View from connections ahead of Saturday's Group One Betfred Sprint Cup from Haydock Park.
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Sole Power bids to cap an amazing season by adding the Betfred Sprint Cup to his impressive record at Haydock on Saturday.
The seven-year-old has dominated the five-furlong division this season, mopping up the King's Stand and the Nunthorpe, but gets a great chance to notch a Group One over six furlongs as his stablemate Slade Power, winner of the Diamond Jubilee and July Cup, has been forced to miss the race.
Sole Power has yet to win over six furlongs, although he has run creditably in his few efforts at the trip, notably when second in the Hong Kong Sprint behind Lord Kanaloa in December.
The key to Sole Power staying the extra furlong will be whether he settles and while trainer Eddie Lynam accepts he is better over the minimum distance, he does believe he can stay the six.
"The ground seems OK. He's drawn in the middle (nine) which doesn't seem a bad draw and he's in good form. We're hopeful of the best," said the County Meath handler.
"It's a shame Slade Power couldn't make it but the fastest horse in the world isn't a bad super-sub. Some pundits reckon he's better over five furlongs, but he would have won the Hong Kong Sprint over six if he hadn't met a monster horse."
"He needs to settle and you wouldn't need to be too bright to realise he's probably better over five, but I believe he'll get six and we're going to let him take his chance as he seems in very good form.
"It's the last Group One sprint over in England, so we're having a shot at it."
Paddy Power, son of Sole Power's owner Sabena Power, is also of the opinion that six furlongs is within his compass.
He said: "It's a shame Slade Power couldn't make it, but we'll let him do his talking in Australia and the fastest horse in the world isn't a bad super-sub.
"Some pundits reckon he's better over five furlongs, but he would have won the Hong Kong Sprint over six if he hadn't met a monster horse."
Gordon Lord Byron bids to become only the second horse since Be Friendly, who won the first two runnings of this race in 1966 and 1967, to claim the title twice.
His trainer Tom Hogan reports the globe-trotting six-year-old to be 100% again after being under-par in the summer.
"He suffered a bit of a back injury at Royal Ascot which he had to be medicated for and he also had some issues with his feet but they are all sorted now," he said.
"He is ready for a winter campaign in some far-flung places and Saturday is his first task. He has loads of international invites but we will take a decision about where he goes after Saturday - he should just be reaching his peak now at the age of six.
"In terms of the ground, the only thing he can't manage is heavy. He floats on fast ground and he ran one of the best races of his life on firm when he was second in this race two years ago in an extremely fast time despite being drawn on the wrong side where there was no pace.
"He has also twice run well in Hong Kong on very fast ground, which he loved, so firm ground is not an issue.
"They tell me that the only horse to win this race twice was Be Friendly many years ago and I remember him racing for Sir Peter O'Sullevan. Last year I was told that he was the first Irish winner for 40 years so he is used to making history and hopefully we can make a bit more on Saturday.
"It has been a wonderful experience to have a horse capable of taking me to so many different places and performing at the highest level. He is pretty unique as he is effective over six furlongs, seven furlongs and a mile.
"It has been the stuff of dreams and hopefully there are plenty more chapters to be written. We will certainly be a while looking for another one like him when he's gone."
"Ryan came back after the Nunthorpe saying we definitely want to go six. The more the ground dries up the better. He's a horse that needs a bit of luck in running as he comes from behind. Hopefully his luck will change and we're very excited about running."
Wayne Lordan gets the leg up after Joseph O'Brien, who had been expected to be aboard, decided to stick to Cougar Mountain, trained by his father, Aidan.
Cougar Mountain is the least experienced horse in the line-up with just three runs to his name, but two have come in Group One sprints
"He came out of (the Nunthorpe) at York quite well. He ran very well there and he ran a blinder in the July Cup before that," O'Brien told At The Races.
"He worked very nicely the other morning. He's going to take his chance and hopefully he will run a good race.
"There's no doubt he has a chance. It's great that I had the opportunity to ride Gordon Lord Byron and I'd love to ride either of them, but Cougar Mountain ran a blinder in York.
"He was only beaten two lengths in one of the fastest and biggest sprints in the world on his third ever start. He's stepping up an extra furlong on quick ground in Haydock. The track, the trip and the ground and all should suit."
Extortionist was only half a length behind Sole Power when third in the Nunthorpe and, like the winner, he has yet to score over six furlongs.
"He's very well. We'd always wondered about going six with him and Ryan (Moore) came back after the Nunthorpe saying we definitely want to go six and now's the time," said his trainer Olly Stevens.
"It seems the logical place to go. He didn't look out of place in that company last time. We're very happy going there, but of course it will be a tough race, it's a Group One.
"The more the ground dries up the better. He's a horse that needs a bit of luck in running as he comes from behind. He's not had that luck in his last couple of runs. Hopefully his luck will change and we're very excited about running."
Clive Cox supplemented Es Que Love with the ground drying out for the five-year-old, who landed his first success in 15 months in the Lennox Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.
"That was his first Group Two success in the Lennox so I very much hope that he's one of those sprinters who is only just coming to himself now, as Sole Power really seems to have done and a few others," said the Lambourn handler.
"He's in great heart and I've been really pleased with him at home. He ran a blinder over six in the Hackwood, wasn't disgraced over five in the King's Stand and won a Group Two over seven, so he's very versatile. He's run well at Haydock before."
"He's in great heart and I've been really pleased with him at home. I think it's a combination of knowing he's at his best on fast ground and sending him back sprinting which has served him well.
"He ran a blinder over six in the Hackwood at Newbury, wasn't disgraced over five in the King's Stand and won a Group Two over seven, so he's very versatile. He's run well at Haydock before, he actually beat Lethal Force there.
"I'm grateful to the owners that they saw fit to invest some of their prize money from Goodwood and have a crack. A lot of thought has gone into it (supplementing)."
Henry Candy saddles both Music Master and Dinkum Diamond, but reckons Sole Power is the one to beat.
"I suppose it's in our favour that Due Diligence isn't running, but I would think Eddie Lynam's (Sole Power) is a certainty on this season's form," said the Wantage handler.
"Our two are in good form. Dinkum Diamond probably isn't good enough but they are in there so we'll see how they go."
Tropics was runner-up behind Slade Power in the July Cup and returned to winning ways in the Listed Hopeful Stakes back at Newmarket last month.
His trainer Dean Ivory is expecting a big run from the six-year-old, who he feels is a better horse in the autumn as he showed when beating Music Master at Ascot in October.
"First of all the horse is very well and the second thing is that his last two runs have been terrific runs and he's a better horse in the autumn," said the Radlett handler.
"I took the hood off him last time and I think that will have sharpened him up and made him a little bit fresher and freer. I think we've got a good, fighting chance tomorrow.
"I still don't know how good this horse is. He keeps pulling more out of the bag every time. Obviously he needs luck in running. I think we've got to hold him up a little bit. I've got a top jockey on (Robert Winston). He knows Haydock very well. He's a nice, cool jockey with bags of confidence and he's worked out Tropics really well."
Baccarat has not been seen since winning the Wokingham, one of the biggest sprint handicaps of the season, at Royal Ascot, but his trainer Richard Fahey reports the five-year-old to be ready to take on the big boys for the first time.
"He's in good form. We're happy with him. He has 6lb to find (on top-rated Sole Power), but we'll see what happens," said the Malton handler.
"It was a good performance in the Wokingham and if he's in that sort of form he'll have a chance."
Professor has had a busy time since finishing second, beaten a length and a half by Baccarat in the Wokingham, but he is a tough sort and his trainer Richard Hannon is not without hope.
"He is effective at six and seven furlongs, but, though his recent runs have been over the longer trip, he ran a blinder to finish second in the Wokingham and was also unlucky not to win a Listed race at Salisbury, so he deserves a shot at the pot of gold," the Herridge handler told www.richardhannonracing.co.uk.