Sole Power claims Al Quoz Sprint at fifth time of asking in Dubai
Eddie Lynam-trained sprinter claims €550,000 prize under jockey Richard Hughes
Richard Hughes celebrates Sole Power’s victory in the Al Qouz Sprint during the Dubai World Cup meeting at Meydan. Photograph: Ali Haider/EPA
Sole Power won the Al Quoz Sprint at the fifth attempt with a customary late surge in the five-furlong Group One at the World Cup meeting in Dubai.
Richard Hughes typically delayed his challenge on the Eddie Lynam-trained eight-year-old to collar Peniaphobia inside the dying strides and claim the €550,000 first prize.
Amber Sky set a scorching gallop which enabled Sole Power (11-2) to gun down the opposition. Green Mask was third.
Hughes said: “He’s a wonderful little horse. I thought he ran too lacklustre (on his last start at Meydan), but Eddie Lynam’s done something and it’s worked a treat.”
Sole Power’s owner Sabena Power said: “I’m so thrilled. He surprises us all the time – he’s fantastic. Richard was just wonderful. He was just so cocky.”
Sole Power was the only Irish-trained horse on the card.
Lynam is already thinking of a return to Royal Ascot, where Sole Power claimed the King’s Stand Stakes last summer.
The Co Meath handler said: “He’s put his CV up for (leading) European sprinter today.
“He’s just come to himself. On his day, he was always capable of doing it.
“If I could, I’d love him to do it at Royal Ascot as well.”
Brown Panther hit the target for breeder and co-owner Michael Owen with a convincing victory in the Dubai Gold Cup at Meydan.
Richard Kingscote always had the Tom Dascombe-trained seven-year-old in a prominent position as Mushreq made the running in the two-mile Group Two.
Knowing he was on a stout stayer, Kingscote set sail for home three furlongs out and quickly went several lengths clear.
Ahzeemah and Star Empire gave chase, but it was a lost cause as Brown Panther (4-1 favourite) galloped with authority all the way to the line.
Owen said: “He’s been a superstar from day one and this man (Dascombe) has trained him to perfection.
“He always jumps really well out of the traps and he found himself right up there. The rest is history, as they say.
“He’s a special horse. I’ll probably never replace a horse like this. It’s been an amazing story.”
Kingscote, who has only just recovered from serious injuries, said: “The boss has been keen to get him relaxed and he’s done well. I’m really pleased with him.
“He travelled great. He got me in a nice position and looked after me the whole way round. It means a lot to be here and it’s the biggest win of my career.”
RaceBets.com were suitably impressed, with Brown Panther cut from 9-1 to 7-1 for the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot in the summer.
Dascombe said: “You spend months trying to get him right for the day and it’s all gone well.
“After about 100 yards I was pretty confident it was going to be our day. They went a sensible pace, not too fast.
“He’s a phenomenal horse. He doesn’t know how to run a bad race. Hopefully he’s better than ever.”
Tamarkuz overcame a slow start to narrowly justify favouritism in the Godolphin Mile at Meydan.
Musabah Al Muhairi’s five-year-old lost a couple of lengths coming out of the stalls but was steadily brought into the race by Paul Hanagan to land the Group Two spoils.
Frankyfourfingers made the running until he was collared in the closing stages as Tamarkuz (even-money favourite) got on top and held the late thrust of the Jeremy Noseda-trained Sloane Avenue, ridden by Frankie Dettori.
Hanagan said of Tamarkuz’s tardy start: “It was a lot for him to take in. I think the whole occasion might have got to him, but he dug so deep for me, it was a really genuine performance.
“When you win four on the bounce in very good races you have to give him a lot of respect.”
Noseda felt Sloane Avenue’s outside draw in stall 15 cost him the short-head defeat.
He said: “I’m just gutted about the draw, to be honest. We nearly pulled off the miracle, but not quite.
“I’m a little bit sickened about the draw, I’ve no doubt he was the best horse in the race.”
Mubtaahij turned the UAE Derby into a procession as he took the Group Two over nine and a half furlongs in impressive fashion.
Tap That set the pace until a furlong and a half out when Christophe Soumillon sent the Mike de Kock-trained colt to go and win his race.
Mubtaahij (9-4) soon put plenty of daylight between himself and his rivals to win easily. Maftool stayed on to take second place.
Secret Circle just came out on top in a furiously-run race for the Dubai Golden Shaheen.
Lucky Nine, Rich Tapestry and Secret Circle set an incredibly fast pace from flag fall.
Secret Circle, trained in America by Bob Baffert, led a furlong out under Victor Espinoza and held on gamely from the Ryan Moore-ridden Super Jockey.
Espinoza said: “We had a nice, clean trip on the outside.”