Darley Purchase VRC Sprint Classic 2014 Hope

Sheikh Mohammed’s global racing powerhouse Darley have added another potential stud star to their arsenal after purchasing the 2014 VRC Sprint Classic hope Slade Power.

The Dutch Art stallion is set to head down under this coming Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival looking to add to their potential stud value ahead of them standing at Kildangan Stud in Ireland at the end of the year.

Breeding goliath Darley have secured the rising six-year-old who is trained at Meath in Ireland by Edward Lynam and who has won nine of their 18 career starts to date.

Darley however won’t reap the immediate rewards of the horse’s remaining 2014 efforts with Slade Power to remain under the care of their Irish trainer while racing for current owner Sabena Power until the end of the year.

Slade Power is undefeated this year after back-to-back wins during their summer including the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1207m) at Royal Ascot on June 21.

Having been competitive in a number of Group 1 races last year including a third to Lethal Force in Newmarket’s Darley July Cup and their second behind Gordon Lord Byron in the Betfred Sprint Cup at Haydock Park, the Diamond Jubilee was their breakthrough elite level victory.

Now a shot at more Group 1 glory is on the agenda this weekend with Slade Power set to contest the Group 1 Darley July Cup (1200m) for a second year in a row this Saturday.

If successful the title of “the Northern Hemisphere’s best sprinter”, as coined by Darley Managing Director Joe Osborne, will certainly hold true.

“Slade Power is an incredibly tough racehorse who consistently performs at the highest level,” Osborne told Racing Victoria.

“He’ll be a popular addition to our roster when he retires to stud at Kildangan at the end of the year.”

After the July Cup they will head down under where their major assignment is penciled in as the $500,000 Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) on Emirates Stakes Day at Flemington on November 8.

Also Australian-bound for a Group 1 raid this spring is last weekend’s Group 1 Coral Eclipse Stakes (2000m) winner Mukhadram.

The $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 25 has long been considered for the William Haggas-trained Son of Shamardal.

But after their strong two length Coral Eclipse success at Sandown Park, their owner Sheikh Hamdan’s Racing Manager Angus Gold said he was keener than ever to head down under for a shot at Australasia’s weight-for-age championship.

“We’ve got to work on Sheikh Hamdan and see if we can persuade him to bring the horse down,” Gold told RSN Sport Radio.

“He’d be the right sort of horse for a Cox Plate. Obviously you need a horse with a bit of speed and you don’t want a real English stayer.

“I know it takes a top class horse to do it so we’ll see if this horse fits the profile.”

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