Lone Eagle forges to Zetland Stakes success
Lone Eagle fuelled Derby dreams for the Martyn Meade team with victory in the Godolphin Flying Start Zetland Stakes at Newmarket
The Galileo colt demonstrated the best of his battling abilities in the Group Three contest, making his first attempt over a mile and a quarter a winning one.
Racing in the front pair throughout, the 16-5 shot showed stamina is very much his forte when forging clear late on to defeat his Sandown conqueror Recovery Run by a length and three-quarters, completing a hat-trick of wins for the season.
Assistant trainer Freddie Meade: “He showed a great attitude to knuckle down and get the job done. With the ground the way it is you don’t want to be too far away.
“He has been headed in the past over shorter trips and battled back so I was always positive he would have enough to get on top in the end. We spoke back at Goodwood and we thought this might be a target so I’m glad it has come off.
“I think we have to dream of a Derby campaign first and see where we go on the way to that. Whether we look at a Derby trial and then we can always rethink if things change.
“I think that will be him for the year as he has progressed nicely and will have a well-deserved break.”
Winning jockey Silvestre de Sousa – who enjoyed a Group-race treble at the track on Friday – believes Lone Eagle could develop into a contender for the Derby, for which he was introduced at 50-1 by Betfair.
He said: “It was a nice performance as it is not easy for a two-year-old on that kind of ground. He is really tough, he’s not very big but he gallops with his heart out. I’m just pleased he has won three.
“Next year you could look at a Derby trial and then possibly the Derby if he keeps improving through the winter.”