King George: Noel Meade keen to see Lone Eagle in action at Ascot after Irish Derby second behind Hurricane Lane

Lone Eagle was narrowly beaten by Hurricane Lane in the Irish Derby last month; Martyn Meade's three-year-old set to take on Epsom Derby winner Adayar at Ascot; watch the King George live on Sky Sports Racing at 3.35pm on Saturday

Lone Eagle (nearside) goes close to winning the Irish Derby
Image: Lone Eagle (nearside) goes close to winning the Irish Derby

Martyn Meade is ready to find out just how good Lone Eagle is when his stable star runs in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.

The Galileo colt missed out agonisingly in the Irish Derby to Hurricane Lane, having made a bold bid under Frankie Dettori - who is keen to retain the partnership.

On Saturday he faces another Godolphin Derby winner in last month's Epsom hero Adayar, while Aidan O'Brien's Love also looks a formidable opponent.

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"I was thrilled with his run at the Curragh - everything he did in the race was right, apart from the result I suppose," said Meade.

"He's come out of it very well. He's a horse that is very straightforward and he's just flourishing, I think.

"Saturday is a big task, but I'm confident he'll produce a really good showing there."

Dettori made a bold move three furlongs out at the Curragh, and Meade thought at the furlong marker that it would be a race-winning decision.

Also See:

Lone Eagle ridden by Silvestre De Sousa on their way to winning the British Stallion Studs EBF Cocked Hat Stakes at Goodwood Racecourse in Chichester. Picture date: Friday May 21, 2021.
Image: Lone Eagle, ridden by Silvestre De Sousa, on their way to winning the Cocked Hat Stakes at Goodwood

He told Nick Luck's Daily podcast: "The way the race panned out meant we were left in front - I thought the pace maker would take us further into the race, but Frankie had no option to go on when he did.

"Two furlongs out I was thinking it wasn't ideal to go on at this stage - but a furlong out I thought 'good Lord, there's a chance we'll win this'. I could see the blue colours quickening, but I didn't think he was going to get there.

"Because our horse had nothing to aim at when the other horse came, there was no time to get momentum again and have a fight with the other horse, so it was a beautifully timed run as far as (William) Buick was concerned.

"I'd love to see what would happen if we ran the race again and at the two furlong marker if the winner was upsides - that would have been interesting, but of course we'll never know.

Pyledriver 2:19
Trainer William Muir was left devastated after having to withdraw stable star Pyledriver from the King George at Ascot following a groin injury.

"Frankie was very enthusiastic about the horse, while obviously being upset about the result. He said he just kept on giving and giving and couldn't ask for any more. He said he was a delight to ride and was keen to ride again on Saturday.

"We still don't know how good he can be. Maybe the Curragh was the pinnacle, maybe not - we'll find out on Saturday."

Buick is on Adayar this weekend, having overlooked him at Epsom in favour of Hurricane Lane - who finished third.

"The King George is always a fascinating race - and this year it has attracted all the best three-year-olds, older horses and fillies," he said.

"I think this year's three-year-olds are a good bunch. You can't take away from what Adayar did at Epsom - he was a very good Derby winner, and looking back it didn't come as a complete surprise.

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"Although he didn't win his two trials, he ran well in both - and he's bred to be very good.

"He had Hurricane Lane back in third. Hurricane Lane took the Derby very well, and you'd have to say he has taken a step forward for sure.

"We'll find out how good Adayar is on Saturday. The two are being kept apart for now, but I suspect somewhere down the line they will meet again.

"He gets an attractive weight pull in the King George - as a Derby winner, he must have an obvious chance in the race."

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