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Edward Lynam’s flying British galloper Slade Power has enjoyed another European win on way to a run in Melbourne’s VRC Sprint Classic 2014 this spring.
The Dutch Art stallion made it three on the trot and back-to-back Group 1 victories with their impressive winning effort in Saturday’s Group 1 Darley July Cup (1207m) to salute for the punters.
Taken to the far side of the Newmarket track by regular jockey Wayne Lordan after jumping from the outside barrier 13 draw, the heavily weighted sprint star hit the front inside the final 200m.
Even with the 60kg the favourite held onto the lead and on the line had a handy one and a half lengths to spare over long-priced runner-up Tropics ($66) while Gregorian finished off the trifecta in third a further nose back.
“He’s really stepped forward this year and it’s great to get a second Group One. He’s a really good horse,” winning jockey Lordan said post-win.
“He’s not keen but he travels well in your hands. You can ride him just behind the pace.”
It was Slade Power’s second run in the July Cup and followed a credible third in the race 12 months ago behind Lethal Force (1st) and Society Rock (2nd).
Having won 10 of their 19 career starts now, Slade Power is shaping up as a major contender down under this Melbourne Cup Carnival already boasting the title of Europe’s top current sprinter this season.
“Obviously he has proved he is the champion European sprinter and now let us let him have a chance to be the champion world sprinter,” Lynam said.
Leading up to their blistering July Cup effort Slade Power enjoyed a two length win first-up in the Group 3 Weatherby’s Ireland Greenlands Stakes (1207m) at The Curragh carrying 63.5kg, and won by one and a half for their first elite level victory on June 21 at Royal Ascot in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes over the same distance.
Current connections have them earmarked for the $1 million Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) at Flemington on Emirates Stakes Day, November 8 where Lordan believes they can be very competitive.
“I don’t think Australia will be a problem – he travels well and he’ll handle any ground,” the hoop said.
“It will take a very good horse to chin him down there, although they have a different way of racing.”
They will have another run in Europe before that however in the Sprint Cup this September.
“He will go to Haydock for the Sprint Cup in September and then he will be on the plane immediately to Australia for the VRC Sprint,” trainer Lynam confirmed.
I have always spoken very highly of him and he’s just progressed from being a very good horse to a top-class horse. I am very proud of him.”
After that they are likely to retire and stand at Kildangan Stud in Ireland for Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley operation who takes over ownership at the end of the year.
“Both he and Sole Power [last seen winning the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes on June 17] mean the world to me and it will be sad to see him retire at the end of the season,” Lynam continued.
“It is four months until the VRC which is why we will run him at Haydock beforehand and it would be lovely if he could go to Australia and sign off with a win there.”
Sole Power was withdrawn from the July Cup with Lynam not keen to run the 41-start veteran on the rain-affected track.
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