EXPERT FOALS CATCHING THE EYE
The TDN's Kelsey Riley takes a look at the response to EXPERT EYE's first foals.
Taken from the Thoroughbred Daily News, 30th March 2020, by Kelsey Riley:
Earning a ticket into the Banstead Manor stallion barn is an
advertisement in itself of the quality of a young sire, and
Juddmonte's newest recruit EXPERT EYE is thus far living up to expectations with his first cluster of foals
to hit the ground.
The Breeders' Cup Mile Gr.1 winner covered a full book of 140
mares in his debut season last year (from 277 applications) at a
fee of £20,000, and at this point he has just over 30 foals on the
ground. "Breeders are expressing their delight with the resulting foals," said Juddmonte's Stallion Nominations Manager Shane Horan. "They are predominantly strong-bodied individuals with
attractive heads and an athletic walk, and they are all bay like
their sire. This is as good a start as the team at Juddmonte could
have hoped for."
Click here to view EXPERT EYE's first crop foals.
Raced as a homebred by Khalid Abdullah with trainer Sir
Michael Stoute, EXPERT EYE won the Vintage Stakes Gr.2 by four and a half lengths in his second start at two. He narrowly missed victory in
the Greenham Stakes Gr.3 on debut at three when second by three-quarters of a length to James Garfield.
EXPERT EYE tracked Saxon Warrior through the opening stages of the 2000 Guineas Gr.1 but failed to
fire in the closing furlong after being carried out and hampered
by the runner-up Tip Two Win, ultimately
checking in 10th.
It was a different story at Royal Ascot the following month,
however, when EXPERT EYE posted an eye-catching four and a half-length
win in the Jersey Stakes. A win over Gordon Lord Byron in the City of York Stakes Gr.3 was bookended by placed
efforts in the Sussex Stakes Gr.1 and Prix du Moulin de Longchamp Gr.1,
and EXPERT EYE at last got his Grade 1 at the Breeders' Cup at
Churchill Downs. "I was fortunate enough to attend the 2018 Breeders' Cup at
Churchill Downs when Prince Khalid had just the two runners,
and both won," Horan recalled. "EXPERT EYE reaffirming his place
on Juddmonte's stallion roster with victory in the Mile, and
Enable creating history by winning the Turf - it was a thrilling
"EXPERT EYE's win in the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood as a two-year-old was also something special. We knew everyone at Sir
Michael Stoute's yard were excited by him and it was in this race
in which EXPERT EYE exploded onto the scene and made
everybody take note. It was still
early days, however you could
not help but think, 'we might
have a stallion prospect here.' Winning at Royal Ascot too was a
huge deal and the way he
sprinted clear from his rivals in
the Jersey Stakes was devastating."
Horan added, "A high-class
sprinter/miler with top two-year-old form is arguably the most
appealing profile you can have in
a stallion prospect in today's
marketplace. If you also have a
notable pedigree along with the physique to match then you
have something very exciting. It is what every stallion farm
wants to stand because it is what every breeder wants to breed
to. EXPERT EYE showed himself to be a two-year-old of exceptional
ability and proved it again at three with dominant victories over
seven furlongs at Royal Ascot and at York. His trademark
acceleration won the day in the Breeders' Cup Mile when
coming late to take the prestigious race in the dying strides.
Remaining in training as a four-year-old had been considered as it
was felt the horse was only getting better but in terms of timing,
his race record and the price range EXPERT EYE fitted perfectly
amongst the current stallion roster at Juddmonte, so the
decision was made for him commence stallion duties at
Banstead Manor stud ahead of the 2019 breeding season."
Practically a given considering the program he was bred from,
EXPERT EYE has a stout pedigree behind him, too. His dam,
Exemplify, won on debut at Deauville and is a
half-sister to champion two-year-old filly dual Classic winner
Special Duty. His second dam Quest To Peak is a full-sister to Sightseek who, Horan points out,
was Juddmonte's most accomplished mare with seven Grade 1
wins before Enable came along. They are also a sister to the
two-time Grade 1 winner Tates Creek.
Interestingly, Horan points out that EXPERT EYE's mating was
the first time Juddmonte had used Acclamation. "Needless to say they have availed of his services on numerous
occasions since, including returning Exemplify in 2020," Horan
said. "Acclamation is widely respected for his ability to sire
speed and class and along with the Group 1 Winners Dark Angel, Equiano, Aclaim and his star filly Marsha,
EXPERT EYE is in good company. Dark Angel and Equiano are both
Group 1-producing sires while Aclaim will have his first runners
in 2021. It is also worth noting that Dark Angel and EXPERT EYE
are the only Group 1 winners by Acclamation to have won a Group race as a two-year-old while EXPERT EYE holds the singular
distinction of being his only
progeny to have won a Group 1
over a mile."
"Dansili featuring as
broodmare sire is another very
positive attribute to EXPERT EYE's
pedigree," Horan added. "Dansili's influence as a
broodmare sire continues to
have a global impact with 10
Group 1 winners to his name
including the last two winners of
the Breeders' Cup Mile."
Horan said EXPERT EYE's second
book remains a "work in progress," but that it is beginning to fill
quickly now that breeders have seen his first foals. EXPERT EYE
stands this season for £17,500, and his 2020 book so far
includes 20 sisters to Group 1 winners. Juddmonte is supporting
him with the likes of dual Grade 1 winner and Group producer
Heat Haze; Atone,
a winning full-sister to six-time Group 1 winner Midday;
Group 2 winner and Group producer Modern Look; Across The Floor, a half-sister to champion Flintshire; Palmette, a full-sister to Showcasing; Tiadargent, a full-sister to two-year-old Group 2 winner
Restiadargent and Listed winners Rostova, Swiss
Range), Scottish Jig and Variable.
Date: 30 March 2020