Sole powers to King’s Stand repeat

Sole Power is set to return to Royal Ascot on Saturday after he achieved the first leg of a coveted sprint double by winning the King’s Stand Stakes for the second year running yesterday.

Sole powers to King’s Stand repeat

The Eddie Lynam-trained seven-year-old will now bid to replicate Choisir’s heroics in 2003 when he runs in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.

Lynam rightly feels Sole Power has never quite been afforded the respect his record warrants, with this success under new jockey Richard Hughes his sixth triumph in Group company.

Victory at the weekend would, however, surely see him acknowledged as one of the best sprinters in contemporary racing history.

Just like 12 months ago, when capably guided by the now-retired Johnny Murtagh, the 5-1 chance only emerged from the pack late on as Stepper Point cut out most of the running.

Young pretender Hot Streak then looked like vindicating his high profile, and 3-1 favouritism, once he nosed in front inside the final furlong.

But Hughes’ cute handling ensured Sole Power had a perfect pitch towards the far rail and he effortlessly wiped away the deficit to win going away by a length and a quarter.

Lynam said: “He was the best horse in the race, experience has won him it.

“This horse has been lucky because he’s never had a well-known trainer but he’s always had a top-class jockey.

“That was his 17th run in a Group One and he’ll have his 18th on Saturday.”

Frankie Dettori could not have asked for a better start to the meeting as he guided The Wow Signal to a clear-cut success in the Coventry Stakes.

It was the Italian’s 48th Royal Ascot winner in all, but, significantly, his first in the colours of Al Shaqab Racing, who purchased the juvenile after he ran away with an Ayr maiden which has worked out extremely well.

The well-backed 5-1 joint-favourite was always close to the pace and powered through the six furlongs to defeat another recent Qatari purchase, the Ger Lyons-trained Cappella Sansevero, by a length and three-quarters.

John Quinn, whose previous Royal Ascot winner came in 2007, said: “He worked on Saturday and I nearly crashed my four-by-four trying to keep up with him.

“I thought he was very good but you need to be top class to win the Coventry. He’s crying out for seven furlongs and I wouldn’t be surprised if he turned up in next year’s Guineas with a good chance.

“I don’t know what we do now, we’ll talk to Harry (Herbert, racing manager) about it but he’s a very good colt and he’ll be campaigned accordingly.”

Domination (12-1) finished with a wet sail to claim the Ascot Stakes for Irish trainer-jockey combination Charles Byrnes and Fran Berry, who won last year’s renewal on the Jonjo O’Neill-trained Well Sharp.

Byrnes said: “He’s my first ever runner (at Royal Ascot). He probably should have run in this last year. Fran spoke to me about this race two years ago but I didn’t take any notice but he (Berry) went and won it last year anyway.

“It was a fantastic ride, he just had one crack at them.

“He’s in the Queen Alexandra on Saturday, but maybe Goodwood next.

“We’ll check how he is in the morning, but I’d say he’d be a doubtful runner on Saturday.”

Toronado got the meeting off to a flying start for favourite backers with an impressive display in the Queen Anne Stakes.

Despite making his first competitive appearance since August of last year, Richard Hannon’s four-year-old was all the rage for the Group One contest as the 4-5 favourite and was ridden confidently by Richard Hughes.

Just for a moment he appeared in trouble as the response was not immediate once Hughes popped the question, but Toronado gradually found top gear in the final furlong and was ultimately well on top at the line.

Verrazano was three-quarters of a length away in second, with strong-travelling French raider Anodin back in third.

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