Eagle ready to soar in Champion Stakes at Ascot

Dermot Weld’s hugely exciting colt Free Eagle remains on target for the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot later this month.

The son of High Chaparral returned from over a year on the sidelines with a spectacular victory in the Enterprise Stakes on Irish Champions Weekend at Leopardstown and is primed to step up to the highest level on October 18.

“He’s in good form, I’m pleased with him and the Champion Stakes looks the logical way to go with him,” Weld told At The Races.

Asked whether Free Eagle was likely to stay in training next season, the trainer said: “If everything goes well and he comes out of his next race okay, that would be the plan.”

Meanwhile, Sole Power will be prepared for a trip to Hong Kong later in the year following his luckless run in Sunday’s Prix de l’Abbaye.

The King’s Stand and Nunthorpe hero was unsurprisingly a hot favourite to clinch a third Group One prize of the season with conditions in Paris to suit, but the gaps failed to materialise for Richard Hughes. Sole Power finished seemingly full of running in eighth, beaten just a couple of lengths, and trainer Eddie Lynam reports his veteran sprinter to have returned to Ireland none the worse.

The seven-year-old will now bid to go one better than 12 months ago in December’s Hong Kong Sprint.

Lynam said: “He’s fine. He had no race and a very easy time, so we’ll aim for Hong Kong now.”

Tony Martin believes Betfred Cesarewitch favourite Quick Jack is as good as any of his other previous placed performers in the famous Newmarket handicap.

The Irish trainer supplied 2007 winner Leg Spinner, and Quick Jack is at the head of the market this weekend after scoring over two miles at the Galway Festival.

The chesnut has also victories at the July course and in a hurdle at the Cheltenham Paddy Power meeting to his credit

“Leg Spinner won in 2007 then Arc Bleu was second, he was very unlucky and was very free, and Barba Papa was also third. I’d put this horse on a par with them,” said Martin.

“Whether he’s good enough to be first, second, third or unplaced on Saturday is another way, but he’d definitely be in the same league as those three.

“I see no reason he won’t get the two and a quarter miles at Newmarket and hopefully the jockey will be riding him accordingly.

lThe top lot on the opening day of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale at Newmarket was 775,000 guineas, paid by John Ferguson for Floor Stud’s Oasis Dream colt out of Titivation, the half-sister to the farm’s former Champion racemare Attraction.

A sister to the Aidan O’Brien-trained Zoffany was one of the biggest movers. Zoffany, By Dansili out of Tyranny, won the 2010 Phoenix Stakes and got very close to Frankel in the following year’s St James’s Palace Stakes.

She was offered by Croom House Stud and after interest from the likes of Demi O’Byrne (Coolmore) and John Ferguson (Darley), she sold for 700,000 guineas to American bloodstock agents Alex Solis and Jason Litt. 107 lots were sold for 20,185,000 guineas at an average of 188,645 guineas and a median of 140,000 guineas. The average represented the second highest opening day average.


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