Sole Power has the credentials to regain Nunthorpe crown
A September 2012 photograph of Sole Power, ridden by Johnny Murtagh, winning the Scarbrough Stakes at Doncaster. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
Sole Power should have plenty in his favour as he tries to regain his Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes crown at York. The six-year-old was a shock 100/1 winner of the five-furlong Group One in 2010 but with a string of excellent performances to his credit since, he is on offer at single-figure odds this time around.
His surprise success marked the arrival of Edward Lynam’s charge on to the top-level sprint scene and while he has only won four times since then, Sole Power has racked up plenty of placed efforts in the best company. He won only once in 2011 and again registered a single success in 2012 but he has already got his head in front twice this year, most importantly when beating the reopposing Shea Shea in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Meanwhile trainer Roger Charlton has stated his Betfred Ebor hope Bishop Roko would be an “unlikely runner” unless there is rain at York before tomorrow’s feature race.
The lightly-raced four-year-old looked a stayer with a future when winning a decent handicap at Ascot last month. He has been very well backed in recent days but Charlton has issued a warning that if there is no rain on the Knavesmire he will not be risked.
“Bishop Roko is declared to run in the Betfred Ebor at York on Saturday but he will be an unlikely runner on the current going and he will need the rain to arrive before his race,” the Beckhampton trainer said.
Cheltenham Festival winner Ted Veale could make a swift return to action in the race. Tony Martin’s gelding was a winner at Bellewstown on Wednesday evening, bouncing back from a disappointing effort on heavy ground in the Galway Hurdle, and picked up a 4lb penalty in the process. Martin said he will check on his well-being today before committing his charge.
Jessica Harrington’s Steps To Freedom, who was just touched off in a valuable handicap at Dundalk on Sunday, is another dual-purpose runner.