Saturday 22 October 2016

Upbeat Weld plots Arc Eagle route

Published 16/07/2015 | 10:56

Free Eagle
Free Eagle

Dermot Weld believes Free Eagle can be just as effective over a mile and a half as he is over 10 furlongs.

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Having missed the chance to prove himself against dual Derby winner Australia and the rest of his age group in last season's Classics due to injury, the son of High Chaparral is now beginning to fulfil his potential.

He won the Prince of Wales's Stakes on his seasonal debut at Royal Ascot and Weld hopes the four-year-old ends up in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

"Unfortunately, he got a stress fracture of his tibia when he was working exceptionally well (last year) and that delayed his entire late spring and summer campaign," the Rosewell handler told At The Races.

"He didn't reappear until September, when he won a nice Group race at Leopardstown, and it was then unfortunate on Champions Day at Ascot that he had to run on very heavy ground.

"He ran such an excellent race just to be beaten.

"We're always expecting better. I had a hold-up with him just before he won at Royal Ascot, where I thought he put up an excellent performance in winning the Prince of Wales's.

"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."

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