Expert Eye shows Classic potential with Vintage romp at Goodwood

By Andy Stephens@StevoGG
Tue 1 Aug 2017

By Andy Stephens

Expert Eye zoomed to the head of the 2000 Guineas betting with a dazzling success in the Qatar Vintage Stakes at Goodwood on Tuesday.

The Sir Michael Stoute-trained colt, who had been a taking winner on his debut at Newbury, cruised through the seven furlong contest and won by four and a half lengths under a motionless Andrea Atzeni.

In what was arguably the most striking juvenile performance of the season to date, Atzeni kicked on a long way from home and on crossing the line he could not pull the 7-4 favourite up.

Stoute's only two-year-old winner of the season to date, the Acclamation colt was immediately promoted to the head of the betting for next season's 2000 Guineas. Betway and William Hill make him 6-1, but he is as short as 4-1 elsewhere.

Teddy Grimthorpe on Expert Eye

"I was very taken with him first time out as well and he's an exciting horse, but I don't know where he'll go next," Stoute told Racing UK. "He's a very mature, strong colt and he'll certainly get a mile. Ryan [Moore] has ridden him a lot since Newbury and has been impressed with him. I was hoping to win and he did it easy, he's an interesting horse.

"It's too early to talk about the Guineas, it's only the beginning of August in his two-year-old season. He does tick a lot of boxes as he's a well-balanced, well-made horse with a good mind and a lot of pace.

"We'll go step-by-step and I won't be putting him up to a mile yet. We'll get home and think about it and see how he is, but I'd prefer not to carry a penalty. I am excited - he's brimful of promise, put it that way."

Zaman and Mildenberger, who had shown decent form before the Group Two contest, were left trailing in his wake.

Atzeni said: "He was very good. I spoke to Ryan before the race and he thought he'd take all the beating and he was right.

"He settled nicely, but approaching three out we'd gone slow and he took off, I ended up getting there way too soon. I wasn't hard on him and when I picked him up he galloped out really well.

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"I don't think I've sat on many two-year-olds like this. He's pretty good and he will be even better as a three-year-old."

Lord Grimthorpe, racing manager for Prince Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms, was understandably delighted and said: "He ought to get a mile, he's out of a mare by Dansili. The family has got plenty of speed, but I would think he ought to be up to a mile on that performance and in good time.

"He is in the Champagne Stakes [seven furlongs, Doncaster] and that looks like a possibility, and then all being well he will go on to smarter things, the Dewhurst if we are lucky enough.

"I don't think the ground is an issue for him, there is some ease today, but it is not specialist ground today."

Charlie Appleby said of Zaman: "I'm very pleased but obviously the winner was very impressive. For me he's stepped up again and the headgear lit him up a bit there.

"Before the race I'd have taken second quite happily. I think the winner is a potentially nice horse. We might look at something in the autumn as he's been busy, maybe the Flying Scotsman Stakes or the Champagne (both at Doncaster)."

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