After taking out last Saturday’s Golden Jubilee at Royal Ascot, the Edward Lynam-trained Irish sprinter Slade Power is in the mix for the VRC Sprint Classic 2014 in Melbourne this spring.
Connections of the flying Dutch Art stallion named the $1 million Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic (1200m), formerly the Patinack Farm Classic, as a possible option down under after they broke their elite level maiden.
After plenty of runs at the highest level around Europe, the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1207m) proved the right race for Slade Power to finally break through.
They pulled away for a commanding win beating Due Dilgence by a length and a half in the classic and are now in line for a trip to Australia to chase our spring riches, and a lucrative $600,000 bonus.
The bonus, offered by Racing Victoria, is open to any horse that wins the VRC Sprint Classic along with any other leg of the Global Sprint Challenge – the Diamond Jubilee included.
Held on the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, the VRC Sprint Classic is this year scheduled to light up Flemington Racecourse on November 8 as one of two Group 1s on Emirates Stakes Day.
Attracting the country’s top sprinters, there could then be an added overseas’ interest with the inclusion of Slade Power to the possible contenders.
Slade Power automatically received an invitation to the VRC Sprint Classic by winning the Golden Jubliee, an invitation their trainer Lynam wasn’t afraid to accept.
“I hear you have got a very good sprinter (Lankan Rupee) over there but we’ll give it a go,” the Meath-based Lynam told told Sky Sports radio on Tuesday morning.
“We’ve been doing a bit of research into him and he might not be Black Caviar but he’s very, very good and he’s going to be a hard nut to crack.
“We’re not afraid to lose, so we’re going to give it a go.”
Along with the prize money, and $600,000 bonus, the other big positive to a VRC Sprint Classic run for Slade Power was their potential stud value as a Group 1 performer in both hemispheres.
“He’s also a stallion as well and that may also be a part of their thinking that he’s probably, definitely a future stallion prospect as well, it all lines up well, that was definitely in Edward’s mind as well and for connections,” Racing Victoria’s international recruitment officer Leigh Jordon said.
“The VRC have got a special bonus where if a Global Sprint Challenge winner of a previous leg, of which he is, wins that race on the final day there’s an extra $600,000 to the winner which makes the total winners prize cheque with the prize money added $1.2 million so that’s probably as good as you’ll get anywhere in the world, it’s a pretty good incentive.
“If he won that leg he may elect to go to Hong Kong and then he’d be competing for the $1 million Global Sprint Challenge bonus, so there’s plenty of reasons for him to come here.”
Leading up to their trip to Victoria Slade Power was likely to have their next run in the Group 1 July Cup (1200m) at Newmarket on July 12.
The chance that they could then begin quarantine requirements for a flight to Australia had Jordon very happy.
“I spoke to trainer Edward Lynam,” he said.
“We just talked about logistics about when he’s due to go into quarantine etcetera so it’s all very positive.
“He’s spoken with the connections and they’re looking very positively about bringing Slade Power down for the VRC Sprint which is a great result.
“We had Lucky Nine come down last year as a previous Global Sprint Challenge winner and Slade Power well I think he was pretty impressive winning the Diamond Jubilee he’s got very good form so that was good news.
“When you go through his form he’s had 18-starts he’s been in the money 14-times, his last seven starts he’s won a Group 1, the Diamond Jubilee, he’s won the Ascot Champions Sprint last October on their Champions day he’s been placed behind Gordon Lord Byron in the Haydock Sprint.
“It’s a terrific result if we can get Slade Power out here; I think it will add a lot of interest to the sprints.”
Lynam however has indicated another of his invitees to the carnival, Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes (1000m) winner Sole Power, was more likely to head to Hong Kong over Melbourne.
“I think the Hong Kong Sprint would suit him more,” he said.
“I won’t rule out going to Melbourne with him just yet but I’d imagine he’d probably go to Hong Kong.”
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