A neck between Sole Power and Shea Shea denied South Africa a first victory in Royal Ascot’s Gr1 King’s Stand Stakes over 1000m on Tuesday afternoon.
The headline photo, a screen shot from YouTube, shows Sole Power on the stand side, blasting home under Johnny Murtagh to deny Shea Shea, who had made his challenge on the far side for Christophe Soumillon. Pearl Secret finished third.
As expected with top-class sprinters the action was fast and furious with challenges spread right across the track in the final furlong.
It appeared Shea Shea had come through with a decisive burst but Murtagh had other ideas, making a sustained run from a long way back to deliver victory.
Murtagh said: “It is a brilliant meeting. As a jockey this is where you want to be performing – to ride good horses for great people. I get on well with him and I know what he likes. He’s got a great turn of foot and is very willing.”
Mike de Kock was delighted with the effort of Shea Shea, and said: “I’m very proud of him and I suppose second is better than third! He was beaten by a pretty decent horse and I think he acquitted himself well but things didn’t go exactly as we wanted them and in a race like that a head here and a neck there can make all the difference.
In reference to Saturday’s Gr1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes over 1200m, De Kock said: “I’ll see how he pulls out in the morning but my hunch is that he won’t run on Saturday. Having said that, I’m not a stubborn man. The jockey said that the horse hasn’t had a race and he says we should run him again. We’ll try to make a decision in the morning.” – extracts from Racing Post article by David Baxter.