08/20/2010 10:39AM

Sole Power takes Nunthorpe at 100-1


Sole Power, a 100-1 rank outsider, upset runner-up Starspangledbanner in the Group 1, $374,000 Nunthorpe Stakes at York on Friday as a second 100-1 shot, Piccadilly Filly, filled the third spot in the five-furlong dash.

Breaking from post 12 near the stands’ side rail, the 3-2 Starspangledbanner broke to his right and was racing alone for the first half of the race in seventh or eighth place in a 12-runner field shortened by the late scratch of Fleeting Spirit. Johnny Murtagh was pushing along Starspangledbanner, the Golden Jubilee and July Cup winner, before halfway in a race that was clearly a little on the short side for him.

Sole Power, whose only two previous victories in 11 starts had come on the Polytrack surface at Dundalk, was always just ahead of the favorite and struck the lead under William Lordan a furlong out. By that time Starspangledbanner had finally found his best stride but it was too late. Sole Power beat him by 1 1/4 lengths with Piccadilly Filly another 1 1/4 lengths away in third. Two-time defending Nunthorpe champ Borderlescott was sixth, with 2007 Nunthorpe winner Kingsgate Native eighth. The disappointment of the race was the 7-2 second choice Equiano, who trailed home last, 18 1/4 lengths behind the winner.

Trained in Ireland by Ed Lynam, Sole Power covered the straight five furlongs in 57.14 on good to firm ground.

A 3-year-old son of 2002 Nunthorpe winner Kyllachy, Sole Power had been unplaced in his last four tries on turf since setting a five-furlong track record of 57.46 in a conditions race on the Dundalk Polytrack on April 3. Lynam said he hoped that the gelded Sole Power would be running in the Nunthorpe for “years to come,” but has no immediate plans for him.

◗ Earlier, Rio de la Plata returned to group race form with a 7-1 victory in the Group 3, $132,000 Strensall Stakes. The winner of the Group 1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at 2, Rio de la Plata had gone off form after finishing second in the French 2000 Guineas two years ago. A pair of minor victories at Nottingham and Pontefract signaled his revival and on Friday he came again to defeat Rainbow Peak by a neck. Rio de la Plata, a Godolphin 5-year-old son of Rahy, clocked 1:49.04 for the 1 1/8 miles.