Sole Power seeks Group 1 atonement in Al Quoz Sprint

It is fair to say that the element of fluke about Sole Power’s 100-1 victory in the Nunthorpe Stakes of 2010 has long since been disproved with a sequence of solid runs at his preferred short-course distance.

Still, the small but stocky son of Kyllachy is best known as only the second horse ever to win a Group 1 race in Britain at triple-figure odds.

But there was no mistaking an air of optimism surrounding trainer Eddie Lynam at Meydan this week as Sole Power bids to finally achieve that elusive follow-up victory at the highest level.

“He has become more consistent as he has got older and his last three runs at [1,000m] have all been very good,” the County Meath handler said during trackwork.

“He was second in the Flying Five at The Curragh in August, then he should have won the Group 1 Prix de l’Abbaye when he got very badly held up for a run and then last time here at Meydan a few weeks ago we thought he had it won before he was caught on the line.”

Despite losing out by a narrow margin to his Group 1 Al Quoz, sponsored by Emirates NBD rival Invincible Ash in the Meydan Sprint on Super Saturday, Lynam was very much heartened by the performance.

“It was the first time I’d got him off a plane to run well after a break and I think that shows he’s that bit more mature nowadays,” he explained.

“Last year he ran in this race and it was his first run for nearly eight months. He tanked along for about [400m] and then cut out. He has always performed better with the benefit of the run and I feel that race recently has brought him on nicely.”

Sole Power also ran in Hong Kong in December around the Sha Tin’s right-handed 1,200m circuit – a distance at which he remains winless, even in vastly inferior races in Ireland – and it was no surprise that he finished ninth of the 14 starters on that occasion.

“I’d ignore that run. It’s not his type of track and maybe I tied down the jockey with too many instructions that day,” Lynam recalled.

But now back to his ‘jump and run’ straight track sprinting, Sole Power has drawn high in gate 15 for Johnny Murtagh meaning he will be finishing off nearer the stand’s side on Saturday evening.

“There looks to be speed on both sides of this race. I hope they go a bit quicker than in the race on Super Saturday when they went very slow early on and it meant our horse could not get cover for long enough.”

The trainer conluded, when being told Sole Power was listed as the favourite: “He’s favourite? It’s a very open race and it should be more like 10-1 the field. But I’d prefer if my fellow was 100-1 again. He’d win for sure then!”