Glorious Goodwood: punters eye Expert to take Sussex Stakes by storm
Jersey Stakes winner Expert Eye, due to be supplemented on Thursday at a cost of £70,000, was so popular in the betting on Wednesday that he was cut to as low as 2-1 behind the unbeaten St James's Palace winner, who is available at 7-4.
Expert Eye returns to the track where he produced one of the most impressive performances by a two-year-old last year – a four-and-a-half-length win in the Group 2 Vintage Stakes – after bouncing back from three subsequent defeats with success at Royal Ascot.
Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Khalid Abdullah, said on Wednesday: "It wasn't a question of him not staying in the Guineas. I doubt he'd have won at any distance.
"The horse himself is not nearly as exuberant as he was last year, which may be a good thing, and he seems to be a more mature horse now, especially mentally.
"Of course going to the Sussex is a big ask in every way, but we felt that the upside of winning or running well would be significant."
Expert Eye, who finished tenth in the 2,000 Guineas, was as big as 7-2 on Tuesday but was a top-priced 9-4 on Wednesday evening, and only 2-1 (from 3, 100-30 or 7-2) with Paddy Power, bet365, Betfair Sportsbook and Betway.
Paddy Power spokesman Paul Binfield said: "We only just favour Without Parole and Expert Eye, who our traders have a lot of respect for, could well go off favourite.
"The only two disappointing runs of his career have both come on the Rowley Mile and he couldn’t have been more impressive in last year’s Vintage Stakes at Goodwood, which is a course that often favours horses that have performed well there previously."
With Dettori's ban not reduced enough for him to ride in the Qatar Goodwood Cup or Sussex Stakes, trainer John Gosden has turned to Atzeni, who partnered Without Parole in his Wednesday workout.
Gosden said: "Andrea rode Stradivarius when winning the Goodwood Cup last year so was the obvious choice. He'll also ride Without Parole and partnered him this morning."
Atzeni said: "It's tough on Frankie but Mr Gosden asked me to come and sit on Without Parole this morning, when I rode him in a piece of work on the Al Bahathri over seven furlongs.
"He's laid-back for a Frankel but has probably been up the same gallop plenty of times. He seems to have a great mind and is an uncomplicated horse, which makes my job a lot easier. I'm very much looking forward to the ride in the Sussex Stakes."
He added: "I saw Stradivarius this morning and when Nicky Mackay rode him, he looked in good shape. I rode him last year so probably won't sit on him until the race.
"They're nice rides to get and thanks to both sets of owners and Mr Gosden."
Stradivarius is 4-6 favourite for Tuesday's Goodwood Cup as he continues his hunt for the new Weatherbys Hamilton £1 million bonus for any horse that wins one of four qualifying races followed by the Ascot Gold Cup, Goodwood Cup and Lonsdale Cup at York.
The 11 acceptors also included Order Of St George, but he remains a doubtful runner.
Trainer Aidan O'Brien said: "It's unlikely Order Of St George will go unless they happen to get plenty of rain. The plan is to run Idaho."
The going at Goodwood on Wednesday was good to firm. It is due to remain dry, sunny and very warm, although there is a chance of a thunderstorm on Thursday evening and a possibility of rain on Monday morning.
Meanwhile, Abdullah's 2017 Arc winner Enable, who has missed the first half of the campaign due to a knee problem, is continuing her build-up towards a possible return to action next month, when the Juddmonte International and Darley Yorkshire Oaks are among her potential engagements.
Grimthorpe said: "Everything has to go spot on. She can't afford to miss much, or anything, really. She's cantering, she hasn't worked. We just have to see how she is.
"If she doesn't make York she has other options. The Juddmonte or Yorkshire Oaks are nice objectives, but there will be other opportunities to get a race into her before the Arc, provided she's going well enough and everyone's happy.
"We're hopeful of getting her to Paris. We'll have a good enough idea whether she's on schedule or not for York by early August because she'll have the best part of three weeks [to prepare]."
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