15th Apr 2016
An agreement has been made between the Irish National Stud and Cornerstone Stud, with the aid of agent Johnny McKeever, to stand Group One Royal Ascot winner Free Eagle in Australia from 2016.
Free Eagle will be best remembered by Australians that viewed last year’s Royal Ascot meeting for his stunning victory in the Group One Prince of Wales’s Stakes (2000m) which saw him beat a quality field that included Criterion, The Grey Gatsby and Gailo Chop.
The Prince of Wales’s Stakes is the premier 2000m race across the Royal Ascot Carnival and has been won in the past by such champions as Dubai Millennium, Ouija Board and So You Think, another promising young sire son of High Chaparral.
“As a son of High Chaparral, widely considered to be one of the most successful European stallions to have shuttled to New Zealand and Australia for some years, we are tremendously excited to be announcing the addition of Free Eagle to our stallion roster,” remarked Cornerstone Stud Managing Director Sam Hayes.
“He was one of those horses that walks out of his box and immediately takes your eye. Types are what sell at the yearling sales and physically Free Eagle has that “wow” factor. We believe in the sire line and the way in which he accelerated away from world class horses at Leopardstown and Royal Ascot makes him something special” Hayes continued.
Of all High Chaparral’s Group One winners, Free Eagle is one of only three to be stakes-performed as a two-year-old, three-year-old and four-year-old. Arguably, one of the classiest stallions to retire to the famed Irish National Stud in recent years, Free Eagle has been very well supported by respected breeders across Europe in his first season at stud and his fertility has been reported as being first-class, as is his professionalism in the serving barn.
“Our ultimate goal is to help people realise their racing dreams by standing world class stallions on behalf of world class breeders. The Irish National Stud has such a proud history, so to be working with John Osborne and his team to help make Free Eagle a success at stud is a big honour”, said Hayes
According to Trainer Dermot Weld, “Free Eagle has everything you want to see in a top class horse. He is a horse with a lot of pace. If you look at the Irish Champion Stakes when he was beaten by Golden Horn in a controversial race, you see how easily he travelled into the race. He was cantering off the home turn. He showed that speed when he won the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot and I think a mile and a quarter is his optimum trip. He is a very settled horse who takes life easy.”
Jockey Pat Smullen spoke of the horse in the highest regard after his 7 length romp in the Group Three Kilternan Stakes as a three-year-old: “I genuinely think that Free Eagle is the best horse I have ever ridden.”
As a three-year-old in 2014, Timeform rated Free Eagle higher than the likes of Adelaide, Toronado, Dissident and Admire Rakti.
Upon retiring as a four-year-old, Free Eagle was given a Timeform rating of 128, rating him above Criterion, Winx, Exosphere, Mongolian Khan and Brazen Beau.
Free Eagle will stand at a fee of $18,700 inc. GST in his first year at Cornerstone Stud.
For booking enquiries, please call (08) 8561 0000
For further information on Cornerstone Stud, visit www.cornerstonestud.com.au