07/10/2014 4:53PM

Sole Power, Slade Power potent one-two punch in July Cup

Hong Kong Jockey Club
Sole Power has yet to win at 6 furlongs, the distance of Saturday's July Cup.

Trainer Edward Lynam’s powerful pair of sprinters, Sole Power and Slade Power, meet several rising 3-year-olds, including the Spanish horse Noozhoh Canarias, in the Group 1 July Cup on Saturday at Newmarket in England.

The field includes an American horse, Undrafted. Owned by Wes Welker and trained by Wesley Ward, Undrafted exits a good win the Jaipur Stakes over six furlongs on June 7 at Belmont.

The six-furlong July Cup is a straight-course race, and the going at Newmarket figures to be good after rain on Wednesday soaked the firm ground. The turf, in any case, should be moderate enough not to hamper any but those hoping for soft mid-summer ground.

That certainly is not Sole Power, whose best performances have come on top of the turf, not down in it. The 7-year-old Sole Power has won 9 of 41 starts, most recently capturing the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot with an electrifying turn of foot, the second year in a row Sole Power has won that prestigious dash. What Sole Power has not done, however, is win over the July Cup’s six-furlong distance; he finished fifth in this race last year, though he did manage a second to Lord Kanaloa going six furlongs in the Hong Kong Sprint last winter.

In fact, Slade Power, the Lynam-trained 5-year-old, is the more accomplished six-furlong runner. He was third in the 2013 July Cup and might be a better horse this season, having taken the Diamond Jubilee, his first Group 1, going six furlongs at Ascot on June 21.

Noozhoh Canarias was unbeatable against suspect opposition in Spain, but showed he was more than a local flash by finishing second to talented Karakontie last fall at Longchamp in the Jean-Luc Lagardere. Noozhoh Canarias was sixth of 14 last out in the one-mile English 2000 Guineas and might appreciate the shorter trip Saturday.

The Aidan O’Brien-trained Due Diligence, another 3-year-old, held second behind Slade Power in the Diamond Jubilee and appears to be an improving young horse. Third in that race was Aljamaaheer, a 5-year-old who only recently has been shortened up to six-furlong races.