Weld weighs up Newmarket for Tarfasha
Free Eagle unlikely to race again this season
Trainer Dermot Weld is weighing up whether or not to take up a Group One option with the smart juvenile Tarfasha in Friday’s Shadwell Fillies Mile at Newmarket. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons
Dermot Weld is weighing up whether or not to take up a Group One option with the smart juvenile Tarfasha in Friday’s Shadwell Fillies Mile at Newmarket.
However, the Curragh trainer indicated yesterday that the most high-profile of his powerful juvenile team, Free Eagle, is unlikely to appear again this season.
Free Eagle was as low as 5 to 1 favourite for next year’s Derby after a scintillating Leopardstown debut in August but proved a disappointment in his only other start back at the Dublin track when well beaten by Australia in a Group Three on Champion Stakes day.
The son of High Chaparral, now as high as 20 to 1 in antepost betting for the 2014 blue-riband renewal, still holds a Group One entry in next month’s Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster. But he is more likely to be put away for the winter.
“I think Free Eagle is finished for the season. Nothing came to light after his last race and I think he is a growing, immature colt. I still think he’s a very good horse,” said Weld.
Former Ascot Gold Cup hero Rite Of Passage was lined up for a piece of work after racing at Gowran yesterday. A return to action is the aim for the star stayer in Longchamp’s Prix du Cadran in a fortnight’s time.
Tarfasha is likely to appear before that with Sunday’s CL Weld Park Stakes, a race run to commemorate Weld’s father, an alternative to Newmarket if the trainer decides to stay at home with the Sheikh Hamdan-owned filly.
The €200,000 purchase, closely related to Galileo Rock and Saddler’s Rock, won her maiden impressively at Galway in late July and is the sole Sheikh Hamdan entry in the top-flight race he sponsors on Friday.
“I’ll discuss it with Angus Gold (racing manager) and we’ll decide between Newmarket and the Curragh,” said Weld.
The in-form Paul Deegan also has the Fillies Mile in his sights for Curragh Listed winner Avenue Gabriel, while Aidan O’Brien’s three entries include Silver Flash winner Wonderfully and Dazzling, who disappointed behind Avenue Gabriel eight days ago.
Friday’s main support event is the Group Two Nayef Joel Stakes for which five Ballydoyle entries include Darwin and Gale Force Ten, fourth in last week’s Prix Du Moulin at Longchamp behind Maxios.
The ground at Newmarket was described as good ahead of two days marked by the Connollys Red Mills Cheveley Park Stakes and the Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes run on Saturday.
The O’Brien, Wachman and Bolger yards are represented in today’s juvenile maiden at Tipperary. But it is a filly who started at 66-1 on her debut eight days ago, and whose trainer hasn’t had a winner in nearly seven years, that provides the most interest.
Diamond Stilettos outran her odds at the Curragh last week and and was far from falling into a hole when Guerre and Atlantic Sea overhauled her.
Guerre is being touted as a potential Middle Park Stakes horse next month and Diamond Stilettos was less than a length off him at the line.
She’s ridden by Irish Grand National-winning rider Andrew Thornton today and Anne Marie O’Shea’s daughter of Ad Valorem should appreciate the drop back to five furlongs.
Willie McCreery’s Hail Shower also drops in trip for the apprentice handicap after failing to follow up an earlier Listowel festival win over seven furlongs. Hail Shower can initiate a double for McCreery whose South Ring sports first-time blinkers in the five furlong maiden.