Expert Eye odds on for Saturday's Dewhurst Stakes

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Expert Eye – 4-1 with Ladbrokes, Coral and Betfred for 2018 2000 Guineas

There is little doubt that Newmarket’s Darley Dewhurst Stakes is the most significant juvenile trial for the following season’s Qipco 2000 Guineas. During the last ten years New Approach, Frankel, Dawn Approach and Churchill have all proved victorious in the two-year-old Group 1 contest prior to winning the first colt’s Classic at headquarters and if the ante-post betting for Saturday’s race is to be believed there is every chance that the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Expert Eye could join that illustrious group of performers.

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You have to go back to 1986 and the victory of Adjal to find Stoute’s first and only success in the race that dates back to 1875 but in the son of Acclamation he looks to have an outstanding Classic prospect. Sent off a 6-1 chance on his debut in a Newbury maiden last June against odds-on favourite Mutakatif the mount of Ryan Moore had little difficulty in seeing off the 4-7 market leader, coming home readily by a length and a half, but it was the colt’s most recent start which elevated the horse to the head of the betting for next year’s 2000 Guineas.

One of a strong field of ten in Goodwood’s Group 2 Qatar Vintage Stakes and in the hands of Andrea Atzeni with Moore on board the Ballydoyle runner Seahenge, Expert Eye looked in a different league to the opposition quickening clear inside the last furlong for an impressive four and a half length victory. The form received a major boost with the well-beaten Seahenge ( fifth ) going on to take Doncaster’s Champagne Stakes on his next start while the fourth horse James Garfield has ran twice since, going down by a nose in York’s Acomb Stakes before taking Newbury’s Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes.

With Irish-trained runners having won nine of the last eleven renewals ( five by Jim Bolger and four by Aidan O’Brien ) Stoute’s charge is unlikely to have all his own way despite Skybet and William Hill making him a 4-6 chance.

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Chief market rival is Bolger’s Verbal Dexterity ( 9-2 William Hill and Paddy Power ) who produced possibly the best performance by a juvenile in Ireland this season when slamming Beckford and Rostropovich in the Group 1 National Stakes at the Curragh.

Responsible for seven of the fifteen horses left in at Monday’s forfeit stage O’Brien has yet to finalise plans but Seahenge looks the most likely at this stage.

 

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