Tag Archive for: Tapster Stakes

Lone Eagle team looking for suitable option

Martyn Meade will keep Lone Eagle’s sights lowered for the time being as he continues on the comeback trail.

Having not been seen since suffering an injury in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes last summer, the four-year-old son of Galileo made his return to action at Goodwood last month, finishing an odds-on third of five to runaway Tapster Stakes winner Third Realm.

Connections of the Ballylinch Stud and Aquis Farm-owned colt had considered running him at Royal Ascot, but decided to take a softly-softly approach instead.

Meade, who trains in partnership with his son, Freddie, says he will run again in the next couple of weeks.

“We were going to think about running him in the Hardwicke, but he needs a slow introduction,” said Meade senior.

“He wasn’t really straight enough at Goodwood, which was fine. It was a prep run for him.

“Now we will start planning out where he will go. We will maybe just run him in another Listed race to make sure he wins that.

“Obviously, he is a top-class horse and he has had his problems, so we want to be really, really careful with him.”

Lone Eagle won the Cocked Hat Stakes at Goodwood before finishing a fine second to Hurricane Lane in last season’s Irish Derby at the Curragh.

However, things did not go according to plan when he went wrong in the King George at Ascot where he finished last of five to Derby winner Adayar.

“We don’t want to go too mad,” added Meade. “He should be out in about the next two or three weeks, now we have got all this out of the way (Royal Ascot), we’ll find a nice little race for him somewhere.

“Hopefully he will win to get his confidence and then we will go from there. Slow steps. He wasn’t anything like straight at Goodwood.”

Meade delighted with Lone Eagle’s return to the track

Martyn Meade was delighted with Lone Eagle’s return to the track at Goodwood on Saturday, despite finishing an odds-on third of five to runaway William Hill Tapster Stakes winner Third Realm.

The four-year-old son of Galileo had not been seen since suffering an injury in the King George last term, having previously finished runner-up in the Irish Derby.

Keen in the early stages of the Listed mile-and-a-half contest under Silvestre de Sousa, he was ridden sympathetically once the Roger Varian-trained winner had breezed past at the two-furlong marker.

But despite being sent off the 8-11 favourite, Meade was far from despondent after the race, which developed into something of a sprint off a modest early pace.

He said: “He has come back OK and that was what it was all about, really. It is always difficult when you are bringing a horse back. He has been off for a long time and we have just had to mind him.

“He would just have needed that a little bit – simple as that. He looked after him and that is the main thing.

“The great thing is Silvestre thinks he has got all his old sparkle back and he is just the same. He just got a bit tired (in the good to soft ground) towards the end.

“He is not ground-dependent, but he just would have needed that a little bit and that was the whole idea. It would have been nice had he won hands and heels, but it was not to be.

“There is another day and the main thing is he is back.”

Asked of plans for his next run following the seven-and-a-quarter-length defeat, Meade quipped: “Straight to the Hong Kong Vase – that’s where the money is – but I don’t think we’ll do that!

“This will have brought him on no end and while he didn’t actually win, we did what we wanted to achieve and that was the main thing, to get him back racing.

“He has taken a bit of time to come to hand and has never been a first-time-out horse, actually.

“Anyway, we are delighted he has come back safe and sound and that is the main thing.”

Third Realm returns to winning form in Tapster test

Third Realm bounced back to form in no uncertain terms, cruising to a six-length success in the William Hill Tapster Stakes at Goodwood.

The Roger Varian-trained Sea The Stars colt had not won in five starts since beating subsequent Derby winner Adayar in the Lingfield Derby Trial last year.

However, he showed plenty of spark in his first run as a four-year-old when third to Al Aasy at Ascot earlier this month and with the ground on the soft side of good, he made light work of his four opponents – including last year’s Irish Derby runner-up Lone Eagle, sent off the 8-11 favourite, having his first run since last July.

Andrea Atzeni took advantage of a modest early pace in the mile-and-a-half Listed contest and quickly drew clear on the 3-1 shot with two furlongs to race, with Something Enticing (12-1) giving vain chase.

Atzeni said: “His first run back was a nice one at Ascot. The ground probably dried up for him and the horse got a little bit tired.

“We were looking for a bit more juice in the ground, which we got today. We were confident, but we wouldn’t know with Lone Eagle turning up. He obviously had not run since July last year.

“He hasn’t won since beating Adayar in the Lingfield Derby Trial. We ran him in the Derby on fast ground and I think he is the sort of horse who wants a mile and a half on slow ground.

“It was nearly good to soft today and he would handle bottomless ground – as long as it is not fast ground.

“He quickened up today and put the race to bed quite nicely. Taking the favourite out of the race, this was a very winnable race. It was solid, but I thought on his own form he would win.

“Speaking with Roger (Varian), he said he had definitely improved since Ascot and so we were very hopeful.

“I would think the Hardwicke would be next, but it obviously depends on the ground and we will have to speak to (owner) Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum. The Hardwicke would be the obvious race.”