Appleby Expects to see 'Sharper and Tighter' Hurricane Lane at Saint-Cloud


Hurricane Lane | Scoop Dyga

Last season's first two from the G1 Irish Derby-Hurricane Lane (Ire) (Frankel {GB}) and Lone Eagle (Ire) (Galileo {Ire})–will meet once more in what promises to be an informative G1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud on Sunday.

Hurricane Lane, who just snared Lone Eagle in the Irish Derby 12 months ago, went on to finish a gallant third in the G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

Well-beaten on his return in the G2 Hardwicke Stakes, Hurricane Lane is reported to be much sharper ahead of the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, according to his trainer Charlie Appleby.

He said, “There's a bit of rain forecast, so it looks like being on the slower side of good for sure. Any quicker and it might have raised concerns.

“I'll be honest, I was pleased with his run post-race (at Ascot). Pre-race I was confident that we'd got his level of fitness up there but turning four he's done very well physically, and he's certainly tightened up for the run, that's for sure.

“William (Buick) was happy with the way he travelled, he went through his girths and stayed on at the pace that we all saw.”

Appleby added, “What we've seen since the race is a sharper, tighter model. Some might ask if 15 days is enough time between runs, but 15 days was always our plan–the Hardwicke and then the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud and what we saw last year was he thrives on his races.

“He went to the Derby, Irish Derby and then Grand Prix de Paris last year and that was probably his most impressive victory, so he thrives on his racing and we're very happy.”

Appleby has made no secret that his season revolves around another crack at the Arc, with one more run somewhere else before that.

“This is a horse that we're working back from the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. He ran a solid race in it last year. We know he's happier in slower conditions and in the first week of October it is likely to be that,” he said.

“He'll have one more prep run before the Arc and whether that will be in Ireland, England or France, we'll make that decision closer to the time.”

Lone Eagle has a few more questions to answer. After his great run at the Curragh he was last of five in the G1 King George in which he picked up an injury. He was also beaten on his comeback at Goodwood.

Now jointly trained by Freddie and Martyn Meade, the former told Sky Sports Racing, “He had some of the best form in the book last year and he's done well. We're really excited to see him run again.

“It was very important to get that run into him, as he showed last year in the (Sandown) Classic Trial. He then came out and ran really well in the Cocked Hat S.

“I think we're in a good spot with him and I think he's earned his place. It's a very tough race, but it fits well in the calendar for a few people's plans. It's by no means easy, but hopefully we're entitled to be there.”

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