It’s weird news that Sole Power has retired. I should be sad, but I’m mostly relieved that he’s out fit and healthy.
I’m not sad for him, I’m sad for us because the adventure is over.
I’m really proud of him. And that’s just from me, a glory boy who turns up on the big day and roars him home. I’m only the son of one of the half owners. I’m the ultimate hanger on – Imagine how his real friends feel!
I’m talking about Eddie, Aileen, Sarah, Amy and Emilie Lynam. And about Dave Mason, Julie, Deccy, Fran and everyone else who live with him at Garretstown and Terry, who led him up as a 100/1 winner of the Nunthorpe.
Although it’s often clichéd to say a horse was ‘one in a million’ and ‘unique’, Sole Power’s role of honour will probably surprise you.
He ran in 50 Group races, 30 of which were Group 1s. I have no idea if that’s a record or not, but if it’s not, whoever ran in more is some horse!
He won five Group 1’s – two Nunthorpes, two Kings Stand Stakes and an Al Quoz – along with four other Group races. He was also Group placed multiple times. It’s hard to even imagine that there could have been more there for him but you know what, if it hadn’t rained the night before the Nunthorpe every bloody year….!!
He got Ryan Moore out of trouble in the Palace House at Newmarket in 2014, and a year earlier put in an incredible performance in the Kings Stand Stakes where he hosed up on day one of a hot-and-steamy Royal Ascot.
He loved nothing more than racing, and the July Cup was always next on his agenda. This particular year he was at Newmarket and stabled beside Slade Power, but the weather and ground turned and he was scratched.
When he realised Slade was going out to race and he wasn’t, he got humpy and tried to kick the stable door down to get out and race! Slade ended up winning that July Cup, which I’m sure bugged him even more!
But, boy was he back with a bang at York. That 2014 Nunthorpe is a pretty dramatic race and well worth another watch here. He gave Richard Hughes some thrill!
Not that he gave a damn about it, but he got his just recognition in 2014, winning both the Cartier Champion Sprinter award and also the Horse Racing Ireland ‘Horse of the Year’ crown.
I won’t go through all 65 of his races, but he was so much more than special. He was both one in a million and unique. I know that’s a contradiction – but humour me, it’s an emotional day!
One of the things that made him rare was that he became the first European Horse since Sheikh Albadou at the 1991 Breeders Cup, to win a Group 1 Sprint outside Europe when he won the Al Quoz at the 2015 Dubai World Cup.
The thing that made him unique was that he boasts the best-ever finish by a European Horse in the Hong Kong Sprint, when he was second to that freak of nature Lord Kanaloa in 2013.
He must be the most successful ever Irish sprinter….not bad for a little Kyllachy who cost £32,000!