A star is born: Perfect Power demolishes Commonwealth Cup rivals to showcase sprinting prowess

The performance was the highlight of another thrilling day’s racing at the historic Berkshire track that also hosted the Group 1 Coronation Stakes, which was won by Inspiral and Frankie Dettori



Flying away: Perfect Power, ridden by Christophe Soumillon, wins the CommonwealthCup at Royal Ascot on Friday. — Reuters
Flying away: Perfect Power, ridden by Christophe Soumillon, wins the CommonwealthCup at Royal Ascot on Friday. — Reuters

By Leslie Wilson Jr

Published: Fri 17 Jun 2022, 11:42 PM

Perfect Power was hailed a ‘special horse’ by his trainer Richard Fahey after delivering a performance to match his name, in the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup, the joint feature race on the penultimate day’s racing at Royal Ascot on Friday.

With 10-time French champion Christophe Soumillon in the irons, the Irish-bred three-year-old was all power inside the final 100 metres of the six-furlong contest as he shifted gears to fly past the front runners for a dominant length and a quarter victory.

Perfect Power is owned by Sheikh Rashid bin Dalmouk Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Racing Club (DRC).

The performance was the highlight of another thrilling day’s racing at the historic Berkshire track that also hosted the Group 1 Coronation Stakes, which was won by Inspiral and Frankie Dettori.

Frankie Dettori performs his trademark ‘Flying Dismount’ after winning the Coronation Stakes on Inspiral.— Reuters
Frankie Dettori performs his trademark ‘Flying Dismount’ after winning the Coronation Stakes on Inspiral.— Reuters

The glittering seven-race card also featured two Group 2 contests, the six-furlong Albany Stakes and the King Edward VII Stakes, both of which fell to the powerful Ryan Moore and Aidan O’Brien jockey-trainer pairing.

But there was no getting away from the fact that the performance of the afternoon came from Perfect Power, who has the potential to be a major player in major sprint races like the Group 1 July Cup at Haydock and the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville, France.

Already a dual Group 1-winning juvenile over six furlongs, Perfect Power was following in the illustrious footsteps to two former Dubai-owned winners of the Commonwealth Cup, Muhaarar I2015) and Eqtidar (2018), both of whom raced in the famous silks of the late Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Soumillon, who has ridden some great horses during his career and was enjoying his third Royal Ascot winner, said of Perfect Power: “He is a great horse. He has such a big heart.

“It is very special to win here. That is why you have to be very humble when you come over here as it is the toughest place to win races.

“When you have the chance to ride a great horse for great owners and a great trainer, you have to put it all together,” the Belgian ace told ITV Racing.

“Perfect Power was the best two-year-old I have ridden in terms of speed and, now at three, he is still giving a great performance.”

Fahey said: “When you have a great belief in a horse and he doesn’t let you down – it’s fantastic.

“When you’re a small trainer from the north of England, you need Group 1 horses. He has won three Group 1 races now, and it will be four soon. He is a special horse.

“He is a dude of a horse. He just lays down, eats, trains, and looks at all of us and just carries on with his life,” Fahey added.

“It is not very often you are confident going into an Ascot race, but last year I thought he was a certainty said to Sheikh Rashid, ‘Whatever beats this guy, you buy him he will be a special horse!’ Luckily nothing beat him and I have got a special horse!

“We have loads of options. As well as the July Cup, we can go seven furlongs or we can go to the Prix Maurice de Gheest,” Fahey continued.

“I will speak to the Sheikh. He is very involved, and I’d like to thank him because I was a little bit worried about the ground as he was a little bit jarred after Newmarket. He just agreed with everything that we discussed and gave me the confidence to have a go today.”


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