herald

Saturday 3 December 2016

Niall Cronin

Top-class sprinter to have first run in Ireland since August 2011 in Saturday's Greenland Stakes

Eddie Lynam today confirmed that Sole Power will bypass Saturday's Temple Stakes at Haydock in favour of running in the Group Two Greenlands Stakes at the Curragh on the same day.

Last year's Horse Racing Ireland Horse of the Year hasn't been seen in competitive action on an Irish racecourse since late August 2011 but after considering the ground at both tracks, Lynam has opted to head for the Curragh as he prepares the eight-year-old for Royal Ascot.

"He was in Haydock and the Curragh, and Royal Ascot is the main plan, but I wanted to get a run into him this weekend and we were keen to go wherever we got nice ground for him," Lynam told the Herald.

"The ground at the Curragh is good to yielding this morning and we are happy with that and Richard Hughes will ride him.

"It will be nice to run him in Ireland again after such a long time."

Lynam sent Sole Power to run in last year's Temple Stakes at Haydock but was forced to withdraw him due to the change in ground, while he won the Greenlands with Slade Power and on Saturday Sole Power will be hoping to follow up his memorable triumph in Meydan back in March.

A high-class renewal of the Greenlands Stakes is on the cards for Saturday with Sole Power set to take on Tom Hogan's globe-trotting Gordon Lord Byron who is also warming up for a tilt at Royal Ascot. Hogan had his stable star away for a racecourse gallop recently and is looking forward to getting him back on track.

He said: "This is a starting point, he's working nicely, we've had him away to work and he's going well."

"He seems in good form and the plan is the Diamond Jubilee. The ground should be fine for him, hopefully we get no more rain as he prefers good ground."

Meanwhile, while last years' Horse of the Year is set to wow the crowds at the Curragh on Saturday, trainer Henry de Bromhead was yesterday paying tribute to "the horse of a lifetime" after announcing the retirement of Sizing Europe.

The 13-year-old was a winner of 22 races from 45 outings including twice at the Cheltenham Festival when he won the 2010 Arkle and the 2011 Champion Chase and he was also second in the next two renewals of that race.

De Bromhead said: "After discussing things with Ann and Alan Potts, we've decided to retire Sizing Europe. He really has been the horse of a lifetime for all involved."

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