News Guineas favourite Expert Eye 'ready to go again' as Dewhurst date looms

Guineas favourite Expert Eye 'ready to go again' as Dewhurst date looms


Andrea Atzeni is relishing the chance to partner 2000 Guineas favourite Expert Eye again in the Darley Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket.

It is 31 years since Sir Michael Stoute claimed his one and only victory in the Group One contest with Ajdal, but in Expert Eye he has a leading contender for this season's renewal.

After making an impressive debut at Newbury, the Acclamation colt swept aside a strong field in the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood and while a setback ruled him out of an intended appearance in the National Stakes at the Curragh, he is odds-on across the boards to keep his unbeaten record intact this weekend.

Atzeni, who was in the saddle at Goodwood, told At The Races: "That was the first time I had sat on him and he was very impressive. Everyone saw how impressive he was, he travelled brilliantly into the race and picked up like a very good horse.

"He settled nicely into the race, I pulled him out with three (furlongs) to go - I didn't want to commit that early, but as soon as I gave him a bit of daylight he took me to the front in two strides. When I let him go, he picked up again and won going away.

"He felt good, he's got a big, massive stride and covers a lot of ground. I was very happy with him at Goodwood, I actually sat on him on Saturday and he is ready to go again.

"It should be nice ground at Newmarket and he's a very good moving horse. He needs to improve, but I can't see why not and hopefully I'll be back on him on Saturday."

Jim Bolger has saddled five previous winners of the Dewhurst and has not made any secret of the regard in which he holds Verbal Dexterity, who won the National Stakes in impressive style.

This year's dual 2000 Guineas hero Churchill provided Aidan O'Brien with a fifth Dewhurst 12 months ago. The Ballydoyle handler has seven contenders from the 15 to stand their ground, including Middle Park victor U S Navy Flag, Champagne Stakes winner Seahenge and dual Group One-winning filly Happily, who beat the colts on Arc day at Chantilly.

The John Gosden-trained Emaraaty and James Tate's tough-as-teak youngster Hey Gaman are also in the mix.