Expert Eye among the entries for the 2018 Guineas Festival
There was a whole host of Newmarket involvement as the entries for the Qipco 2,000 and 1,000 Guineas were announced last week.
The Guineas — held at the Rowley Mile course — will take place over the first bank holiday weekend of May.
On May 5, it will be the turn of the three-year-old colts in the 2,000 Guineas, with Sir Michael Stoute’s Expert Eye among those in contention to feature.
The son of Acclamation was a disappointing last in the Darley Dewhurst Stakes in October, but he was reported to be fine after the race and could now lead Stoute’s quest for a first 2,000 Guineas victory since 1997.
John Gosden — still searching for a first victory in this Group 1 fixture — has Group 2 Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes Roaring Lion among his contingent, while Charlie Appleby has five representatives at this stage.
There is also plenty of other interest from Headquarters, including Headway (William Haggas), James Garfield (George Scott), Invincible Army (James Tate), Masarr (Roger Varian), Rajasinghe (Richard Spencer) and The Revenant (Hugo Palmer).
The current favourite, though, is unsurprisingly trained by Aidan O’Brien — winner of the race last May, with Churchill.
Gustav Klimt is currently a 7/1 shot, as is O’Brien’s Saxon Warrior.
Twenty-four hours later the three-year-old fillies will take centre stage with Appleby’s Wild Illusion set to be among them.
Under James Doyle, the Dubawi filly provided Godolphin trainer Appleby with his second straight Prix Marcel Boussac triumph at Chantilly last October.
Veracious (Stoute), Altyn Orda (Varian), Aim Of Artemis (Gosden), Beauty Filly (Haggas), Capla Temptress (Marco Botti), Morning Has Broken (David Elsworth) and Teppal (David Simcock) are some of the other Newmarket-trained fillies among the list of 64 entries.
Once again Ballydoyle’s O’Brien has the ones to watch with Clemmie, Happily and September the three current market leaders with the bookmakers.