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Betfred Sprint Cup: Why favourite Sole Power can’t win

| 04.09.2014

Sole Power currently reigns supreme atop the ante-post betting for the Group 1 Betfred Sprint Cup at Haydock, but he’s a paper champion.

Eddie Lynam’s 3/1 shot landed a first ever career hat-trick with success in the top flight Nunthorpe Stakes on York’s Knavesmire last time out.

Meanwhile the defections of fellow Lynam inmate Slade Power and Due Diligence have robbed this contest of two of his more likely conquerors.

However, the fact that the race will be contested over 6f rather than over the basement trip is expected to rob the market leader of a chance to continue his glorious sequence on Merseyside.

Sole Power has never scored over the distance he faces at Haydock – in fact he has only attempted it on seven occasions across 42 career runs.

Campaigned over the longer measure three times in his juvenile season he was bested in maidens and sellers.

In the race analysis the comments run along a similar theme.

On debut…“headed 1f out, no extra and kept on same pace” in the eyes of the Racing Post, at Dundalk it was the same story…“no extra from 1f out”.

After such sobering tilts at 6f as a youngster, it’s hardly surprising his handler has seldom aimed him at the trip since he confirmed himself a genuine Group 1 performer.

In the Sprint Cup of 2011 he “weakened approaching (the) final furlong”, while the son of Kyllachy was “never able to challenge” in the Hong Kong Sprint later the same season.

He was most recently aimed at some of the top prizes over 6f last term, mustering a fifth and a five-length second.

After Newmarket’s July Cup, his trainer offered the Racing Post the informative observation:

“It was always my worry that they wouldn´t go fast enough for Sole Power and that was the case. The first furlong of a 5f Group 1 is 12 seconds, over six it´s 14 or 15 – it´s a huge difference. If he runs over 6f again it will be in Hong Kong where they go fast. He will go to the Nunthorpe next.”

Overall Sole Power’s record over the longer distance is enough to make even the most confident of favourite backers a little squeamish.

Backing a proven Group 1 winner at the trip, such as last year’s Sprint Cup king Gordon Lord Byron at 4/1 rates a far less risky proposition.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Thomas Reynolds