Sole Powers to King's Stand Crown
1 Sole Power 8/1
Ireland’s Sole Power, an 8/1 chance, vanquished raiders from further afield, the 11/4 favourite Shea Shea from South Africa whom he caught close home and beat a neck, while Australia’s Shamexpress (12/1) finished ninth, four and a quarter lengths adrift of the winner.
Johnny Murtagh came with a late run which was timed to perfection on Sole Power who is trained by Edward Lynam who commented: “I am very proud of Sole Power.
“If he could beat Shea Shea, he was going to win but I didn’t think he could beat Shea Shea.
“Johnny Murtagh is the best trainer riding!”
Paddy Power, whose mother Sabena owns Sole Power, commented: “It’s amazing and a very special day. What a ride Johnny Murtagh gave him, to win his side by as far as he did. I have to say that we did kind of fancy Sole Power but it’s so special to have it actually happen.
“It’s so special for Mum especially, Dad as well and the Lynams, who did such a great job getting him here in great nick. I can’t tell you how good it is – it’s amazing, so it is!”
Johnny Murtagh, who started combiniing training and riding earlier this year, added: “40 winners at Royal Ascot – I am really proud of it. It’s brilliant meeting and, as a jockey, this is where you want to be performing – it makes the Monday to Fridays a lot easier, when you can come to a meeting like this and ride great horses for good people. I have just been one of the lucky ones.
“I get on well with this horse and I know what he likes. Eddie told me to ride him like I normally ride him – “ride him like you own him!” he said. Sole Power has a great turn of foot but he is very willing and, if he gets going too early, he runs out of steam so you have to time it to the best.
“Sole Power has had a lot of seconds but he deserved this victory – it was a top-class field. He is more relaxed than he has been before – he gives me the impression he is really enjoying his racing.
“Eddie knows how to get Sole Power spot on for these big days. There was always an excuse with his seconds last year. He has run a lot of good races but when you are a 100/1 winner of Group One you are kind of put in a pigeon hole but he showed what he can do today.
“He is not big but his heart is in the right place. He has good acceleration. These days are hard to come by as a jockey and I suppose even harder as a trainer.
“I am still enjoying what I am doing. Hopefully, I can continue on the big days – some people think you have lost the kind of edge but hopefully today showed them that I am as hungry as ever.
“I didn’t see the other horse until late but I thought I hit the line well and was confident I was going to get there. I had to look over to the big screen to see I had it under control
“I am a lot busier than I used to be with the training and the riding. I am enjoying both and they are keeping me busy and mentally sharp. I want to be riding on the big days at the Royal Ascots and big days around the world. That is what I have done throughout my career and I hope I can continue for another while.
“Eddie has stuck by me – others think I might not be at my best – but I believe I am as good as I ever was as a jockey.”
Danny O’Brien, trainer of Shamexpress, said: “He was only average today. He has not been beaten out of sight – three or four lengths. He was probably a bit soft in the last 100 (metres).
“He chased Shea Shea but was just average in the last furlong. We will probably stay – we are here now and the horse seems in good order- and try him over six furlongs in the Darley July Cup at Newmarket.
King's Stand Stakes
NO DISGRACE IN DEFEAT FOR SHEA SHEA AND PEARL
Sole Power’s late blitz landed the King’s Stand Stakes, but the teams behind runner-up Shea Shea and Pearl Secret had no reason to feel crestfallen.
South African challenger Shea Shea, the 11/4 favourite, was saddled by trainer Mike De Kock who felt his horse would have been helped had he been given company in the closing stages of the race – he and the winner finished on opposite sides of the track, and jockey Christophe Soumillon said: “I was on the wrong side behind the wrong horses.”
De Kock said: “After all he’s been through, there’s no disgrace in being beaten. It’s disappointing to be beaten, but our horse has acquitted himself well and I’m very proud of him and the team that prepared him.
“We all like to win, but we didn’t and that’s that.”
Shea Shea is entered in Saturday’s Group One Diamond Jubilee Stakes, and De Kock did not rule out a challenge, saying: “We’ll see how he pulls out in the morning and may take our place on Saturday, but the door’s still open. Christophe said he didn’t have a hard race – he hit the front and was idling, that’s why I say it would have been great to have a horse take him on in front.”
David Barron trains Pearl Secret for Qatar Racing, although the horse had not run since last year’s Nunthorpe Stakes. Barron said: “To say I’m quite happy with him is an understatement. He’s a horse who needs decent ground with a bit of give and doesn’t want rattling ground. The two races we could have gone for before this race at Sandown and Haydock were not suitable because of the ground. He doesn’t need soft ground, just a bit of ease.
“He looked good last year [when winning four races], but he wasn’t taking on the class of horses he was taking on here. To have run as well as he has is very pleasing, and he’s done well physically, so I hope he keeps going that way. He’ll be unlucky not to win one of these.
“He’s entered in the Golden Jubilee, but personally I wouldn’t be in favour – he’s just had his first run of the season and he didn’t have an easy race. The decision will be left to Sheikh Fahad. The horse is in all the Group One sprints over five and six furlongs.”
THE KING'S STAND STAKES
2012-WINNER- LITTLE BRIDGE 6-9-04 Owner-Ko Kam Piu; Trainer-Danny Shum HK; Jockey-Zac Purton; SP-12/1
2011-WINNER- PROHIBIT 6-9-04 Owner-Dasmal, Rix, Barr, Morley, Mrs Penny; Trainer-Robert Cowell; Jockey-Jim Crowley;
2010-WINNER-EQUIANO 5-9-04 Owner-James Acheson; Trainer-Barry Hills; Jockey-Michael Hills; SP-9/2
2009-WINNER-SCENIC BLAST 5-9-04 Owner-Elio Anthony Galante & Partners; Trainer-Danny Morton AUS; Jockey-Steven
2008-WINNER-EQUIANO 3-8-12 Owner-James Acheson; Trainer-Mauricio Delcher Sanchez ESP; Jockey-Olivier Peslier;
2007-WINNER-MISS ANDRETTI 6-9-01 Owner-Sean Buckley, Dave Mueller, Gabriella Guenzi; Trainer-Lee Freedman AUS;
2006-WINNER-TAKEOVER TARGET 7-9-07 Owner-Joe & Ben Janiak; Trainer-Joe Janiak AUS; Jockey-Jay Ford; SP-7/1
2005-WINNER-CHINEUR 4-9-02 Owner-Marquesa De Moratalla; Trainer-Mikel Delzangles FR; Jockey-Christophe Lemaire;
2004-WINNER-THE TATLING 7-9-02 Owner-Dab Hand Racing; Trainer-Milton Bradley; Jockey-Darryll Holland; SP-8/1
2003-WINNER-CHOISIR 4-9-07 Owner-Terry Wallace & Partners; Trainer-Paul Perry AUS; Jockey-Johnny Murtagh;
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