Belfast Telegraph

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Eagle poised for Curragh return

Free Eagle is set to make his seasonal bow in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh on May 24.

The four-year-old looked set to be a leading player in the last season's Classics after winning on his racecourse debut and chasing home Australia in two juvenile starts in 2013.

However, the High Chaparral colt suffered a setback that kept him off the track until last September, when he trounced some fair rivals by upwards of seven lengths in a Leopardstown Group Three.

Weld felt he merited a crack at the highest level and he was hardly disgraced in finishing third to Noble Mission in the Champion Stakes at Ascot last October.

Free Eagle has yet to run over further than 10 furlongs but Weld believes he should be able to shine over a mile and a half in time, with the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe a long-term target.

He told At The Races: "I'm very pleased with him, he's training nicely.

"He's very likely to go straight to the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh without a prep race and we'll take it from there.

"In terms of trip, I'd be reasonably confident that he'll be fully effective over a mile and a half as the season progresses.

"His main programme will all be in the second half of the year, with the Irish Champion Stakes and the Arc being the big aims.

"He'd compare very well with any top-class horse I've had. He's a very good colt."


From Belfast Telegraph