Belfast Telegraph

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Power set to surge to a Sprint success

By Martin Kelly

Sole Power bids to cap an amazing campaign by adding the Betfred Sprint Cup to his impressive record at Haydock today.

The seven-year-old has dominated the five-furlong division this season, mopping up the King's Stand and the Nunthorpe, but gets a great chance to notch a Group One over six furlongs as his stablemate Slade Power, winner of the Diamond Jubilee and July Cup, has been forced to miss the race.

Sole Power has yet to win over six furlongs, although he has run creditably in his few efforts at the trip, notably when second in the Hong Kong Sprint behind Lord Kanaloa in December.

The key to Sole Power staying the extra furlong will be whether he settles and while trainer Eddie Lynam accepts he is better over the minimum distance, he does believe he can stay the six.

"The ground seems okay. He's drawn in the middle (nine), which doesn't seem a bad draw, and he's in good form. We're hopeful of the best," said the County Meath handler, who has won all four Group One sprints run in Britain this season with his star duo.

"He needs to settle and you wouldn't need to be too bright to realise he's probably better over five, but I believe he'll get six and we're going to let him take his chance as he seems in very good form. It's the last Group One sprint over in England, so we're having a shot at it."

Extortionist was only half a length behind Sole Power when third in the Nunthorpe and, like the winner, he has yet to score over six furlongs.

"He's very well. We'd always wondered about going six with him and Ryan (Moore) came back after the Nunthorpe saying we definitely want to go six and now's the time," said his trainer Olly Stevens.

"He didn't look out of place in that company last time. We're very happy going there, but of course it will be a tough race – it's a Group One. The more the ground dries up the better.

"He's a horse that needs a bit of luck in running as he comes from behind. He's not had that luck in his last couple of runs. Hopefully his luck will change."

Gordon Lord Byron is out to become only the second horse to win the race twice following the exploits of Be Friendly, who won the first two runnings of the Haydock Group One in 1966 and 1967.

Trainer Tom Hogan reports the globetrotting six-year-old to be 100 per cent again after being under-par in the summer due to injury.

"Last year I was told that he was the first Irish winner for 40 years so he is used to making history and hopefully we can make a bit more," said Tipperary handler Hogan.

"It has been the stuff of dreams and hopefully there are plenty more chapters to be written.

"We will certainly be a while looking for another one like him when he's gone."

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