The remarkable Sole Power won the Group One Nunthorpe Stakes in quite sensational fashion at York today, four years after bursting on to the sprinting scene with a 100-1 victory in the same race.
Richard Hughes had pounced close to home to win the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot on the Irish-trained seven-year-old’s previous start in June, but he surpassed even that display of ice-cold nerve with this late show on the 11-4 favourite.
It was an awesome performance by horse and rider, but Hughes made it sound so simple. “Suddenly I had too much daylight a furlong and a half out,” he said, “so I switched him behind Hot Streak for some cover. It might have seemed a strange move, but I know him and he wouldn’t have won otherwise.
“I needed the gap to come after that, but he’s a small horse with a fantastic turn of foot so I was able to squeeze him under Jamie Spencer’s armpit! When I was young I dreamt about winning races that way. This horse was made for me.”
The top English prizes now in the bag, Sole Power will now travel further afield in search of more riches, with connections planning runs in the Prix de l’Abbaye in France on Arc day in October and the Hong Kong Sprint towards the end of the year.
The veteran Newmarket trainer Sir Mark Prescott saddles the hot favourite for the Ebor Handicap at York today in Pallasator, 20 years after the trainer’s Hasten To Add landed a gamble in York’s famous old race.
Prescott does not land coups as often as he used to, but punters have piled into Pallasator as if defeat were out of the question after the five-year-old beat three subsequent winners, including yesterday’s York victor Glenard, at Ascot last month.
An outside draw might seem a hindrance, but it is 10 years since a winner of the Ebor was drawn in single figures.
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