Free Eagle aiming to go out with a bang for Dermot Weld
Dermot Weld's Free Eagle aims to end his career on a high in the Hong Kong Cup on Sunday.
Winner of the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, the four-year-old has been beset by niggles throughout his career.
His problems started when he picked up an injury on his second outing behind subsequent dual Derby winner Australia. That ruled him out of almost all his three-year-old season but he returned to win a Group Three by seven lengths and go close in the Champion Stakes at Ascot.
His next run was his biggest success and he also ran with credit in the Irish Champion Stakes, where he was given a big nudge by Golden Horn, and in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.
The last time Weld was successful in Hong Kong was with Additional Risk, also owned and bred by Moyglare Stud
Fiona Craig, representing Moyglare Stud, said: "He travelled well, but was understandably very tired on arrival. He seems in good form now and has been cantering daily, so we'll see what happens.
"Everyone seems very happy with him. He had a gallop on soft ground at Leopardstown in November that went well, but that is obviously very different to a mile and a half on fast ground at Sha Tin.
"We thought long and hard whether we should run in the Cup or the Vase. I'm not sure how you can judge his run in the Arc and we know he can do it at a mile and a quarter.
"It didn't work out for him at Longchamp and we'll never know what would have happened at Leopardstown after the incident with Golden Horn.
"It's a bit ironic that the horse who could be his biggest threat, Designs On Rome, is a horse we bred and sold as a yearling at Goffs for 10,000 euros.
"All these years later, we're taking him on in a Group One in Hong. It's funny how things work out sometimes.
"It would be great if he can go out on a high."