Expert Eye heads eight runners for Al Basti Equiworld Supporting Greatwood Greenham Stakes on day two of Dubai Duty Free Spring Trials Weekend at Newbury

Newbury Racecourse’s Dubai Duty Free Spring Trials Weekend continues on Saturday, April 21, with a terrific eight-race programme headlined by the £60,000 Al Basti Equiworld Supporting Greatwood Greenham Stakes (3.10pm, eight runners).
The seven-furlong contest for three-year-old colts, one of three G3 prizes on the card, is a key Classic trial, with the great Frankel in 2011 being the latest winner to go on to annex the mile Classic, QIPCO 2000 Guineas, at Newmarket.
Frankel’s owner/breeder Khalid Abdullah is represented this year by another hot favourite in Expert Eye (Sir Michael Stoute/Ryan Moore).
The Acclamation colt looked the real deal on his second start, as he stormed to a four-length victory in the 2017 G2 Vintage Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, but is on a retrieval mission after finishing last of the nine runners in the G1 Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket in October.
His seven opponents tomorrow are headed by James Garfield (George Scott/Frankie Dettori), who captured the G2 Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes over six furlongs at Newbury in September, and Hey Gaman (James Tate/James Doyle).
Front-runner Hey Gaman also boasts winning form at Newbury, having repelled Red Mist by a short-head in the Listed Denford Stakes over seven furlongs in August. The son of New Approach ended the 2017 campaign with an agonising defeat in the G2 Champagne Stakes at Doncaster in September, when going down by a neck to Seahenge.
Newmarket trainer James Tate said today: “Hey Gaman is in great form and we have been looking forward to this since the autumn.
“He has done fantastically over the winter. He is a huge, big horse and exactly the type that you would expect to improve significantly from two to three.
“It looks a competitive race on Saturday, but he is a very decent and it will take a very good horse to beat him.
“He will have a 2000 Guineas on his agenda after this, but probably not the Newmarket one.
“We feel he is better on a flat track and softer ground, which he is more likely to get in France or Ireland.”
Other interesting contenders in the line-up include Fighting Irish (Harry Dunlop/Cristian Demuro), victorious in the G2 Criterium de Maisons-Laffitte in October, and Pontefract Listed scorer Connect (Clive Cox/Adam Kirby).
Cold Stare (Martin Harley) has his first start for Yorkshire-based trainer David O’Meara and owners Middleham Park Racing. He won two of his four starts for French-based Eoghan O’Neill, including a seven-furlong Listed event at Saint-Cloud.
The runners are completed by once-raced Doncaster maiden winner Raid (David Simcock/Oisin Murphy), who wears a first-time hood, and Arrogant (Jose Santos/Raul Da Silva).
Day two of the Dubai Duty Free Spring Trials Weekend also features the £60,000 G3 Dubai Duty Free Stakes (2.35pm, 11 runners), another Classic trial staged over seven furlongs for three-year-old fillies.
The pleasing field includes Gavota (Roger Charlton/Ryan Moore). The Bated Breath filly, also owned by Khalid Abdullah, won her first two starts before finishing third in the G2 Rockfel Stakes and second in the G3 Oh So Sharp Stakes, both over seven furlongs at Newmarket last year.
Richard Hannon, who took the spoils two years ago with Marenko, is triply represented with his team being G3 Sweet Solera Stakes scorer Tajaanus (Jim Crowley), Natural (Oisin Murphy) and All Out (Tom Marquand).
Other interesting contenders include Cheveley Park Stud-owned Dance Diva (Richard Fahey/Tony Hamilton), runner-up in the G3 Princess Margaret Stakes at Ascot last season, and Hikmaa (Ed Vaughan/Frankie Dettori), who captured the Listed Bathwick Tyres Stakes over at seven furlongs Newbury in October last year.
The first of three G3 contests on the card is the £60,000 Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise Stakes (2.00pm) over 12 furlongs. Past winners include Harbinger, who took the spoils in 2010 on his way to a devastating 11-length victory in the G1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.
The six runners for this year’s renewal are headed by G3 Cumberland Lodge Stakes victor Danehill Kodiac (Richard Hannon/Sean Levey) and Defoe (Roger Varian/Andrea Atzeni), successful in four of his five outings in 2017 including in the G3 Betfred Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury in August
Harbinger’s trainer Sir Michael Stoute has won the race a record seven times and saddles G3 winner Autocratic (Ryan Moore), who finished second on Polytrack at Kempton in a Listed contest over 10 furlongs on March 31.
Her Majesty The Queen will be represented as the owner and breeder of Call To Mind (William Haggas/Pat Cosgrave), who landed a Listed event at Goodwood in August and started his career by winning a mile maiden at Newbury a year ago, while Mark Johnston runs Titi Makfi (Franny Norton).
What About Carlo (Eve Johnson Houghton/Charles Bishop), has a fine record at Newbury, winning at the course on three occasions, the latest of which came in the 10-furlong Listed Bet365 Stakes in July.
The seven-year-old son of Creachadoir was a creditable fifth on his final start last season in the G3 Worthington’s “Indigo Leisure” Stakes in October and Johnson-Houghton reports the gelding to be in fine fettle.
The Oxfordshire-based handler reported today: ”What About Carlo is in good form. He’s had a good winter and we’re very happy with him at home.
“He loves Newbury and that’s one of the key reasons why we’re starting him off in this event.
“He would prefer soft ground, but with the current weather, he probably isn’t going to get that. Even so, we’re hopeful he can run well.
“His preferred trip is probably one mile and two furlongs, but we need to start him somewhere and this race over a mile and a half at a track he adores makes sense.
“He’s a seven-year-old now and he’s just been a fabulous horse for us. He’s been a stable star and he loves what he does.
“We enjoyed a good year as a stable last year and we’ve readied another nice team this time around.
“I’m really happy with the horses at home and hopefully, we can have another good season.”
The big handicap of the day is the £50,000 Elite Racing Club Supporting Greatwood Spring Cup Handicap over a mile (3.45pm, 25 runners), which will be as competitive as ever.
The eight-race card on Saturday starts at the earlier time of 1.25pm and runs through to 5.30pm. The Dubai Duty Free Spring Trials Weekend gets underway tomorrow, Friday, April 20, with a seven-race programme.
The going at Newbury is currently Soft, Good to Soft in places, with a GoingStick reading of 4.5 at 8.00am today.
The last 24 hours have been dry and the forecast is for generally sunny conditions over the next three days.
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