Sir Michael Stoute’s Expert Eye is back on course to rubberstamp his juvenile campaign by taking in next month’s Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket after a slight scare.
The unbeaten colt is currently the 7/2 favourite for the 2,000 Guineas next spring and would significantly harden that position by winning the Dewhurst, the traditional standard bearing end-of-season Group 1 test for two-year-olds.
Expert Eye is unbeaten in two starts thus far, winning a Newbury maiden in June before creating a lasting impression with a stylish Group 2 success in the Vintage Crop Stakes at Glorious Goodwood in August.
There were plans to run the son of Acclamation either at the Irish Champions weekend or Doncaster’s St Leger meeting but those were put on hold following a dirty scope.
He is now however back on course for Newmarket, where he could bid to give legendary trainer Stoute just his second win in the Dewhurst, 31 years on from Ajdal’s success all the way back in 1986.
He hasn’t got the green light just yet, but things are looking positive and connections are delighted with how the form of his two runs has worked out.
Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Prince Khalid Abdullah, said: “Expert Eye is in good shape now, he’s coming back. He did a little bit of work on Saturday, nothing too strenuous, and Michael (Stoute) seemed happy with him.
“He’s got to progress and please us in the next few weeks if he is going to make the Darley Dewhurst.
“Both his Vintage Stakes victory and his maiden win look like very solid form – I notice that Seahenge [the Vintage Stakes fifth] won a Group 2 last week and before that Barraquero, who was third in his maiden, also won a Group 2.”
Standing in his path could be likes of Aidan O’Brien’s Gustav Klimt, winner of the Group 2 Superlative Stakes at Newmarket in July and 13/2 for 2,000 Guineas glory next spring, along with Richard Spencer’s Coventry Stakes winner Rajasinghe, currently 40/1 for the opening Classic of 2018.
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