. He won by over a length in the end and the race time was very good, too.”

Plans to run in the Prix de l’Abbaye in Paris in October were scrapped because of the unsuitably soft going, leaving the Al Quoz the logical next step for the County Meath trainer.

“He has wintered well and this race was always going to be the plan because you are guaranteed the fast ground that he loves, and the straight [1000m] track here is pretty much the same as what he met at York.

“He goes well fresh. On his first start last year he broke the track record at Dundalk at this distance by over half a second from a good horse called Luisant, so we knew he had serious ability.

“Now everybody knows how good he can be and we’re hoping he can put his best foot forward this weekend.”