Sole Power (9): sweeps the field to win by a length and a quarterPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Sole powers to second King's Stand victory
Report: Royal Ascot, Tuesday
King's Stand Stakes (British Champions Series & Global Sprint Challenge (Group 1) 5f, 3yo+
SOLE POWER won his second King's Stand, and Richard Hughes his second race of the 2014 royal meeting, as the pair came from last to first with a blistering turn of foot.
Betfred reacted by halving the seven-year-old for Saturday's Diamond Jubilee, with the dual King's Stand winner now 8-1 (from 16). His stablemate in the same ownership Slade Power heads the Diamond Jubilee betting at 5-1.
With Johnny Murtagh in the saddle last year Hughes watched from the weighing room as Murtagh produced Sole Power late to steal victory in the final strides.
With Murtagh now retired connections turned to perhaps the greatest exponent of waiting tactics and Hughes did not disappoint. "I told Hughesie that this horse was made for him, he just needed to go out and relax on him," said Murtagh, whose love of the horse continues despite the end of his riding career.
Last early, he was travelling all over his field with two furlongs to run as Hughes angled towards the far rail. With so much horse at his disposal Hughes decided it was easier to go all the way round the field on the 5-1 shot rather than hope to thread his way through, and once in the clear Sole Power's devastating turn of foot put the race to bed.
"He's an amazing horse, the horse of a lifetime," said part-owner David Power.
Sole Power (left) beat Stepper Point (right), and Hot Streak (second right)PICTURE: David Cramphorn
The seven-year-old, winning his third Group 1, put a length and a quarter - a vast distance in sprinting terms - between himself and 50-1 outsider Stepper Point, with the 3-1 favourite Hot Streak in third.
That the second and third were up with the pace throughout only further highlighted the amazing turn of foot the winner showed. "I must have been eight lengths off the leader at halfway," said Hughes. "There was loads of room and he just likes to explode."
On his second winner at Royal Ascot 2014, Hughes added: "If I didn't have a good day today I was going to give up, so thank god for that!"