Sir Michael Stoute mulling Group One options for Expert Eye

Sun 23 Sep 2018

Sir Michael Stoute is considering options at home and abroad for Expert Eye as he aims to secure his charge a first Group One success.

The Acclamation colt looked every inch a top-class prospect after winning his first two starts as a juvenile, but was a major disappointment when odds-on for the Dewhurst at Newmarket last October.

He was beaten by James Garfield on his Newbury return in the spring and finished down the field in 2000 Guineas, but bounced back to win the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Expert Eye was runner-up in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood, struck again at Group Three level at York last month before finishing third on his return to Group One company in the Prix du Moulin at ParisLongchamp.

Stoute said: “I thought he was a bit unlucky in France and so did Ryan Moore.

“He could possibly go to the Prix de la Foret or the QEII at Ascot, and there is the Breeders’ Cup Mile as well.

“I think the weather will decide where he goes. Good to soft would be acceptable, but he wouldn’t want it any softer. He is in good shape and has come out of his last race well.”

Crystal Ocean comes home to win the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot
Crystal Ocean comes home to win the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot

Crystal Ocean has enjoyed a fine campaign for the yard, completing a hat-trick in the Hardwicke Stakes at the Royal meeting before being narrowly denied by stablemate Poet’s Word in the King George.

He was no match for Enable in the September Stakes at Kempton on his most recent start, however, and connections are still considering whether to take on John Gosden’s wonder-filly again in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe next month.

Stoute added: “Enable is a machine and a freak, but he (Crystal Ocean) has been very solid all year.

“We’ve yet to decide if he goes to the Arc as I still need to talk to the owners.”

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