Expert Eye keeps his focus to land Breeders’ Cup Mile
3 Nov 2018
Sir Michael Stoute and Frankie Dettori again proved a dynamic combination at Churchill Downs on Saturday night
Jersey Stakes winner Expert Eye shone at the Breeders’ Cup. Picture: Racingfotos.com
The Sir Michael Stoute-trained colt, runner-up to Lightning Spear in the Qatar Sussex Stakes at Goodwood this summer, was off the pace early on and still had plenty to do in the straight, but he produced a devastating turn of foot at the business end to collar Catapult and Analyze It in the final strides.
Analyze It was one of the early front-runners, along with David Simcock’s Lightning Spear and Aidan O’Brien’s Happily, and held every chance in the final furlong as he tried to stave off Catapult.
Then in the last 50 yards, Expert Eye, wearing the colours of Khalid Abdullah, burst on the scene to grab the spoils.
Stoute said: “Frankie was great on him – he scared me a bit, but he was brilliant on him, he knew what was under him.
“He just got there in time, I thought he was a little too far back early on. I didn’t make a plan, I thought he could do his own thing, he’s been round here enough.
“He’s just had some problems with the stalls that affected him mentally in the spring, but the team behind him have done a wonderful job.”
Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to Abdullah, said: “We’ve been trying for quite a long time to win this race, Prince Khalid will be so chuffed to win it, and it’s all come together today. Believe me, this is a very special day for us.
“As for his future, that’s something for Prince Khalid to think about and decide.”
The admirable Lightning Spear, who in addition to his Sussex Stakes success was placed in six Group 1 Champions Series races, faded to be seventh. He will now begin his second vocation as a stallion.