Eddie Lynam has earmarked further Group One targets for his star sprinters Slade Power and Sole Power after both performed with credit in Saturday’s Darley July Cup at Newmarket.
Sole Power was the better fancied of the pair having clinched his second Group One prize in the King’s Stand at Royal Ascot, but while he ran admirably on his first start over six furlongs in almost two years, finishing fifth, he was outshone by his stable companion.
Slade Power, two years younger than the stable star, was seventh in the Ascot’s Diamond Jubilee before winning at the Curragh and he made another step forward to finish third on the July Course.
The Betfred Sprint Cup at Haydock on September 7 is now his number one priority.
Lynam said: “I think Slade Power ran to about 114 or 115, which is a career-best. We thought he would get better with racing and that seems to be the case.
“Hopefully he can prove he is a Group One horse. He had two horses in front of him that have won more than one Group One and the two horses that finished immediately behind him (Shea Shea and Sole Power) have also won more than one Group One.
“You’d like to think he is up to that level, but I’ll be happier once he’s gone and got himself a Group One race. Haydock would definitely be in our thoughts. He has won there and that is probably his main target. Before that there is the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville and he’s also in a race at the Curragh (Phoenix Sprint Stakes, August 11), so I would imagine he will run again before Haydock.”
Sole Power was far from disgraced on a rare outing over the longer sprint distance, coming from off the pace and finishing on the far side of the track.
While Lynam would be happy to have another tilt at six furlongs in the future, his immediate future lies back over the minimum trip, with the Coolmore Nunthorpe at York on August 23 next on his agenda.
“He was probably a bit unfortunate on the day, but he gave 110% as he always does and we’re very proud of him,” said Lynam. “The sectional times are very interesting. He ran the fastest last two furlongs and last furlong of any horse in the race, so it’s difficult to argue he didn’t get home. He probably ran to a rating of 112 or 113, which is a career-best for him over six furlongs.
“Having said that, because of the way he likes to be ridden, when he’s running over six everything needs to go right. The first furlong was fairly slow, which it often is over six furlongs compared to five.
“I think it is easier for him running over five furlongs, it’s more straightforward for him, so his next race will be the Nunthorpe, a race we know he likes.
“After that he will probably go for the Prix de l’Abbaye at Longchamp and then, because he’s won the King’s Stand, he’ll probably get invited for the race in Hong Kong (Hong Kong Sprint).
“That is over six furlongs and if we were going to have another go at that trip, that would be an obvious place to do it as it’s a flat track.”
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