Sir Michael Stoute takes aim at Greenham Stakes with Expert Eye

Mon 16 Apr 2018

Expert Eye is set to make his seasonal reappearance in the Al Basti Equiworld Supporting Greatwood Greenham Stakes at Newbury on Saturday.

Sir Michael Stoute's charge made a successful debut at the Berkshire circuit last June and looked every inch a top-class horse in the making when dominating his rivals in the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood.

[(full) Watch Replay] () Watch how Expert Eye routed his rivals at Goodwood last year

However, he trailed home last of nine runners when odds-on for the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket and, as a result, he heads into his three-year-old campaign with something to prove.

Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Khalid Abdullah, told Press Association Sport: "He's very much an intended runner. He worked at Chelmsford on Saturday, Sir Michael was very happy with him and I think we're all keen to get him going.

"I think you're always mindful of the ground. We're not expecting fast ground, obviously, but the outlook looks good for the next few days and as long as it's safe then we'll be happy.

"Obviously he has to bounce back, but he seems in very good form."

Expert Eye is a best-priced 10-1 for the Qipco 2000 Guineas and is the star name among 15 entries for this weekend's recognised trial.

His potential rivals include the William Haggas-trained Headway, who impressed in the Spring Cup at Lingfield last month, George Scott's James Garfield and Fighting Irish from Harry Dunlop's yard.

Dunlop said on Monday: "Fighting Irish is in really good form at home and the plan is to run at Newbury on Saturday in the Greenham. He has wintered well, he has strengthened and he seems really well.

"He won well over six furlongs at Maisons-Lafitte in October and we are running him in the Greenham to see if he stays seven furlongs.

"He ran once over seven furlongs last season (fourth, York, September 17), but we're hopeful that this year he will see the trip out a bit better."

The fillies get their chance to stake a Classic claim in the Dubai Duty Free Stakes - better known as the Fred Darling.

The Abdullah silks are set to be carried by Roger Charlton's Gavota, who was placed in the Rockfel and the Oh So Sharp Stakes at Newmarket last autumn.

Grimthorpe said: "The plan is for her to run, too. She's wintered well and has come in her coat. She looks very well at the moment. She's in good form and it will be good to get her started."

The 20-strong entry also includes Karl Burke's Ellthea, the Haggas-trained Tallow and the unbeaten Teppal, trained by David Simcock.

Group Three honours are also up for grabs in the Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise Stakes - registered as the John Porter.

Potential runners in this mile-and-a-half contest include the prolific Defoe from Roger Varian's stable, Call To Mind, who is trained by Haggas for the Queen, and Brian Meehan's Raheen House.

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