Free Eagle may get another chance to take on Golden Horn in the Arc

John Gosden concedes fact that Dermot Weld horse was third was help to Frankie Dettori

Frankie Dettori on Golden Horn leads the field of the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Frankie Dettori on Golden Horn leads the field of the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

 
Prix de l’Arc de TriompheIrish Champion Stakes

That there wasn’t a high-profile disqualification at Leopardstown, just a few hours after the Doncaster St Leger, appeared to centre on the final position of Found who finished runner-up to the wayward winner as Free Eagle faded to third.

The Weld-trained star was also interfered with by Golden Horn close to the line but Weld has played down the incidents which in other racing jurisdictions would have seen the winner automatically placed behind Free Eagle.

“He was unlucky not to finish second and if he had finished runner-up I have no doubt he’d have got the race. But the rules are the rules and they are the way they are. I’ve no complaints about that,” said the trainer who suggested the interference cost his horse victory.

“I will speak to the owner but there are options such as the Arc, the Breeders Cup and the English Champion Stakes. We will let things settle for a few days before deciding. He has come out of the race unharmed but tired. He gave his all and it was an excellent run.”

Stewards’ inquiry

Denis Egan

“If Free Eagle had finished second, the stewards would have had to decide if Golden Horn had improved his position through interfering with him. If they felt, on the balance of probabilities, that Golden Horn had, then he would have been disqualified. But that’s all an unknown, and there would have been a lot of things that would have had to be taken into account,” Egan said.

John Gosden is definitely targeting the Arc – and a potential clash with the mighty Treve – with Golden Horn but 24 hours later the English trainer admitted to relief at surviving the stewards and said: “I think the fact that Free Eagle was third was a great help to us.”

He pointed to the shadow from the grandstand as the reason for the Derby winner’s violent swerve: “It caught him and he ran right across the shadow of the grandstand. The sun was out. They should probably have run the race later when there was no sun. I’m glad I know why he did it because he’s never done anything like that before.”

Saturday’s other Group 1, the Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes, was relatively uneventful as Legatissimo stamped her authority with aplomb.

“She hadn’t run in about six weeks and we’ll try to give her another six weeks and head to the Breeders’ Cup. I’d like to go for the Filly and Mare Turf,” said trainer David Wachman.

Saturday’s Leopardstown crowd reached 13,800, an almost 5 per cent increase on the inaugural ‘Champions Weekend’ crowd in 2014.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.