Sole Power surges to York win under Hughes

‘When I was 14 or 15 I dreamed about riding horses like this, and doing it like that’

Richard Hughes squeezed Sole Power through the eye of a needle to claim his latest Group One success in the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York.

Four years ago, Eddie Lynam’s gelding claimed the same race as a 100-1 chance, but after he defended his title in the King’s Stand at Royal Ascot, he was the 11-4 favourite this time.

Hughes had to make a dramatic move to switch Sole Power as he had nowhere to go with just over a furlong left, but they dived through a gap to pinch the race from Stepper Point, eventually scoring by a half-length margin.

Extortionist was third, another short head back.

Hughes said: “He’s brilliant, he’s made for me. When I was 14 or 15 I dreamed about riding horses like this, and doing it like that.”

As expected, the fleet-footed Take Cover broke smartly and attempted to repeat his recent front-running success at Goodwood but he could not sustain the gallop.

Moviesta and Stepper Point were duelling up front, and Extortionist was beginning a late charge, but Sole Power's turn of foot was simply far too good. It means, after the feats of Slade Power, that Lynam and the Power family have won all four British Group One sprints so far this season.

Lynam said: “Two weeks ago, he had American ringworm, we had to get him right for it and we had only 10 days to train him. He’s a super horse, a horse of a lifetime, it’s just the way he does it. He was about 97 points lighter than he was four years ago.

“We haven’t run him in Ireland for a good few years. There’s a race on Champions Weekend and we’d like to support it. We’ll give him a blow out in Longchamp in the Abbaye, keep him ticking over, and then Hong Kong. I’d love another go at that.”