Martyn Meade to aim Epsom absentee Lone Eagle at Irish Derby

Horse Racing Martyn Meade trainer
Martyn Meade: frustrated at having to miss the Derby with Lone Eagle. Photo:

By Jon Lees

GB: Lone Eagle, a late defector from the Cazoo Derby field, will be aimed at the Irish Derby after being ruled out of the Epsom Classic by an unsatisfactory scope.

The Galileo colt, winner of four of his six starts, was set to become trainer Martyn Meade’s second Derby runner until there was a last-minute hitch before declaration time.

“We are completely upset about it,” said Meade. “There is only one Derby and to get a horse good enough to get there and then this happens which is so infuriating.

“I think now we may target him for the Irish Derby. We will take it slowly, miss Ascot, and go straight to the Curragh I think.”

Lone Eagle finished fourth in the Sandown Classic Trial but stepped up next time out to win the Listed Cocket Hat Stakes at Goodwood by four lengths. He was a 33-1 chance for the Derby before he was ruled out.

Meade, whose previous Derby runner Eminent finished a close fourth in 2017, said Lone Eagle had been working well in the build-up. “The lad that looks after him was saying he had never felt better,” he said. “He had been eating everything put in front of him, his coat looks great, he was absolutely brilliant in every respect.

“But if you have a cloudy scope you have got to believe that there is something there and you need to analyse it. It needs to be crystal clear for a race like the Derby. You can’t run at that level if there is the slightest thing.”

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