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Sole Power - Royal Ascot 18.06.13

Sole Power surging home to win the King's Stand under Johnny Murtagh

  PICTURE: Martin Lynch (racingpost.com/photos)  

Sole too powerful for King's Stand rivals

Report: Royal Ascot, Tuesday

King's Stand Stakes (Group 1) 5f, 3yo+

SOLE POWER blasted home on the stands 'side with a withering run under Johnny Murtagh to deny hot favourite Shea Shea, who had made his challenge on the far side, with Pearl Secret third.

Victory for the Eddie Lynam-trained sprinter continued Ireland's dominance in the early throes of this year's Royal Ascot, following Declaration Of War's triumph in the Queen Anne.

As expected with top-class sprinters the action was fast and furious with challenges spread right across the track in the final furlong.

It appeared Shea Shea had come through with a decisive burst for Christophe Soumillon but Murtagh had other ideas, making a sustained run from a long way back to deliver victory.

Owned by the Power family, the six-year-old was winning at the highest level for the second time, having taken out the Nunthorpe in 2010, and bookmaker Paddy Power, one of the winning owners, said: "It's amazing, such a special day. We did kind of fancy him. I can't tell you how good it is."

Murtagh added:  "It is a brilliant meeting. As a jockey this is where you want to be performing - to ride good horses for great people. I get on well with him and I know what he likes. He's got a great turn of foot and is very willing."

Mike de Kock was delighted with the effort of Shea Shea, and said: "I'm very proud of him and I suppose second is better than third!

"He was beaten by a pretty decent horse and I think he acquitted himself well but things didn't go exactly as we wanted them and in a race like that a head here and a neck there can make all the difference.

"I'll see how he pulls out in the morning but my hunch is that he won't run on Saturday. Having said that, I'm not a stubborn man. The jockey said that the horse hasn't had a race and he says we should run him again. We'll try to make a decision in the morning."

For three-year-old Reckless Abandon, who finished fifth, Newmarket is the next target. Trainer Clive Cox said: "My heart was in my mouth for a moment but sadly he jinked to the left again, which affected his momentum. He is still a top-class horse, though. The Diamond Jubilee was only ever insurance so I'd say it will be the July Cup next."

Also on Tuesday:

Royal Ascot: Windsor Castle Stakes (Listed) 5f, 2yo colts and geldings

Johnny Murtagh completed a double on the card on Extortionist in the concluding Listed Windsor Castle Stakes.

The colt gave rookie trainer Olly Stevens a Royal Ascot winner at his first attempt, and ended the day on a high for Sheikh Fahad Al Thani, with his Qatar Racing Ltd colours carried to victory.

Challenges were spread across the track deep inside the final furlong, but 16-1 chance Extortionist prevailed by a neck from Supplicant, with 4-1 favourite Anticipated third.

Murtagh said: "It is a special day. I love the place and it is great to ride these good horses. He got relaxed and in a lovely rhythm and it was an exciting finish."

 
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