Slade Power solidified his spot as Europe's top-ranking sprinter this season when scoring a clear win in the Darley July Cup (Eng-I) July 12 at Newmarket.
Tracking on the far side of the course, the son of Dutch Art asserted himself in the final furlong by 1 1/2 lengths for his second group I triumph in a row. Tropics, a 66-1 longshot, was up in time for a creditable second, with Gregorian a short head back in third, just a neck in front of U.S.-based Undrafted in fourth.
Slade Power covered six furlongs as the 7-4 favorite in 1:12.40 under Wayne Lordan on turf rated soft. Trained by Eddie Lynam, he came into the July Cup having prevailed after a stewards' inquiry following his 1 1/2- length over Due Diligence in the June 21 Diamond Jubilee (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot. That win was his first at the highest level.
His rematch with Due Diligence failed to materialize when that rival was scratched from the July Cup due to the less than ideal course conditions. Also scratched were Slade Power's stablemate, two-time King's Stand Stakes (Eng-I) victor Sole Power, and Fountain of Youth.
The 13-horse field for the July Cup split into two groups after Christophe Soumillon moved Spanish sprinter Noozhoh Canarias across the track after starting from post 11. Slade Power, in the 13 hole, and Tropics in post 16, followed the move, while Gregorian stayed with a six-horse group to race on the stands side as did trainer Wesley Ward's Undrafted.
Noozhoh Canarias led his group until a furlong out when Slade Power took charge and stayed on for the win. Tropics was always within striking distance with Robert Winston but could only chase in vain as Slade Power secured the victory.
"Today he has proved he is the best sprinter in Europe and we want to prove he is the best in the world," Lynam told England's Press Association. "It was probably a muddling messy sort of race today but I have always spoken of him very highly. I'm looking forward to running him in Australia in his last race."
Slade Power was recently acquired by Darley to stand as stallion next year at Kildangan Stud in Ireland. Plans call for him to complete his racing career in the Aus$1 million VRC Sprint Classic (Aus-I) Nov. 8 at Flemington.
Five-year-old Slade Power, a homebred of David and Sabena Power, is from first crop of Dutch Art and out of the winning Key of Luck mare Girl Power. The Irish-bred has a 10-3-2 record from 19 career starts that also includes a win in the 2013 QIPCO British Champions Sprint (Eng-II) at Ascot after a runner-up finish in the Betfred Sprint Cup (Eng-I) at Haydock.