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Fahey praises 'special' pair Perfect Power and Soumillon after Group 1 win

Christophe Soumillon and Perfect Power win the Middle Park
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Perfect Power found top gear when it mattered under Christophe Soumillon to overcome an unfavourable draw and register back-to-back Group 1 wins in the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes.

The son of Ardad was cut to 8-1 second favourite (from 16-1) by Paddy Power for next year's Qipco 2,000 Guineas back at the track next May after getting up late to deny Irish raider Castle Star.

The race made for uncomfortable viewing for winning trainer Richard Fahey as he thought his Prix Morny winner was up against it from stall one given that the preceding Cheveley Park Stakes was dominated by those drawn high.

Just as he had done from a poor berth at Deauville, the masterful Soumillon dropped Perfect Power out off a pace set by outsider Twilight Jet close to the stands' rail and came from behind a wall of horses at the Bushes to show ahead in the last 50 yards and win going away.

Middle Park: full result and race replay

Fahey said: "This is a very special day with a very special horse given a very special ride. He's special and you could see that with the way he quickened. He's had a busy season but he loves it. He spends most of his time laying down asleep at home and saves his best for these days."

On the preliminaries, the North Yorkshire-based trainer added: "I was very confident coming down this morning, but having watched the previous races here, I thought we had an impossible task from slot one. It was a great performance and it's not often you have a dual Group 1 winner in the yard, and I'm delighted for the team and the owner Sheikh Rashid who is here today.

"I don't know if he'll run again this year. We'll have a chat to the team, but we'll give him every chance to be a 2,000 Guineas horse next year. We could run him in a trial as you don't get a Group 1 penalty these days."

Owner Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum was seeing Perfect Power in the flesh for the first time and his racing manager Bruce Raymond said: "I've never seen a horse quicken like Perfect Power does and that was fantastic.

"I would have been worried about the draw with any other jockey than Christophe on him, as he told us not to worry when we had a similar stall at Deauville and he won very well from there."

Christophe Soumillon sports a big grin as he heads back to the winner's enclosure following his victory on Perfect Power

Soumillon, having his first ride in Britain since 2019, said: "I wasn't worried that I was a bit far back as I knew having ridden him at Deauville that he could accelerate quite fast. The problem was that he stumbled twice in the Dip which left me a bit far from the front, but he quickened in the last furlong like he did in France. I knew before the race that I had the best horse, I just had to be confident on him.

Perfect Power was chased home by Castle Star with the Richard Hannon-trained Armor in third. Hannon said: "I'm delighted with him. I thought he was coming there to win, but the winner is obviously very good.

"I always felt if we knew he handled fast ground it would be worth taking him to the Breeders' Cup for the Juvenile Sprint. He is improving and developing more physically than I expected so I would love to try for another Group 1 option."

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I knew before the race that I had the best horse, I just had to be confident on him
E.W. Terms