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pat smullen

Smullen partnered Free Eagle to his impressive Leopardston win last week

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham (  

Derby hope Free Eagle excites Pat Smullen

Pat Smullen has admitted that Investec Derby favourite Free Eagle has altered his normally reserved demeanour when it comes to dreaming of what might be.

Free Eagle is just 8-1 with Ladbrokes for the Epsom Classic after a deeply impressive debut win last week at Leopardstown - although he is available at 12-1 - and Smullen said: "I don't get too bullish about them normally because that's not my style but this lad has been exciting us all year. He's a lovely horse."

Smullen, who has aboard for the five-and-a-half length romp five days ago, also told At The Races: "We were really looking forward to him making his debut and he was as impressive as we hoped he would be. You'd have to be taken by his manner of victory.

"We are very excited about his future but he will need to develop, I was surprised the other day how immature he looked in the paddock compared to the others.

"It will be softly-softly, that's always been the boss's style so it won't change and I'd imagine he will have one more run. We will then put him away. He's certainly something that will shorten the winter for us. I'm just glad we have him."

Free Eagle's entries include the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster on October 26.

2014 Investec Derby

Ladbrokes: 8 Free Eagle, 16 Australia, Indian Maharaja, War Command, 25 bar

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