Free Eagle held a lofty reputation even before he was first seen on a racecourse. But injury cost him the bulk of his three-year-old season and it will not be until 2015 that this exciting High Chaparral colt get the chance to show us just how good he is.
Bred by his owners, Moyglare Stud Farm, Free Eagle is a half-brother to no less than two QIPCO British Champions Series race winners – Custom Cut, who landed the 2014 Shadwell Joel Stakes and Sapphire, winner of the 2012 QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes.
His debut, a five and a half length winning romp in a Leopardstown maiden in August 2013, saw him immediately elevated to favouritism for the following year’s Epsom Derby.
Some of the confidence behind him evaporated when he then suffered a six length defeat in a Group 3 event at the same course, though it later transpired that the horse who beat him, Australia, was himself a bit special – he went on to land that Epsom Classic.
Free Eagle’s own Classic campaign was obliterated by an injury in spring 2014. But he returned from a year-long absence with a bang when, again at Leopardstown, he posted a stunning seven length triumph in the Group 3 Enterprise Stakes.
And his final start of 2014 proved to be his best yet as, despite racing on unsuitable heavy ground, Free Eagle belied his inexperience to chase home the battle-hardened pair of Noble Mission and Al Kazeem in the QIPCO Champion Stakes.
However, he returned to Ascot over the same course and distance at Royal Ascot in 2015 and managed to get his head in front, fighting hard to hold off the pursuit of The Grey Gatsby and win the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes in a pulsating finish.