Next year's 2000 Guineas
favourite Expert Eye has been ruled
out of a trip to Ireland
this weekend. Sir Michael Stoute had been looking to send the Acclamation colt
for Sunday's Goffs Vincent O'Brien National Stakes at the Curragh. However,
those plans have now been shelved due to a minor setback and the next time he
will be seen in action is now likely to be at Newmarket.
Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager for Expert Eye's owner Khalid Abdullah said: "Unfortunately he returned a slightly dirty scope, so that has ruled him out of Ireland. I would think it would make sense now to head straight for the Dewhurst, that seems likely."
Winter is unlikely to take on stablemate Churchill in Saturday's Irish Champion Stakes, with the Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes her probable target at Leopardstown.
The three-year-old filly has carried all before her this season, winning the English and Irish Guineas, the Coronation Stakes and the Nassau at Goodwood over 10 furlongs. There had been rumblings Aidan O'Brien might let her take on the boys in the feature race of the weekend, but the Ballydoyle handler is leaning towards keeping to her own sex instead.
"It's definitely a possibility, but I'd say the Matron is the favourite at the moment," said O'Brien. "She's had a little break since the last day she ran and she's done very well."