October 12th, 2017 | Marten's Current Racing Diary
I am just leaving for a few days at Newmarket to cover one of my favouyrite meetings of the year.
I have to admit that I have not yet come to terms with the adjustments made to the autumn schedule a few years ago, but this is an important meeting for me because it allows me a chance to see many of the season’s leading two-year-olds – and, of course, next year’s Classic contenders – in the flesh.
The opening Cornwallis Stakes on Friday looks very competitive while the following Oh So Sharp Stakes is sure to unearth something of interest.
The highlight of the first day is the Fillies’ Mile, which appears to have attracted a very decent field this year. The market is dominated by Aidan O’Brien’s pair Happily and Magical, but don’t underestimate Karl Burke’s challenge with Ellthea and Laurens. The once-raced Magic Lily could be interesting while Mark Johnston’s ultra-tough Nyaleti sets the marker.
I gather that Godolphin introduce a promising unraced filly later in the day named Winter Lightning.
Saturday’s card looks even better, with the 1m 2f Zetland Stakes setting a stamina-test for the two-year-olds. Expert Eye will be out to enhance his already glowing reputation in the Dewhurst, where Jim Bolger’s tough-looking Verbal Dexterity and the classy Emaraaty may pose the strongest threats.
I have seldom, if ever, heard Sir Michael Stoute talk so highly of a two-year-old – in public at least – as he has about Expert Eye. It was hard to fault his Goodwood success, but that was over two months ago and he has since said to have scoped dirty. Mind you he would not be running here unless his trainer were totally happy with him and I will be surprised if he is beaten.
I look forward to reporting back sometime next week, when I will be writing an Online Preview for Champions’ Day at Ascot.
Bye for now