Sole Power grabs Coolmore Nunthorpe glory on Knavesmire

Sole Power, ridden by Richard Hughes, wins the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes on day three of the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival at York RacecoursePicture: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire

Sole Power and Richard Hughes return to the winner's enclosure after winning the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes on day three of the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival at York RacecoursePicture: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire

First published in Sport by

BREATHTAKING speed and a brilliant ride from jockey Richard Hughes helped Sole Power (11-4 fav) grab a memorable Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes double at York Racecourse.

Four years ago, he was considered a 100-1 fluke in Knavesmire’s premier sprint at the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival – robbing Starspangledbanner and becoming one of the biggest priced Group 1 winners in history.

Similar odds must have existed on the betting exchanges a furlong and a half from home as Hughes found himself with no room to manoeuvre and towards the back of the field.

But the champion jockey made a series of dramatic moves, switching his mount right, left and then diving through a tiny gap as he surged through his rivals.

It was a remarkable final furlong from the seven-year-old. Looking like he might not have the time to get onto the podium places, Sole Power not only won but scorched home by half a length from Stepper Point, with Extortionist in third.

His trainer, Edward Lynam, said: "He's a super horse, a horse of a lifetime, it's just the way he does it. He was about 97 pounds 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 at Longchamp in the Abbaye, keep him ticking over, and then Hong Kong. I'd love another go at that."

Take Cover was the smartest away in the five furlong £265,000 race and, coming into that dramatic last 200 yards, Moviesta, for Sutton Bank trainer Bryan Smart, came hurtling to the front.

Neither he, nor Stepper Point or Extortionist, could cope with the absolutely stunning turn of foot from the Irish-trained horse, though, who had confirmed his well being in June when taking the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Hughes added: “A furlong and a half out they split on me and I was left in the middle. With that I had totally lost him. I’d gone from a tight rein to niggling him.

“I swept him back in behind them and he came back on the bridle. He needs cover.”

He continued: “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."

With Slade Power just as dominant in the sprinting division, it means the duo, owned by Sabena Power, have won all the major British Group 1 contests so far this season.

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