Free Eagle (3c High Chaparral-Polished Gem, by Danehill) blew away his opposition in the G3 KPMG Enterprise Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday when running out a brilliant seven-length winner.
The Moyglare Stud home-bred was having a belated first start of the season but looks a major contender for top honours this year after this eye-catcing victory under Pat Smullen. The High Chaparral colt had been off the track after fracturing a tibia in the spring.
“He did it very impressively and it seems it is a case of what might have been (regarding his layoff) but such is life,” trainer Dermot Weld told irishracing.com. “He’s come back nicely and we’ll see how he comes out of it.
“He’s very laid back and it was difficult enough to get him as fit as I wanted for today but he was pretty right. He should improve, naturally and he’ll have one more run and the G1 British Champion Stakes looks the logical race.
“He’s just a very good horse and he did it very very well. It’s just a worry now that he stays sound and right.
“He was stood in his box for 12 weeks. Today was the very first day that it was practical to run and it was the right race to bring him back in.
“Losing him was a huge blow but thank God he’s back and Pat was thrilled with him.”