Posted: 30th Nov 2015
Sole Power: 16-1 to win his sixth Group 1PICTURE: Martin Lynch (racingpost.com/photos)
Hong Kong: Connections of Sole Power, arguably Ireland's most popular Flat horse, are hoping he can make it fourth time lucky in the Longines Hong Kong Sprint at Sha Tin next week.
The Eddie Lynam-trained eight-year-old was ninth last year and filled the same position in the 6f race in 2011, but ran a blinder two years ago when second to crack Japanese sprinter Lord Kanaloa.
Sole Power is 16-1 with Sky Bet to register his sixth top-level success and jockey Chris Hayes cannot wait to get back on board.
Hayes, riding in Dubai for the first time this winter, took over from the now-retired Richard Hughes and partnered the son of Kyllachy to a memorable victory on a rare appearance in Ireland in the Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh in September.
Sole Power and Hayes were then not beaten far when ninth in the Prix de l'Abbaye at Longchamp.
"The Curragh was magic because I'd missed out at Haydock when he was declared to run in the Sprint Cup, but didn't," said Hayes.
'No reason he can't win'
"When I eventually got on him it was magic. At Longchamp maybe I was still learning about it, although he'd never run a top race there.
"I'm looking forward to getting on him and hopefully keeping the ride so we can do something in Dubai in the new year as well.
"His form does say he's better over five furlongs, but he was second in Hong Kong under Johnny Murtagh and it might have even been a career-best. There's nothing to say he won't run well again and Eddie knows him inside out and will be sending him out in the best condition he can."
Sole Power is owned by the bookmaking Power family, headed by David and Sabena.
"They're probably some of the nicest owners I've ever had any association with," Hayes added. "I've won for them and lost for them and they're as good and gracious when they win as when they lose."
Sole Power: huge shock in 2010 Nunthorpe StakesPICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
What makes Sole Power so popular?
Everyone loves an underdog
Made headlines when a shock 100-1 winner of the Nunthorpe in 2010, denying the Coolmore-owned favourite Starspangledbanner.
Rare Irish speedsters
Ireland has no problem producing Derby winners and Champion Hurdlers, but Sole Power's five Group 1 wins and earnings of more than £2 million mark him down as one of the nation's greatest sprinters.
Box office running style
Will he get there, won't he? Sole Power likes to leave things late, but thankfully he has the turn of foot to get out of trouble as his wins in the 2014 Nunthorpe and brace of King's Stand Stakes demonstrated.
As Hayes says, "some of the nicest owners I've ever had any association with". Sabena Power's pre- and post-race television interviews have become part of the Sole Power success story.
"If ever I'm in trouble I'm in trouble I just think of him," she said after his Al Quoz Sprint win in March.
Sole Power's main rivals
Gold Fun (9-4 Betfair Sportsbook)
Six-year-old was second to the awesome Able Friend in the Hong Kong Mile last year, but has thrived over sprint trips this term.
Peniaphobia (5-1 Ladbrokes, Coral, William Hill)
Son of Dandy Man will be looking to go one better than 12 months ago when he found Aerovelocity a quarter of a length too quick in Hong Kong's biggest sprint.
Straight Girl (7-1 bet365, Sky Bet, Boylesports)
Japanese mare went like a bullet in the mornings at Sha Tin last year and was third in the Sprint. Captured her second Grade 1 at Nakayama in October.
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