Improving Sir Eagles coming to hand nicely
Sir Eagles hasn't been training for a long time, but produced an improved second-up performance in the Class Two Frankfurt Handicap (1,200m) on Sunday's Hong Kong International Races undercard at Sha Tin.
After missing out on an intended debut run in the Chinese Recreation Club Challenge Cup won by classy Longwah Supreme on October 9 with lameness issues prior to raceday, the Italian import was given some time to recover and stepped out for the first time on November 27 up the Sha Tin straight on Chevalier Cup day behind the likes of straight-course specialists Eagle Regiment and Blaze King.
The Sean Woods-trained three-year-old's work had been solid since his debut run and he did not disappoint with a gutsy performance this time.
Sir Eagles travelled nicely in the early part, but was under pressure turning for home, before shifting outside for a clear run and flashed home in the final 50m to overpower King Mossman in the final few metres to finish fourth - 11/2 lengths off the upset winner Majestic Falcon.
Sir Eagles and the placegetters were all suited by the quick tempo injected by Bullish Champion and Straight Gold, who cut out a swift 800m in 46.08 seconds, but it was nonetheless a positive performance with his final 400m split coming in a good 22.71 seconds.
The gelding had produced some solid form in Italy, winning four times and placing twice on good, soft and heavy going.
Sir Eagles was among the first crop of his sire Diamond Green, who kept promising as a racehorse with top-three finishes from 17 starts, but was only best for a Group Three win over 1,400m and twice Group One placed over 1,600m at Longchamp in France. His local progeny number three, including Sunny Fay, a 1,200m winner and multiple placed; and White Hart King - yet to make an impact.
His dam, the Darshaan mare Daftiyna was twice placed over longer trips at Gowran Park from three starts in Ireland and she has produced five other winners from nine runners, including Golden Island, a versatile winner of three races from 1,600m to 2,000m, including a Listed event in Germany at a mile; and four others with a minimum winning distance at a mile.
His second dam, Dafayna was a past Cork And Orrery Stakes winner at 1,200m at Royal Ascot and placed in the July Cup Stakes and fourth in the Irish 1,000 Guineas.
Most European imports usually need time and patience, but Sir Eagles appears to be coming to hand quicker than expected and, with a sound pedigree, has the potential to land a Class Two at a mile or under.