Sole Power strikes in Nunthorpe
Richard Hughes threaded his way through the field to steer Sole Power to a second Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes victory at York.
The 11/4 favourite was soon able to show that pre-race concerns over his health and the going were proving wide of the mark as he cruised along in his usual effortless manner behind early pacesetters Stepper Point, Take Cover and Astaire, who between them helped ensure the Group One contest was run at a fierce pace.
From halfway, it was simply a question as to whether Hughes could find the gaps he needed between rivals - and that not once but twice nearly proved the rider's undoing as he had to switch course in order to squeeze through and get a run.
However, the crucial gap opened between Moviesta and Hot Streak at the furlong-pole and the winner burst through to catch Stepper Point (20/1) and claim victory by half a length. Extortionist was just a short-head back in third, with Moviesta and Hot Streak fourth and fifth, and G Force a slightly-unfortunate sixth.
Winning trainer Eddie Lynam said: "It's been a remarkable journey with this horse since he won this race four years ago. He's now won this race twice, he's won the King's Stand twice and he's a very talented performer.
"If the going is good, we could go for the Prix de l'Abbaye, although I wouldn't want him to have too hard a race when there is Hong Kong still to think about too."
His victory meant that, after the feats of Slade Power, Lynam and owners the Power family have won all four British Group One sprints so far this season.
The trainer added: "Two weeks ago, he had American ringworm, we had to get him right for it and we had only 10 days to train him.
"He's a super horse, a horse of a lifetime, it's just the way he does it. He was about 97 points shorter in the betting today than he was four years ago [when he scored at 100/1].
"We haven't run him in Ireland for a good few years. There's a race on Champions Weekend and we'd like to support it. We'll give him a blow out in Longchamp in the Abbaye, keep him ticking over, and then Hong Kong. I'd love another go at that."
An exultant Hughes added: "He's brilliant, he's made for me. When I was 14 or 15 I dreamed about riding horses like this, and doing it like that."