Past Winners » Sole Power


At the prices I have to back old friend Sole Power again in the King’s Stand. Virtually all of the focus in the race has been on Hot Streak and that means that last year’s winner is a 5/1 shot. That is just too big over a course and distance over which he excels.

As well as winning last year’s renewal, when he came with a devastating surge in the final furlong, he had run a cracker in the race the year before when he came miles clear of those with whom he had raced down the middle of the track. He just was not quite able to get past the first two on the far side, and that was on ground that would have been easier than ideal for him.

Things haven’t really gone right for him since last year’s race, the pace wasn’t as strong as ideal for him in either the July Cup or the Nunthorpe, and he bumped into a horse in Lord Kanaloa in Hong Kong who was probably the best sprinter in the world before he was retired after the race.

Sole Power has never quite been at his best in Dubai and, once again he ran creditably there this spring without quite being good enough. He returned to somewhere close to his best when winning the Palace House Stakes at Newmarket on 2000 Guineas day again. He just got checked behind the pace and had to switch a furlong out, but he produced his trademark late surge to get up. He missed the Temple Stakes at Haydock after that on account of the easy ground, but that is not much of a concern, and the drying ground at Ascot is in his favour.

Ordinarily, the fact that he has a new jockey riding him wouldn’t be a positive – it is impossible to better his recent regular riders Johnny Murtagh and Ryan Moore anyway but especially because the horse is at his best when waited with for as long as possible before unleashing his turn of foot. However, Richard Hughes should suit Sole Power ideally, given that Ryan Moore is unable to take the ride. Hughes’ style should be perfectly suited to the horse. He has options from stall eight, there is lots of pace around him, and he should go close again.