Sole Power and Slade Power hope to break European mould in Sprint

Eddie Lynam’s pair part of a five-strong Irish team taking part in Hong Kong International meeting

Sole Power gallops on the all-weather track yesterday in preparation for tomorrow’s Hong Kong International. Photograph: Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images

Making bookies richer may not be a hugely popular policy but Eddie Lynam will be a happy man if his two-pronged attack on tomorrow morning's Hong Kong Sprint pays off for owner Sabena Power.

Both of Lynam's star sprinters, Sole Power and Slade Power, carry the colours of Mrs Power, mother of Paddy Power, public face of the bookmaker giant, and they are part of a five-strong Irish team taking part in Hong Kong's hugely prestigious and lucrative International carnival, the last big flat-racing date of 2013.

Tomorrow morning's four international races are worth more than €6 million between them, with Galileo Rock and Simenon flying the flag in the mile and a half Vase (due off at 6am Irish time,) and Tom Hogan's Gordon Lord Byron trying to improve on last year's fourth in the Mile (7.50am)

The two Lynam stars are due to start alongside each other in stalls nine and 10 in the Sprint (6.40am) although they face a huge task in a race that no European-trained horse has ever won.


Sorry record
Sole Power is part of that sorry record having run ninth in the race two years ago but Johnny Murtagh's mount is a Kings Stand winner this season while Slade Power and Wayne Lordan won a Group Two at Ascot on Champions Day in October.

“Sole Power has been running well all season. He’s an experienced horse, getting wiser as he gets older a bit like his trainer!” said Co Meath-based Lynam. “Slade Power is an improving horse. If he breaks well, he’ll run a good race.”

Galileo Rock is a general 8/1 chance for the Vase but the horse placed three times in Classics this year, also ridden by Lordan on his first visit to the Sha Tin track, is drawn wide in stall 13 of 14 for a race in which John Gosden's The Fugue is a warm favourite.

Her jockey William Buick is back on board Gordon Lord Byron in the Mile where the star fillies Moonlight Cloud and Sky Lantern are expected to dominate. Moonlight Cloud beat Gordon Lord Byron in devastating fashion in Ocotber's Prix La Foret.

The fourth Sha Tin Group One is the 10-furlong Cup race (8.30am) in which the prime European hope looks to be the veteran French star Cirrus Des Aigles. The home team will include the former John Oxx-trained Akeed Mofeed.

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor is the racing correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Tipping Point column