Trainer Lynam warns of Power cut
Eddie Lynam has warned punters that Sole Power was in better form earlier in the season ahead of his run in today's Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York.
The seven-year-old caused a 100-1 surprise in the Group One four years ago but has since gone on to prove himself as one of the best sprinters on the planet.
He won the King's Stand at Royal Ascot in June but was a late withdrawal from the July Cup – won by stablemate Slade Power – on account of soft ground.
However, he has since suffered a skin infection and missed some training.
"Since being forced to miss the July Cup because of the soft ground he has had a bad skin infection, like ring worm or dermatitis, which forced him to miss 10 days of training," said Lynam.
"We had to have his rugs off the whole time, which was not ideal, but it is better that it happened in the summer, when it is warmer, and he has been back in full training for two weeks and worked well.
"My gut feeling is that he may not be quite in the same form as he was before Royal Ascot, but he is coming back to himself day by day so we will take him to York hopeful rather than confident.
"This will be the fourth time that he has run in the Nunthorpe. He is about 45 kilos heavier now than when he won it in 2010 so he has developed a lot and got a lot stronger.
"I keep expecting him to show signs of old age but that has yet to materialise – I would even say that his most impressive race ever was his last. Like a good wine he seems to get better with age and hopefully that can carry on.
"With a come-from-behind horse like him the leaders don't tend to come back to you in the Nunthorpe, unlike at Ascot. But he has won the race before and is one horse that no one else should take for granted.
"If the ground came up soft we would have to consider withdrawing him, but if it was good to soft we would probably take a chance."
Aidan O'Brien's Cougar Mountain was a five-length winner on his debut in June before being pitched into the July Cup, where he finished a respectable fifth.
"Cougar Mountain seems to be fine since his run in the July Cup," said O'Brien.
"Obviously, it was a big jump up for a very young and inexperienced horse, so we have to be very careful and tender with him. But he seems to be in good form."
Take Cover was three lengths behind Sole Power at Royal Ascot but has since won a Listed race at York and the King George at Glorious Goodwood, propelling trainer David Griffiths into the limelight.
Griffiths, who trains a string of 20, said: "We've got to take on Sole Power, Hot Streak, Pearl Secret and those guys are obviously very good. I think Sole Power is the one seriously, seriously good horse that you would be scared of, but I think we are entitled to take our chance, aren't we?