All in Sole Power’s favour as he chases double Temple success
Mind Games was the last horse to complete back-to-back successes in the Temple Stakes in 1996 and Sole Power is the 4/1 joint favourite to emulate this achievement at Haydock this season.
Sole Power benefited from being held up off a quick pace last year to burst through the field to beat Kingsgate Native and will be looking to benefit from a similar strategy this time around with the likes of Masamah and Tangerine Trees liable to break quickly.
In his favour is that he should be race sharp after two runs in Meydan back in March, where he ran with credit to finish second on both occasions.
A return to English soil should be appreciated, while trainer Edward Lynam should be congratulated for quickly naming a jockey to replace Johnny Murtagh.
Murtagh was on board for both Meydan runs, but as he will be riding at the Curragh on the same day as the Temple Stakes, the champion jockey of the last two years Paul Hanagan has picked up a profitable spare ride.
With the top jockey on board, connections of Sole Power will have seen their optimism heightened further by the recent sunny weather, as the horse is at his best on firm ground, while the drop back to 5f will also suit, as this is easily his preferred trip.
Bated Breath is the other joint favourite, but there is every chance that he may need the run on his seasonal reappearance, while the fact that he has only raced once in his career over 5f and finished ninth suggests he would prefer a longer trip.
Sole Power’s chances have also received a boost from the withdrawal of last season’s King’s Stand Stakes winner Prohibit, who has been taken out by Robert Cowell because of the “lively” ground at Haydock.