After finishing unplaced on Eagle Way in a maiden at Wyong in October last year, Tommy Berry rang the gelding’s owner, champion Hong Kong trainer John Moore, and gave him the news all owners dread ‘I don’t think he’s much good’.
Ten starts and eight months later and in a new stable at the Gold Coast with Brian Guy, Eagle Way showed staying is his forte when Berry guided him to a determined win in Saturday’s $600,000 Group 1 Channel 7 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm.
The son of More Than Ready (USA) has had a busy season. He’s three previous wins in 11 starts this term came in consecutive races, a maiden at the Sunshine Coast back on December 6, a handicap at Doomben a fortnight later and a benchmark race over 1800 metres at the Sunshine Coast on the second day of 2016.
At his two most recent starts he was fourth in the Group III Rough Habit Plate (2000m) and second in the Group III Grand Prix Stakes (2200m), which were both won by the respectively to the Chris Waller-trained Mackintosh. While that son of Pins dropped out dramatically to finish a tailed off last, Eagle Way kept up a relentless gallop to hold the challenge of Chris Waller’s second stringer Rodrico (High Chaparral) by one and three-quarter lengths with I’m Belucci (Captain Sonador) the same margin back in third.
His overall record stands at 4 wins and 2 seconds from 13 starts for earnings of $517,750.
Eagle Way is now Hong Kong bound.
“He’s a good horse, it’s sad I’m going to lose him,” Guy said.
“He’ll go to Hong Kong now but John (Moore) owns him and I just have to thank John for leaving him here with me to get him ready for this race. He’ll probably have a week off or so now and they’ll vet him and then he’ll be off.
“He’s just improving all the time. This horse has come back this preparation and just got better and better.”
A $200,000 purchase by George Moore Bloodstock out of the Segenhoe Stud draft at the 2014 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling sale, Eagle Way becomes the fourth stakes-winner out of the Melbourne winning Lure mare Wedgetail Eagle.
All three of her previous stakes winners won at Listed level, Soaring (Twinning), Impressive Eagle (Rubiton) and Assertive Eagle (Danewin).
Impressive Eagle was Group 1 placed while Soaring is the dam of Group III winner Thermal Current who captured Friday’s $100,000 Golden Topaz at Swan Hill so it’s been a big 24 hours for the family.
Wedgetail Eagle has a 2yo Hinchinbrook filly named Sweet Eagle and a yearling colt by the same stallion named Wedgebrook who made $35,000 at this year’s Classic Yearling sale.
Not served in 2014, Wedgetail Eagle visited Choisir last spring.
Eagle Way becomes the 19th Group 1 winner for More Than Ready (USA) who returns for his 16th season at Vinery Stud this spring.