Sole Power provided one of the biggest upsets in British racing when he landed the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes (Eng-I) at York at odds of 100-1.
The 3-year-old gelding, whose only prior success had come on the all-weather course at Dundalk in Ireland, left several top class sprinters in his wake, including the heavy favorite, Starspangledbanner, and multiple group I winner Equiano.
Rose Blossom broke sharply and went straight to the front, setting swift early fractions under Paul Hanagan. Both Starspangledbanner and Equiano appeared to be caught a bit flat-footed at the start, and had to be hustled into contention by their riders. It soon appeared that Equiano was laboring, and the King’s Stand Stakes (Eng-I) winner was eventually eased by jockey Michael Hills.
Meanwhile, Sole Power raced comfortably in mid-pack, as Rose Blossom continued to rocket along on the front end. Starspangledbanner was being driven along by Johnny Murtagh, and finally began to make up ground while traveling along the rail.
With two furlongs left, Rose Blossom’s lead began to dwindle as Sole Power suddenly emerged from the middle of the pack. Under a strong drive by Wayne Lordan, Sole Power wrested the lead away from Rose Blossom just yards from the wire to claim the shocking victory.
Starspangledbanner put in a late charge but was no match for the winner, falling 1 1/4 lengths short in the end. Another 100-1 shot, Piccadilly Filly, got up for third, 1 1/4 lengths behind Starspangledbanner.
The final time for the five-furlong dash was :57.14 seconds over the good to firm turf course.
Winning trainer Edward Lyman said of Sole Power after the race: “We’ve always thought a lot of the horse. He ran very well in the Palace House (Stakes, Eng-III), but disappointed in his last couple of runs.
“He’s been hard to settle at home, but it wasn’t hard today because they went a right good gallop. He will strengthen up and will be back here next year.”
Sole Power is by Kyllachy out of Demerger, by Distant View. He was bred in England by G. Russell, and is owned by Mrs. Sabena Power.