GBI RACING

Late decision expected on Falcon Eight bid for Gold Cup

Falcon Eight wins at the Curragh

Falcon Eight is under consideration for a tilt at the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot next week.

It is three years since Falcon Eight’s half-brother Free Eagle claimed glory at the showpiece meeting in a thrilling renewal of the Prince of Wales’s Stakes for the same combination of trainer Dermot Weld and owner-breeders Moyglare Stud Farm.

Falcon Eight looked another top-class prospect after winning his first two starts at the Curragh and Killarney last summer, and rounded off his campaign by finishing third in the Loughbrown Stakes at Naas.

He has made just on appearance so far this season – finishing strongly to fill the runner-up spot in last month’s Saval Beg Stakes at Leopardstown – and connections are now pondering whether to send him across the Irish Sea for the two-and-a-half-mile feature.

Moyglare’s breeding adviser, Fiona Craig, said: “I don’t think we’ve 100 per cent decided either way on Royal Ascot just yet. We’ve still got a bit of time to decide.

“He’s only had four runs and it does look a very good Gold Cup. You’ve got Stradivarius in there and the Melbourne Cup winner (Cross Counter) and I’ve been very impressed with Mark Johnston’s horse, Dee Ex Bee.

“I think we’re keen to go, but is it the right thing for the horse?”

She added: “He’s quite a lazy horse and because of that he’s hard to judge. When he starts galloping he’s pretty good, but I think he’d be quite happy trotting along at the back of the field if you let him!

“Going for a Gold Cup would be a big step up and that is why Dermot is keen to make a late decision.

“Dermot has plenty of experience with horses like him and I’m sure he’ll do the right thing by the horse.

“There’s a chance he could rock up at Ascot, and if he doesn’t, the Gold Cup is the sort of race we hope he’ll end up in one day.”

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