Meades will search for softer ground with Lone Eagle

Connections of Lone Eagle are considering options for the four-year-old after he continued his comeback behind Alpinista in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud last weekend.

Last season’s Irish Derby runner-up subsequently suffered an injury in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot and did not return to action until May, with a fair third of five to Third Realm in a Listed race at Goodwood.

Connections of the Ballylinch Stud and Aquis Farm-owned colt had considered running him at Royal Ascot, but having stated they would take a softly-softly approach instead, the training partnership Martyn and son Freddie Meade saw an opportunity to take on his Irish Derby conqueror, Hurricane Lane, in France.

Though finishing three places in front of him in fifth, Lone Eagle had no answer to Alpinista’s finishing kick and the team will now look at further options for the son of Galileo.

“We are just trying to digest the run of the race in France,” said Freddie Meade.

“Obviously, the winner was very entitled to win, but we are trying to dissect the run a bit. The time was very fast and he ran a creditable race.

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“It was very much a case of getting him back on track and it was maybe a step in the right direction.

“The big, important thing with him is to find the right conditions, and we found that it was going to be safe ground in France, and this time of year over here – especially with the weather we are having at the moment – we might not have had many options, even at a lesser level.

“That was the main reason for taking our chance there – conditions suited him. It was a way of getting a nice run into him and I don’t think he lost too much in defeat.”

Lone Eagle, who won the Group Three Zetland at Newmarket on soft ground as a two-year-old, ideally needs cut underfoot to show his best.

Freddie Meade (right) says Lone Eagle needs easier ground
Freddie Meade (right) says Lone Eagle needs easier ground (Dan Abraham/PA)

Meade added: “Hopefully he is on the way back to coming back to where we want him.

“He has taken the race really well and we are very happy with the way he has come out of it. We are just digesting what is going to be the next step, really.

“The big thing is keeping him under the right conditions and finding safe ground. We wouldn’t want to run him on anything too fast, knowing what happened to him last year.

“The good thing he has come back as sound as he can be from France and we can go again.”

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