Past Winners » Sole Power


It isn’t going to be easy for Markab, conceding 7lb to his rivals, and Henry Candy said on Thursday that he was 98% fit, but I am still happy with (our bet on) him. He will love the ground, and I am happy with his draw in stall 10, you are usually better on the near side than on the far side in Haydock sprints. The fact that the stalls are in the centre means that the risk of traffic problems, of congestion against the stands rail, is minimised. Three horses have carried a 7lb penalty in this race in the last 10 years, and they have finished fifth, third and first, so it is not an insurmountable burden.

I am not surprised to see Overdose drift, he is a guessing game, he could win doing handsprings or he could finish seventh, and I am happy to be against him even at 11/4 or 3/1. I expect Borderlescott to run well, but he just may not be good enough on his second run of the season. He may just need another run or two at the age of nine.

Hamish McGonagall is interesting at a massive price, dropping back down to five furlongs … but he just may be drawn out of it in stall two, and he may not just be fast enough to mix it with Rose Blossom and Markab and Overdose in the early stages, which is not a positive given his prominent racing style.

By contrast, as a hold-up horse, Sole Power has everything in his favour, and I am also backing him this morning at 12/1. You usually want to race fairly handily at Haydock, it is an easy five furlongs, but it is possible that the blaze-away front-runners will set it up for a closer like Sole Power, as happened in the Nunthorpe Stakes at York last August, and York is also an easy track. On top of that, his draw in stall five could be ideal, with front-runners Overdose and Rose Blossom in six and seven respectively. He could just get a nice lead from those two before being delivered inside the final furlong.

His Nunthorpe run could have been a flash in the pan, it is a difficult one to explain, but he should have identical conditions today, he will have the fast ground that he loves, and his run in the Palace House Stakes at Newmarket last time was most encouraging after a disappointing time of it in Dubai. Also, unlike Markab, he is a Group 1 winner who doesn’t have to carry a penalty.