Irish duo grounded by Aero

Irish stars Gordon Lord Byron and Sole Power were out of luck in the Longines Hong Kong Sprint, which was won by Aerovelocity at Sha Tin yesterday.

Irish duo grounded by Aero

Gordon Lord Byron fared best of the duo in fourth, even though Wayne Lordan was hard at work a long way from home in Sha Tin’s Group One over six furlongs.

Sole Power was given a typically patient ride from Richard Hughes, but he failed to pick up as trainer Eddie Lynam might have expected and was well beaten in ninth place.

The winner, trained by Paul O’Sullivan and ridden by Zac Purton, bounced out of stall seven and made all of the running to keep former Richard Fahey inmate Peniaphobia at bay by a slender margin.

Japanese hope Straight Girl finished third.

Purton said: “He’s not the most straightforward ride and a furlong out he wanted to hang into the fence, but I managed to keep him off it.

“When they keep winning like he does you certainly don’t want to get off them.”

O’Sullivan said: “It’s a long time sine we’ve had one as good as him, but when you do get one it can turn it all around. I imagine we’ll look to run him in Hong Kong for the foreseeable future.”

Hughes said of Sole Power: “He was never going at any stage.”

Tom Hogan was proud of Gordon Lord Byron, who was finishing fourth at the big Hong Kong meeting in December for a third consecutive season.

The County Tipperary handler said: “He ran a great race, but the winning jockey did brilliantly as it was a pretty quick time.

“We were very happy with him. Every time he produces his run and never lets us down.

“No European has ever won this race so it shows you it difficult it is.

“We’ll take him home for his Christmas dinner and then work out what we do with him next.”

Meanwhile Gordon Elliott remains in favour of heading straight to the Cheltenham Festival in March with his dual Grade One-winning chaser Don Cossack.

The seven-year-old struck at the highest level for the second time with an impressive display in the John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase earlier this month and although he holds entries in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown and the King George VI Chase at Kempton, he will not be in action over the festive period.

Elliott said: “He’s come out of the race (at Punchestown) very well. He’ll definitely not be turning up at Christmas and I doubt if he’ll turn up in the Hennessy (at Leopardstown in February).

“I’ll have to talk it over (with the owner, Michael O’Leary) but he could go straight to Cheltenham.”

Paddy Power Gold Cup winner Caid Du Berlais is “absolutely fine” after he was pulled up when chasing a major double at Cheltenham on Saturday.

Caid Du Berlais already appeared to be up against it when he slipped on landing after jumping the water jump and Sam Twiston-Davies quickly took him out of the race.

Nicholls said: “He’s absolutely fine. He just slipped at the water jump and Sam sensibly pulled him up.

“It was just one of those days. The ground was tacky and a lot different to what it was the time before.

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