Sole Power retains King’s Stand crown
Sole Power continued his love affair with the King’s Stand Stakes on day 1 of Royal Ascot, retaining the title he took last year with a devastating turn of foot, giving new jockey Richard Hughes a double on the day. All this was achieved at the ripe old age of seven but the old adage that age is just a number could not be more true of Ed Lynam’s globetrotter, as he made light work of some talented younger rivals to score by an easy 1 1/4 lengths at the finish.
This was Richard Hughes’ first ride on the now three time Group 1 winner and it seems to be a match made in heaven, as Hughes used all his well known patience and guile, weaving through traffic late on having travelled in rear throughout. Recent Temple Stakes winner Hot Streak looked the likely winner at the 2 pole, with the 3yo hitting the front under Jamie Spencer but he began to hang left on the run in as he got into a battle with the front running Stepper Point.
Hughes was only beginning to get his charge revving out the back however and having slalomed his way through the field, Sole Power showed, yet again, his blistering turn of foot when switched to the far side to get the better of the dogged 50/1 shot Stepper Point, with Hot Streak back in third.
“I’m glad Johnny Murtagh (last year’s winning jockey) retired,” Hughes said. “He has been giving this fella great rides over the past few years. I spoke to him at length about how to ride him and he is actually made for me.
“Things didn’t really go right and I had to pull out to the outside which I never really like to do but I had that much horse I could have gone around them anywhere. He was the best horse, it’s as simple as that. He is always ready to explode and he is just waiting for you to press the button.”
By Kevin Walsh / Photo: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
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