Dark Angel's Art Power Prevails In Champions Sprint Thriller

Art Power Megan Rose Photography


There was one attendee at Ascot on Saturday that refused to succumb to Frankie fever and that was King Power's grey enigma Art Power (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}–Evening Time {Ire}, by Keltos {Fr}) who on his 15th attempt in Group 1 company finally made the breakthrough in the QIPCO British Champions Sprint.

Blazing the trail in isolation in his habitual style, the star of the Tim Easterby yard looked set to play second fiddle as Dettori edged ahead late on the 5-4 favourite Kinross (GB) (Kingman {GB}) but where he can capitulate in that circumstance this time refused to relinquish.

Battling back to provide David Allan with his first top-level triumph at 40-1, he prevailed by a neck as Spycatcher (Ire) (Vadamos {Fr}) finished strongly to be two lengths away in third.

“He winged the gates and I just had to sit still and not go too early,” Allan said. “When Frankie came I thought that was it, but he really dug in the last half furlong and I couldn't believe he got back up. He really stuck his neck out and I couldn't pull him up after the line. He was bouncing today and has his perfect ground–he doesn't like it sticky, just wet enough to use his speed. I was thinking 'is he ever going to win one of these?' but he was awesome today–I couldn't believe how well he travelled.”

When granted this six-furlong trip and genuine soft ground, Art Power's record is two wins from five starts with the successes coming in the G3 Lacken and G3 Renaissance S. on two of his fruitful trips to Ireland. His other efforts resulted in a third in this in 2021 and fourth in the previous season, during which he was also in that position in the G1 Haydock Sprint Cup. Wearing his heart on his sleeve at all times, he had also garnered another renewal of the Renaissance, a G2 Greenlands S. and G2 Sapphire S. as he conquered the neighbouring isle time and again.

Easterby said, “He's had a few bad-luck stories, but he's been in the first four nearly every time he has run here and you can't knock that. We gelded him during the winter, because we couldn't get a job for him at stud. He's a wonderful little horse and took his gelding well–he takes it well whatever you do with him, just brilliant.”

“I thought David gave him a fantastic ride. He jumped out and travelled. And when he travels, he is hard to beat. He looked great today–he lost a load of weight when he ran in France, he hit his head on the stalls in the Abbaye and it was game over. There's racing in Hong Kong, we might take him over there–we shall see.”

Ralph Beckett said of Kinross, “I am very pleased and proud of him. We slightly had to go looking for Tim's horse to get by him. The winner's very tough, isn't he, on his ground. It's just one of those things. That's the way it goes. I don't know about the Breeders' Cup or Hong Kong–we'll talk about it after the weekend. It will be one or both.”

Pedigree Notes

Art Power's dam Evening Time, who was successful in the Listed Sweet Mimosa S. and runner-up in the G3 Phoenix Sprint S., has also produced the G3 Ballyogan S. winner Penny Pepper (Ire) (Fast Company {Ire}), the Listed Prix Ronde de Nuit scorer Morning Frost (Ire) (Duke Of Marmalade {Ire}) and the stakes-placed Shaan (Ire) (Iffraaj {GB}). She is kin to the triple listed-winning and G3 Prix du Bois-placed Distinctly Dancer (Ire) (Distinctly North) and to the dam of three black-type winners headed by the G3 Premio Omenoni and G3 Premio Tudini scorer Titus Shadow (Ire) (Titus Livius {Fr}). The family also includes the GI Arlington Million-placed Fanciful Angel (Ire) and Listed Wolferton S. scorer Mountain Angel (Ire) by Dark Angel. Evening Time's unraced 2-year-old full-brother to Art Power named Symetric Power (Ire) was a €135,000 purchase by Chauvigny Global Equine at this year's Arqana Breeze-Up.



Saturday, Ascot, Britain
QIPCO BRITISH CHAMPIONS SPRINT S.-G1, £500,000, Ascot, 10-21, 3yo/up, 6fT, 1:16.92, sf.
1–ART POWER (IRE), 130, g, 6, by Dark Angel (Ire)
1st Dam: Evening Time (Ire) (MSW & MGSP-Ire, $167,992), by Keltos (Fr)
2nd Dam: Shadow Casting (GB), by Warning (GB)
3rd Dam: Fanciful (Fr), by Gay Mecene
1ST GROUP 1 WIN. (€110,000 Ylg '18 GOFOR). O-King Power Racing Co Ltd; B-Owenstown Bloodstock Ltd (IRE); T-Tim Easterby; J-David Allan. £283,550. Lifetime Record: MGSW-Ire, 31-9-0-3, $966,504. *1/2 to Penny Pepper (Ire) (Fast Company {Ire}), GSW-Ire, $124,311; Morning Frost (Ire) (Duke Of Marmalade {Ire}), SW-Fr; and Shaan (Ire) (Iffraaj {GB}), SP-US. Werk Nick Rating: A. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree, or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Kinross (GB), 130, g, 6, Kingman (GB)–Ceilidh House (GB), by Selkirk. 'TDN Rising Star'. O-Marc Chan; B-Lawn Stud (GB); T-Ralph Beckett. £107,500.
3–Spycatcher (Ire), 130, g, 5, Vadamos (Fr)–Damask (Ire), by Red Clubs (Ire). (90,000gns 2yo '20 TATBRE). O-Highclere Thoroughbred Racing (Adriana Zaefferer); B-Tally-Ho Stud (IRE); T-Karl Burke. £53,800.
Margins: NK, 2, NK. Odds: 40.00, 1.25, 11.00.
Also Ran: Swingalong (Ire), Run To Freedom (GB), Makarova (GB), Vadream (GB), Mill Stream (Ire), Sandrine (GB), Sense of Duty (GB), Believing (Ire), Magical Sunset (Ire), Ocean Quest (Ire), Rohaan (Ire), Saint Lawrence (Ire).

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