Sole Power Out To Set The Record Straight
Prix de l'Abbaye
Kicking Sunday’s terrific card off in style at Longchamp is the Group 1 Prix De L’Abbaye over 5f (1.00), where only the quickest sprinters…
…around need apply. One such runner who fits that profile is Sole Power, the 2/1 favourite.
Edward Lynam’s superstar sprinter doesn’t owe anybody anything following a sensational season in which the 7yo scooped two Group 1’s over 5f (King’s Stand and Nunthorpe), before a creditable fourth (of 17) in the Group 1 Haydock Sprint Cup last month.
However, the Abbaye is one race that has evaded him, having been third in 2011, before a fifth in 2012, and then a sixth 12 months ago.
He arguably should have won when third on good ground three years ago, while the ground was too soft on his last two attempts, but Sunday could be the day he puts the record straight if the ground remains good.
Directly behind Sole Power in his two Group 1 wins this summer in second was William Muir’s Stepper Point (8/1), who gained some deserved compensation in winning a Group 3 at the Curragh several weeks ago (5f, good to firm). He’ll need to pull out more if beating Sole Power on Sunday, but rates excellent each-way value.
Brits Lead The Way
The Brits certainly held sway in this event down the years, winning no fewer than 10 of the last 12 renewals, including Maarek (20/1), who sluiced up in the mud 12 months ago, but may need the heavens to open if defending the title.
Another Brit with a chance is David Barron’s Pearl Secret (14/1), a six-time winner over this 5f trip, prior to a fifth in the Sprint Cup over 6f last time. This step back to 5f will suit, but he may have to settle for place honours at best.
The 7yo, Take Cover (16/1) is another who may come up just short at this level, despite recording a career best to win a Group 2 at Goodwood in August (5f, good to firm). He was beaten 2l by Sole Power at York and also below form last month.
One with a better chance is the Charles Hills’ juvenile, Cotai Glory (10/1), a Group 3 winner at Goodwood (5f, good to firm) in the summer, prior to unseating in a Group 2 at Doncaster last month. This ultra-fast colt was clear on that occasion before swerving, and will certainly be a threat if getting the lead on Sunday, especially as he receives a whopping 18lb weight allowance.
Let’s not forget the French 5yo, Catcall (9/1), who won a Group 3 over C&D (good to soft) back in May, and bids to go one better than when beaten a short neck by Maarek in this 12 months ago. This ‘come from behind’ performer may need things to fall right, but with a strong pace likely, he may arrive late at juicy odds.
With the ground set to stay on the dry side, this could be a good opportunity for Sole Power to finally win the leading sprint in Europe – a race he should have won back in 2011.