Slade Power holds off Jack Dexter in the Sprint StakesPICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
Slade powers home for Ireland in Sprint Stakes
Report: Ascot, Saturday
Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes (Group 2) 6f, 3yo+
SLADE POWER gave Ireland a second success on British Champions Day when he followed Royal Diamond into the winner's enclosure with victory in the Sprint Stakes.
The 7-1 winner, eighth in the race last year, travelled powerfully for Wayne Lordan and had plenty left to repel 5-1 chance Jack Dexter, who landed the apprentice handicap on this card 12 months ago.
Slade Power's trainer Eddie Lynam, who saddled Sole Power to win the King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot in the summer, had more to smile about courtesy of Viztoria, who claimed third at 5-1.
Third in the Diamond Jubilee and second in the Sprint Cup, Slade Power - bred by owner Sabena Power - finally had his big day.
He shot clear up the centre of the track after racing prominently and, despite drifting to join Jack Dexter on the stands side rail, ran out a tidy winner.
Lynam said: "This has always been a good horse but he got very badly injured in this race last year. He broke his pelvis but Simon Knapp saved him.
"I was seriously concerned about the ground for him but Wayne said his class got him through it. He was pulling up a long way out and when he got to the front he was looking about. Wayne brought him up to the other horse and he battled really well."
Slade Power may head to Hong Kong next for the big Sha Tin meeting in December where he could give his enthusiastic connections more to cheer about.
Bookmaker Paddy Power, son of the winning owner, said: "We always thought he was a Group 1 horse in the making but his best form is on fast ground and we didn't have a clue whether he would go on this.
"He braved it out. This was a Group 2 and he should definitely step up again - bring it on for the five- and six-furlong sprints next year.
"We were pretty confident and hopeful coming here. We thought that Maarek was the one to beat on his French form and the ground was probably a tiny bit soft for Slade Power - he had won on soft but we didn't how he really handled it.
"He was brilliant today. He was left on his own and had to do all of his own work. Wayne pulled him across brilliantly to get him to fight with Jack Dexter. This is the first horse Mum has bred and she and Dad are over the moon after this."
Prix de l'Abbaye winner Maarek, the 7-2 favourite who was bidding to win the Sprint Stakes for the second year running, broke slowly and never got into contention. He finished 12th of the 14 runners.