Lynam lauds Sole Power ahead of the LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint

Fresh from witnessing Sole Power being crowned Horse Of The Year in Ireland this week, trainer Edward Lynam arrived on track today (Wednesday, 10 December) at Sha Tin to watch his sprinting star progress towards Sunday’s G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint (1,200m).

Reflecting on the growing popularity of Sole Power who, in 2014, added two more G1’s to his achievements, including victory in Royal Ascot’s prestigious King’s Stand Stakes (1,000m) for a second consecutive year, Lynam said: “This horse never shirks a battle and his style of racing – sitting way off the pace – is untypical of a sprinter. He is electric and a real ‘box office’ horse.”

Lynam, responsible for another European sprinting star in the shape of the recently-retired Slade Power, added of his seven-year-old speedball: “Sole Power was a champion three-year-old but he has never really got the plaudits. Even now, he’s been around for so long that he’s taken for granted.”

The County Meath-based Lynam also reveals that his 10-time winner keeps on surprising the trainer: “At the end of every season you think it’s the end of Sole Power but this was his best year so you keep going with him.”

Whilst his main achievements have come over 1,000m, Sole Power’s second to the brilliant Lord Kanaloa at Sha Tin last December confirmed that he is not just a ‘one-dimensional’ speedster.

Lynam concedes his best has been at 1,000m but remains encouraged by his performance last year: “He’s been more of a 110-rated horse over 1,200m, but more like 117 or 118 over 1,000m. However if he runs like he did in this race last year, he’s got a decent chance, if we get luck in running. There is no exceptional horse this year and the sprint trial here asked as many questions as it answered. I’d be most frightened of the Australian horse Buffering – if he could get an uncontested lead he might be hard to catch.”

As to Sole Power’s condition on this latest overseas mission, Lynam said: “He’s lost a bit more weight than usual. Other than that, he seems fine.”

Lynam gives the impression he feels added confidence for Sunday because of the fact that Richard Hughes will ride again. Britain’s champion jockey partnered Sole Power to those two G1 wins in the UK this year and the trainer smiled as he said: “Richard says that he and Sole Power were made for each other.”


LONGINES Hong Kong International Races Wednesday Track Notes

LONGINES Hong Kong Vase

Worked on the all-weather and clocked 26.4s for 400m.
Yosuke Takasaka, the assistant trainer, said: “This is the first time he has travelled and he was a bit tired after he arrived, but now he has recovered and his condition is improving. He is behaving like he does at home at the stable here, which means he’s in good form. He will gallop on turf tomorrow.”

Strong canter on the AWT. Germany’s representative in the LONGINES HK Vase looked in good form as he stretched his legs in a solid canter on the AWT on Wednesday morning. Winner of the G1 Preis von Europa on his last start, Empoli appears to have settled in well at Sha Tin. His trainer Peter Schiergen will be at the track tomorrow morning to supervise the horse’s final preparations.

Worked 1200m on the Turf course under Annelie Ackerman and quickened through the final 400m to clock 1m26.3s (30.4, 33.6, 22.3). Went for two laps of the Sha Tin parade ring led by Travelling Head Lad Richard Lambert.
Richard Lambert, traveling head lad, said: “He was beautiful this morning and we are all very pleased. The ground here is fast and he just loves it. The inner side of the course is a little bit better as it is all new. This is the kind of ground you’d want for him; he just thrives on it. We put him on the turf so that he’d get a feel for the course. When he got into the straight, he just went on his own, according to Annelie, who is all smiles. We then took him to the parade ring, as usual when we send horses over here. We like them to get accustomed to the place, not to be surprised on the big day, even though I suspect there will be many more people to watch on Sunday. There won’t be much more to do now. He’s done what he was supposed to do.”

Galloped on the Turf and covered final 1200m in 1m 31.9s (33.4, 31.4, 27.1). The Jim Bolger-trained contender took to the turf for the first time since his arrival, and stretched out without being asked to do too much. His trainer and race jockey Kevin Manning are scheduled to arrive in Hong Kong on Friday, and to be at the track on Saturday.

Worked on the turf and closed out the final 1200m in 1m 31.3s (32.6, 32.8, 25.9).
Trainer’s assistant Robin Trevor-Jones said: “He’s doing great, same as ever. He knows this place well and he’s happy. He won’t do much more now before Sunday.”

LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint

Trainer Robert Heathcote on the horse’s recovery from a hoof abscess: “We were able to shoe him this morning and he then trotted up pretty well. On a scale of five I’d say his degree of discomfort would be about 0.8 and he’s improving all the time. He should be right for some light work tomorrow and then, all being well, we can gallop him on the turf on Friday.”

Galloped 800m on turf under jockey Mirco Demuro in 52.6s (29.6, 23.0).
Mirco Demuro said: “I’m happy with her gallop today. She likes turf. She is very quiet and relaxed. The outside track on the turf was slightly rough so I tried to guide her a little bit to the inner course. I like her so much.”

Worked 1200m on turf under jockey Takuya Ono in 1m 31.8s (34.3, 32.2, 25.3).
Takuya Ono said: “He was very relaxed and moved easily, and he answered me well in the gallop. Everything has gone well and smooth so far. I think he the surface is fine for him.”

Galloped on the dirt track and was clocked at 53.5s for 800m (30.7, 22.8).

Cantered on the AWT
Trainer Eddie Lynam and his owner David Power were at the track for the first time and Lynam said: “Sole Power lost a little more weight on the flight over than we would have liked but I’m happy enough with him. I’d say we’re hopeful about Sunday’s race. The draw will be important and he’s a come from behind sprinter so we’d like to see a good even pace. He’s had his best ever year. He’s rarely let us down, he had a great summer in England and we’re so proud of the horse especially after he was named Irish Horse of the Year. The race looks to be more open this year without Lord Kanaloa and Sole Power will be there doing his best. I have watched the trial race and it’s hard to work that race out, there were a number of hard luck stories, I think, and I don’t rule out the other Irish horse (Gordon Lord Byron) either. There are a lot of horses with chances”

LONGINES Hong Kong Mile

Tony Millard’s charge was reported to be lame in the right front leg yesterday (Tuesday) morning. The 2012 Mile winner will continue to be monitored by Jockey Club vets and a further update will be issued at the appropriate time.

Galloped on the turf and covered 1200m in 1m 21.0s (30.4, 27.2, 23.4).

Worked on the all-weather
Assistant trainer Yasuhiro Shibuta said: “He is in good condition and that gives me a lot of confidence. He has got through everything in good order. He was almost 100% fit last week, and we just need to maintain his condition until Sunday. Tomorrow he will gallop on the turf and we will try to keep him nice and relaxed, we don’t want him felling any tension.”

Galloped 800m on the dirt track in 50.6s (28.7, 21.9).
Shizuya Kato, work rider, said: “Her condition is really improving. Her mood is great. She will just have easy work tomorrow.”

Cantered on AWT under work rider Laura Pike followed by paddock school.
Trainer David Simcock arrives in Hong Kong later today and his assistant Ian Russell said: “We’re just keeping him ticking over, but Laura’s happy with him and says he’s very well. He’s done plenty of travelling this year, he’s very professional, and he’s tough, a seasoned campaigner now. He’s a very laid back horse and touch wood we’ve had no problems with him here. David (Simcock) arrives tomorrow and the horse is likely to work on the turf tomorrow and Friday. He’s been a great asset to our yard and hopefully he can run well again as he did in Canada and at the Breeders Cup.”

Galloped on the turf and covered 1200m in 1m 23.8s (30.9, 29.9, 23.0).
Yasutoshi Ikee, trainer, said: “I instructed the rider to drive him strongly in the stretch. He galloped very well and I am very satisfied. His breathing was good and he is in good condition ahead of Sunday’s race – we just need to maintain that. In his last race (G1 Mile Championship), the sluggish start was everything. He never settled during the race after that and didn’t have a hard race, so he recovered quickly. I think if he had started better that day he would have won the race.”

LONGINES Hong Kong Cup

Galloped on turf and covered 800m in 51.1s (28.9, 22.2). Schooled in the paddock.
Trainer Hideaki Fujiwara said: “I instructed the rider to get a feel of the turf and see how the horse performs on it. That is the most important thing for today’s gallop. Actually he was selected for the QEII Cup here in April, but at that time he was tired and need a break so we decided to skip that race, so this race (Hong Kong Cup) has been the big target for him for some time. So far everything is under control. There is only one thing left that we have to clear and that is tomorrow’s draw. We need an inside draw, so all we can do now is trust that we will get some luck tomorrow.”

Worked on the dirt under regular rider Zoe Gargoulaud and covered 800m in 50.1s (25.5, 24.6).
Corine Barande-Barbe, trainer, said: “He seems to be right mentally. I hope he’s also right in his heart. I feel he’s getting better and better; Perhaps he reaches his peak when he’s 50!”

Worked 800m on the dirt track in 57.2s (30.8, 26.4).

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