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King George: Trainer Martyn Meade planning Ascot challenge with Lone Eagle following Hurricane Lane ‘form boost’

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Trainer Martyn Meade happy with Lone Eagle who is preparing for the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes; Irish Derby runner-up’s form was given a major boost by Hurricane Lane’s subsequent win in France

Hurricane Lane battles past Lone Eagle at the Curragh, with the front two well clear of the rest of the field

Lone Eagle is on course for the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes after his Irish Derby form was thoroughly franked by Hurricane Lane’s Grand Prix de Paris victory.

The two colts crossed paths at the Curragh in the 12-furlong Classic in June, with Godolphin’s Hurricane Lane prevailing narrowly just a neck ahead of Lone Eagle and Ballydoyle’s Wordsworth a further seven lengths back in third.

Lone Eagle has not run since, but both Hurricane Lane and Wordsworth were in action in Wednesday’s Group One feature at ParisLongchamp – where they finished first and second respectively.

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Martyn Meade, Lone Eagle’s trainer, was already considering the King George as a next engagement for his colt – and this month’s Ascot Group One looks even more likely after his form was emphatically rubber-stamped at the top level in Paris.

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“It’s a good form boost, and he’s in good form himself,” said Meade.

William Buick poses alongside Hurricane Lane after their victory in the Irish Derby last month

“That franked the form nicely, and also the second-placed horse was third to us at the Curragh.

“It’s a big ask, a week on Saturday at Ascot, but I think that’s where we’ll go.

“That’s the plan at the moment, to run in the King George.”

Lone Eagle was not able to take up his entry in the Derby following an unsatisfactory scope, but Meade reports him in fine shape after his Curragh exploits.

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“Touch wood, nothing goes wrong like it did before the Derby,” he said.

“He wasn’t quite 100 per cent. But he’s fine now – he’s in great form.”

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