Sir Michael Stoute couldn’t be happier with Expert Eye ahead of his bid to breach a 30-year gap in this weekend’s Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket.
It is now more than three decades since Stoute saddled the smart Ajdal to win the Dewhurst in 1986 but he firmly believes he has another top-class two-year-old on his hands.
The son of Acclamation won a maiden at Newbury in June on his first outing, but it was the manner in which he readily won the Group 2 Vintage Stakes at Newmarket next time out that impressed his handler.
That win came over the seven-furlong trip Expert Eye will face in the Dewhurst and the form has worked out remarkably strong.
Third-placed Mildenberger has since won a Listed race, while the fourth-home James Garfield and fifth Seahenge have recorded their own Group 2 successes as well.
Expert eye is the 4/6 favourite to win the Dewhurst and his trainer is excited by his potential.
“We knew he’d win at Goodwood as his prep before that was pretty smart, but not quite as easily as he did,” said Stoute.
“After that we contemplated going to the National Stakes at the Curragh, but after a routine scope we discovered he had an infection, so we decided to concentrate on the Dewhurst. He’s in good shape.”
Expert Eye is already the clear favourite at 7/2 to win the 2,000 Guineas back at Newmarket next spring and his trainer says the talent was clear from early on.
“We’ve had precocious two-year-olds in the past, such as Russian Rhythm and Ajdal, but we don’t seem to get them nowadays, which gives us an imbalance we don’t desire,” the trainer added.
“This fellow is naturally precocious and has been professional from day one. Before he ran we knew he was pretty smart, and he’s a good-looking, athletic horse.
“He couldn’t have done it any easier at Goodwood. You never know what was in the race at the time, but the form has worked out.”
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