Free Eagle eyeing Derby success after Irish Stallions win

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Free Eagle is 8/1 to win next year’s Derby, after announcing his arrival in the best possible way.

Peter Smullen guided the two-year-old to an emphatic success in the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Maiden.

Tracking the leaders, Free Eagle kicked for home two furlongs out for a five-and-a-half length win ahead of Orchestra and Wexford Town.

The Dermot Weld-trained newcomer is a half-brother to the multiple-group winner filly Sapphire and looks to have inherited plenty of talent.

Galileo Rock won the same race last year, and went on to claim third in this year’s Derby at Epsom.

The usually reserved Smullen was quick to praise the Derby favourite:  “We were really looking forward to him making his debut and he was as impressive as we hoped he would be. You’d have to be taken by his manner of victory.”

Weld was similarly praiseworthy about his charge: “He did what I expected him to do and he’s just a lovely colt.

“He has a lovely attitude, temperament and confirmation. Everything a good horse needs. He’s a beautiful-actioned horse”

Free Eagle is set to run again in the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster on October 26, and his trainer is may not stop there.

“I’ve no definite plans, maybe the Beresford and he’s also in the Racing Post Trophy, we’ll see. He’s a stayer with speed and is a horse with an awful lot to look forward to next year,” Weld told Sky Sports.

Three Aidan O’Brian-trained horses can be backed at 16/1, with Indian Maharaja notching two impressive wins at Gowran and Tipperary this year.

War Command has similarly claimed two wins, but was only third last time out at the Curragh, and despite also claiming Curragh success, Australia has been slow out of the stalls on occasion this summer.

 

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Richard Marsh

Richard loves his sport, especially if it involves the sound of tyres screaming around a race track. He's not fussy though and his '90s Premier League nostalgia and knowledge of team nicknames is tough to match.