Irish duo top Sprint stars
Brilliant sprinter Sole Power and defending champion Gordon Lord Byron star among a maximum field of 17 runners in the Betfred Sprint Cup at Haydock on Saturday.
Eddie Lynam's Sole Power has already struck twice at the highest level this season, turning in devastating displays in the King's Stand at Royal Ascot and the Nunthorpe at York to confirm himself top of the tree in the five-furlong division.
However, the seven-year-old steps up to six furlongs for the first time this year, a distance over which he has never previously won.
Gordon Lord Byron was a hugely impressive winner of the Group One contest 12 months ago for Tom Hogan and returns as a major contender following a narrow reverse on his return from a break at the Curragh recently.
Hogan said: "Gordon Lord Byron is in great form. He needed the run (at the Curragh) and it has really brought him on.
"He has done very well since and would be somewhere around the same condition as he was before he won this race last year. His work rider even thinks he has got better."
Wayne Lordan, who has ridden Gordon Lord Byron on six previous occasions, winning three times, gets back on board on Saturday.
Sole Power and Gordon Lord Byron are joined on the trip across the Irish Sea by Aidan O'Brien's Cougar Mountain and Evanna McCutcheon's stable star Maarek.
Henry Candy runs Hackwood Stakes winner Music Master, as well as Dinkum Diamond, while Dean Ivory's July Cup runner-up Tropics enters calculations following his Listed-race win at Newmarket a fortnight ago.
Other contenders include the Olly Stevens-trained Nunthorpe third Extortionist, the mount of Pat Smullen, David Barron's Beverley Bullet winner Pearl Secret and Clive Cox's Lennox Stakes scorer Es Que Love.
Michael Appleby's highly regarded three-year-old Danzeno is first reserve.
The sponsors have trimmed Sole Power to 3-1 favourite from 4-1, with Gordon Lord Byron out to 5-1 from 9-2 after being drawn in stall 18.
Betfred spokesman Andrew Griffiths said: "The money has been coming for Sole Power all week and we've been forced to take evasive action with his main market rival drawn on the wide outside."
Betfred Sprint Cup, sponsors bet: 3-1 Sole Power, 5-1 Gordon Lord Byron, 7-1 Music Master, 9-1 G Force, Tropics, 10-1 Extortionist, 12-1 Cougar Mountain, 16-1 Hot Streak, 20-1 Es Que Love, Pearl Secret, 25-1 bar.