Monday 5 December 2016

Arc remains high on Weld's agenda for Eagle

Published 17/07/2015 | 02:30

Dermot Weld’s classy colt gained a deserved first Group One win at Royal Ascot following a stop-start couple of years due to injuries
Dermot Weld’s classy colt gained a deserved first Group One win at Royal Ascot following a stop-start couple of years due to injuries

Dermot Weld has reiterated that the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe is the ultimate target for his Prince Of Wales's Stakes hero Free Eagle.

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Weld's classy colt gained a deserved first Group One win at Royal Ascot following a stop-start couple of years due to injuries.

York's Juddmonte International on August 19 and Leopardstown's Qipco Irish Champion Stakes on September 12 over the same 10-furlong trip are the options being considered for the son of High Chaparral's next outing.

However, Europe's most prestigious open 12-furlong event at Longchamp in October remains high on the list of international Group Ones on Weld's to-do list.

"I had a hold-up with him just before he won at Royal Ascot, where I thought he put up an excellent performance," Weld (above) said of Free Eagle on At The Races. "It was lovely to win a nice Group One with him at Royal Ascot but I think there's more to come and, with luck, he can do better in the autumn.

"I'm not certain what his best trip is. He's very good at 10 furlongs as he has a lot of pace, but I believe he can carry it out over a mile-and-a-half. He's relaxed and well balanced and hopefully he'll be able to run in the Arc."

Weld is without a runner in tomorrow's Darley Irish Oaks, for which 10 fillies have been declared. With Ryan Moore sidelined, David Wachman's 9/4 market leader Curvy will be reunited with Wayne Lordan in the 12-furlong Classic, while Joseph O'Brien will ride Words for his father Aidan.

The Oaks victor Qualify (Colm O'Donoghue), Together Forever (Seamie Heffernan) and Kissed By Angels (Michael Hussey) complete the Ballydoyle team, with Newmarket represented by Covert Love, Gretchen and Speedy Boarding. Jessica Harrington's Jack Naylor and Jim Bolger's Stellar Glow complete the line-up for the Curragh's final traditional three-year-olds' Classic of 2015.

Meanwhile, Brian Hayes has won his appeal against a two-day ban that he received at Limerick for not reporting that his tack had slipped on Abolitionist. Despite Abolitionist winning, the stewards felt it might have affected the horse's performance, a finding overruled by the appeals panel.

Irish Independent

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