Trainer Eddie Lynam feels Sole Power has “a good opportunity” of racking up back-to-back wins in the Betfred.com Temple Stakes at Haydock on Saturday.
The top-class sprinter will be ridden for the first time by dual champion jockey Paul Hanagan on what is just about the Warrington-born jockey’s hometown track.
Sole Power beat Kingsgate Native by three-quarters of a length in the Group Two event last year to supplement his 100-1 surprise win in the Nunthorpe a season earlier.
Although he has not won since last season’s Temple Stakes, Sole Power has run some good races in defeat, including when beaten just a head in the Prix de l’Abbaye by the reopposing Tangerine Trees and two second-placed finishes in Dubai.
“He’s in good form and travelled over Friday morning,” said Lynam.
“Everything’s gone very well and he’s taken everything in his stride.
“The good to firm ground looks ideal, my only hope is they don’t over water.
“Bated Breath is respected and there’s also Tangerine Trees in there, but this looks a good opportunity for him.
“His work has gone well since Dubai and he’s trained on nicely.
“Paul is champion jockey so we’re very lucky to have got him.
“He’s a top professional and rides Haydock very well.”
Roger Charlton is using the race as a fact-finding mission for Bated Breath to see whether or not there is any possibility of avoiding Black Caviar at Royal Ascot.
With the unbeaten Australian mare on target for the Diamond Jubilee, Charlton would prefer to run his charge in the King’s Stand Stakes over a furlong shorter.
George Baker steps in for the ride as James Doyle is suspended.
“The ground will be good and fast, so I can’t make any excuses there. He looks terrifically well and I think he’s fit enough,” said Charlton.
“Although he’s never won over five furlongs, he’s got plenty of speed.
“I think it’s a starting point for him and it will tell us whether the King’s Stand is a possible, just in case we need to duck whatever that filly is called in Australia (Black Caviar)!
“George rides out for me regularly and I’m pleased to use him – he’s a very good jockey.”
Baker has ridden Bated Breath at home and is excited at the opportunity.
He said: “I know him a little bit from home and he has been pleasing in what he has been doing.
“This is a stepping stone for all the other major sprints later in the year.
“Hopefully he’ll give a good account of himself.
“He just got nabbed in the July Cup, if he can win a Group One this year it will make him a stallion.
“Last year I thought Dream Ahead was a very good sprinter but he’s not around now so it leaves it open and hopefully he’ll be able to hold his own in that company.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved