Lynam Powers up for big night
Irish trainer Eddie Lynam is back in Dubai with his two stable stars in a bid to finally strike gold at Meydan on Saturday night.
Balmont Mast seeks to improve on last year's cracking second in the Golden Shaheen while Sole Power also returns following a close fourth in the Al Quoz Sprint which came just 12 months on from his second in the same race.
Balmont Mast finds himself pitted against many of his old adversaries in six-furlong event, and Lynam will be applying additional headgear.
He said: "Balmont Mast has got used to the five-star treatment he's been getting over here this year and I think he's just been keeping a little bit back so we'll be putting the 'teddybears', as I call them, on him - cheekpieces.
"He's got a good draw and he was just touched off in the race last year so he's proved that he has a chance. Like the rest of us here, he's in a five-star hotel, he's getting anything he wants, the weather's been good - with the exception of yesterday - and he just thinks it's a holiday.
"He just needs to wake up a bit. When the bell rings, if he was a boxer, he'd be still sitting on the seat. He needs to jump from gate two, be competitive and then he has a squeak."
Lynam explained that despite the Golden Shaheen carrying twice as much prize-money as the Al Quoz, he thinks the latter is a better race.
He said: "The Golden Shaheen is a good race as you have last year's winner, last year's second (Balmont Mast), the third and fifth, so if you think about it, it's the same race really.
"I think the Al Quoz is a better race, that's just my own personal opinion, but it's a wide-open race and I think you could make a case for probably half of the field in that."
Assessing the chances of Sole Power after a light workout on Thursday morning, Lynam said: "Sole Power is in very good form. Shea Shea will be hard to beat, Amber Sky will be hard to beat and the draw will be hard to beat.
"Three starts ago, Sole Power probably ran a career-best in Hong Kong. He was in great form there, he's a very happy horse and a pleasure to train."
Sole Power has not run in Ireland since August 2011, and has been very busy since then, plying his trade as a globetrotting sprinter and flying the Irish flag in England, France, Hong Kong and Dubai.
This year's renewal of the Al Quoz will be a 39th career start for Sole Power and at the age of seven he is not displaying any signs that his form is deteriorating.
Lynam said: "It doesn't really add up, as he is such a small little horse - it's not as if he's a big scopey horse that you'd say he needs time - he was only touched off in a big sales race as a two-year-old. It's just good horses make you look good and bad horses make you look ordinary.
"Sole Power is a very good horse. I think it says plenty about him that Saturday will be his fourth World Cup night."
Of winning a race on World Cup night, Lynam said: "We have been placed in two Group Ones here on World Cup night, we've been placed in a Hong Kong Sprint, but we've never won any of them and it would be really nice to win one for a change."