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Star sprinters target the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes

23 Aug 2012

Bated Breath, Sole Power and Ortensia are the three established stars in the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes line-up, but up against them is an unbeaten three-year-old, Pearl Secret, who could be a star in the making.

Will the ground be fast enough at York tomorrow for Bated Breath and Sole Power, seen here battling it out in the betfred.com Temple Stakes at Haydock Park in May. Image courtesy of racingfotos.com.

Three established sprinting stars, Britain’s best, Bated Breath, Ireland’s number one, Sole Power, and one of Australia’s best, Ortensia, grace tomorrow’s Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes, the fifth of seven sprints in the QIPCO British Champions Series.

It promises to be a fascinating showdown, with several scores from earlier in the season to be settled.

Race one in the Sprint division was the five furlong betfred.com Temple Stakes at Haydock Park in May when Bated Breath defeated Sole Power, who did not have the clearest of passages, by a neck.

That was Bated Breath’s first run of the year, but Sole Power had been to Dubai in March where he was second, beaten just over a length by Ortensia, in the big turf sprint on Dubai World Cup Night.

All three speed merchants headed for race two in the division, the five furlong King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, when the rain-softened ground was against them.

It was Ortensia’s first run in Europe and she failed to pick up in ninth, but Bated Breath and Sole Power ran fine races to finish second and third behind Hong Kong’s top sprinter, Little Bridge.

Ortensia was subsequently fourth to Mayson in the Darley July Cup on heavy ground that she could not handle, but she has had one run since, winning decisively at Goodwood, proving that she is back to her best.

Bated Breath and Sole Power, meanwhile, have been patiently waiting for fast ground but they may be thwarted once again after the rain that has fallen at York today.

On the form book there is little between them and though Sole Power might appear the least likely winner of the trio, having finished behind Ortensia once and Bated Breath twice this season, he proved his liking for this race when running out an impressive winner in 2010.

One horse looking to spoil the party is the unbeaten Pearl Secret, trained in Yorkshire by David Barron.

This will be the three-year-old’s first taste of the top level as he graduates to the QIPCO British Champions Series and he will appreciate any cut in the ground.

Whether he can beat those with established form from the earlier Series races will soon be revealed.

To see the full field and race details, CLICK HERE.