Impressive Soffia surges to Sapphire Stakes victory for sprint king Eddie Lynam

One might wonder whether Eddie Lynam ever gets fed up with the moniker of sprint king, but some of the best sprinters of the last decade have been through his hands, and in the surprising frame of Lady O'Reilly's Kyllachy filly Soffia it looks as though he might have another star.

A most impressive performance in Sunday's Group 2 Friarstown Stud Sapphire Stakes under Declan McDonogh was easily a career-best effort and one of the best performances in a sprint this season. This dismissal of a strong group of primarily British sprinters puts her at the sprinting top table.

In a race in which the trailblazing Caspian Prince did just that, and in which the prolific El Astronaute among others gave their running, she just careered away inside the final furlong to score by three lengths.

Lynam said: "I thought she was good but I didn't know she was that good! She keeps surprising me. There were no prisoners there today. I would say a couple of them out in front got penalty points from the the first few furlongs, they were winging it. She got there easily and won easily. That was her most impressive performance."

He added: "The trainer being a bit of a pessimist thought this was a huge step up for her, but I thought she was entitled to take it, and the way she's won! Soffia has entries for the Flying Five and the Prix de l'Abbaye. The Flying Five is a race I wish we had here for many years. She has improved and that gives us a good boost.

"People keep writing how the Irish sprinters never beat the British ones. We don't have the same volume of sprinters here but Aidan [O'Brien] won the July Cup with Ten Sovereigns and we've won this today. We have a good programme for sprinters and we should be proud of them. We have one of the best of them over five and Aidan has one who's better than all of them."

The consistent El Astronaute was beaten three lengths in second, while the slow-starting Garrus kept on well to be third. King's Stand Stakes third Soldier's Call was a disappointing fourth, ahead of the trailblazing Caspian Prince.