Five-time Group 1 winner Sole Power retired
Sole Power, the globetrotting sprinter who won five Group 1 races for trainer Eddie Lynam and owner Sabena Power, has been retired at the age of ten.
The decision to end the career of Lynam's "horse of a lifetime" was taken after Sole Power returned recently from a three-race stint in Dubai.
Lynam said: "We thought during last season he was losing his sparkle and when he came back from Dubai last month we decided he had done enough. He's perfectly sound and we could have let him race on for another couple of years but the reality is he just isn't as good as he was."
Sole Power won the King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot (2013 and 2014) and was also a dual winner of the Nunthorpe Stakes at York (2010 and 2014). His final Group 1 success was achieved at Meydan in 2015 when he landed the Al Quoz Sprint. He was also a dual winner at Group 2 and Group 3 level and once at Listed level.
Reflecting on his stable star's career, Lynam said: "He put our yard on the map, there's no doubt about that. Bar my family nobody had heard of me before Sole Power won the Nunthorpe as a 100-1 shot in 2010. Wayne Lordan rode him and they beat Starspangledbanner.
"He took us all over the world, racing in Ireland, England, France, Dubai and Hong Kong and was a wonderful, genuine and sound racehorse who always tried his heart out. Unlike his trainer he was always a happy friendly individual.
"He'll be a huge loss to the yard when he leaves to spend his retirement at Horse Park Stud in County Wicklow and there will be a lot of sadness when we load him on to the box to take him there. We’ll be visiting him, that’s for sure.
"The Royal Ascot and York wins were brilliant but, of all his wins, I'd say his win in the Al Quoz Sprint was probably the most satisfying. It was his fifth time in the race and he hadn't won at Meydan in eight previous attempts.
"If you asked me before the race if he could he win, I wouldn't have been confident. Things hadn't gone his way in his prep race. But he really fired on the night and he beat a strong international field. It was a very special night."
Johnny Murtagh, whose three wins on the horse included the King’s Stand Stakes in 2013, said: “ He was a wonderful little horse and when I rode him to the first of his Royal Ascot wins, the way he quickened up and did the job was very special.”
Paddy Power, son of Sole Power’s owner, said: “It’s weird news that Sole Power has retired. I should be sad but I’m mostly relieved that he’s out fit and healthy. I’m not sad for him, I’m sad for us because the adventure is over.
“I’m really proud of him and that’s just from me, a glory boy who turns up on the big days and roars him home.I’m only the son of one of his half-owners. I’m the ultimate hanger-on – imagine how his real friends feel.
“I’m talking about the Lynams – Eddie, Aileen, Sarah, Amy and Emilie – and about Dave Mason, Julie, Deccy, Fran and everyone else who live with him at Garretstown and Terry, who led up a 100-1 winner of the Nunthorpe.
“He ran in 50 Group races, 30 of which were Group 1s. I’m not sure if that’s a record but, if it’s not, whoever ran in more is some horse.”