Greenham Stakes Tips - Runner-by-runner guide and $3.50 prediction

Hey Gaman (nearest) can cause a Greenham Stakes upset by beating Expert Eye on Saturday.

Brian Healy gives his runner-by-runner guide to Saturday's feature race at Newbury, the Group Three Greenham Stakes.

The feature race of Saturday’s fixture at Newbury, the Group Three Greenham Stakes is the latest of the Classic Trials to go to post, hot on the heels of some Classic clues in midweek at Newmarket’s Craven Meeting.

This classy seven furlongs contest at the Berkshire venue features a field of eight runners to contest for a near-£35,000 first prize and a place on an illustrious roll-of-honour which features the likes of Barney Roy, Muhaarar, Kingman, Olympic Glory, Frankel and Paco Boy in the last decade.

Heading up the racecard order is Arrogant who has already had a start this term, finishing runner-up to Under The Covers in a Bath handicap. Jose Santos’ Haatef gelding won a maiden in France last term, scoring at Craon; he subsequently filled the same spot on his next start at Cholet prior to disappointing in Listed company. He had cut little ice in earlier starts at Bath, Epsom and York, and he has plenty to find stepping into this much stronger company despite his promising return to action.

Fellow outsider Cold Stare started his juvenile campaign off well with back-to-back wins at Maisons-Laffitte and Saint Cloud, the latter coming in Listed company.  However, he beat only one home when trailing in ninth of ten runners behind Expert Eye at Goodwood in August; and following a short break he bombed out back at Saint Cloud in the Thomas Byron, failing to beat a rival. He has since moved to David O’Meara, who is adept at improving horses, but he will have to work some considerable magic on the Intense Focus gelding if his runner is to win this.

Expert Eye was impressive in his first two outings last term, scoring over six furlongs here in June on his debut prior to routing Zaman and others by the better part of five lengths to claim the Goodwood Vintage Stakes. Sir Michael Stoute’s Acclamation colt disappointed however on his next start where he failed to beat a rival home behind US Navy Flag in the Dewhurst, weakening quickly out of contention. He is surely better than he showed there, and all may not have been well with the promising youngster; his earlier performances were top-drawer, and if back to that sort of level on his return to action then he could be hard to stop from getting back on the scoresheet. His earlier Goodwood win in particular looks even stronger now, with the runner-up and third both scoring in Listed company - the latter took the Feilden Stakes on Tuesday - while the fourth and fifth horses both won Group Two contests in later runs. In recent seasons though, many of the Stoute seasonal debutantes have needed their first run; and while Expert Eye is undoubtedly classy, there is a possibility he may need this first outing, although Arrogant aside the entire field are making their first start of the campaign.

James Garfield finished behind Expert Eye at Goodwood, but the Exceed and Excel colt had looked a potentially smart sort prior, winning at Doncaster impressively and making the frame in the Windsor Castle Stakes. George Scott’s charge bounced back from his Goodwood defeat to go close at York next time in the Acomb Stakes, just touched off by Wells Farhh Go, and he resumed winning ways over this course when outpointing Invincible Army to claim the Mill Reef Stakes. A line can be drawn through his Breeders’ Cup run, as he was hampered and never got involved; but he will be a danger with conditions to suit.

Clive Cox’s Connect won two of his four starts last term, scoring in style at Sandown in August with a defeat of Westerland, and then bouncing back from a poor run behind recent Craven winner Masar at the same venue to score readily in Listed company at Pontefract.

That race has thrown up a subsequent winner, and while this will demand more from the Roderic O’connor colt who could improve as a three-year old, he can post a good effort. Preference though is for James Tate’s HEY GAMAN to give Expert Eye most to do, and the New Approach colt was hugely progressive last term, winning three of his six starts which included the Listed Denby Stakes over course and distance where he gained a short-head verdict over Red Mist in soft ground. Subsequently he found only Seahenge a neck too strong when upped to Group Two company to contest the Champagne Stakes, just caught late by the winner. He confirmed earlier form with Red Mist in that contest, with the third acquitting himself well in subsequent outings in Group company. The winner of that Doncaster race went on to place third in the Dewhurst, and while he hasn’t gone on from those efforts, that Doncaster represents strong form. A line through Seahenge suggests he has a bit to find with Sir Michael Stoute’s runner, but he is open to improvement and it wouldn’t come as a great shock to see him posting a big run.

Fighting Irish arrives in search of a hat-trick having beaten Royal Household at Yarmouth prior to stepping up markedly in class to get the better of Nebo to claim a Group Two win. Harry Dunlop’s charge had also won at Salisbury, and the Camelot colt can improve; however, his best form has come when there has been plenty of cut in the ground, and he won’t want the ground to dry out any more. Nebo has since disappointed on his return, and the feeling is that the Camelot colt will need to step up a fair bit on what he has shown thus far.
Completing the field, Raid struck on his sole juvenile start, beating Lady Willpower by two lengths, and David Simcock’s charge could have more to offer. That form is only ordinary, but he is bred for this trip and if quicker ground doesn’t inconvenience - his Doncaster win was on soft ground - then he can progress, although the application of a hood for his return is a slight concern. He holds a 2000 Guineas entry, so connections must feel he is a potentially smart sort, and he ought to show up well for all this is much tougher.


It is hard to get away from Expert Eye on the pick of last season’s efforts at Goodwood where he routed a strong field which included the reopposing James Garfield; but he bombed in the Dewhurst next time.

If returning to his earlier Goodwood form back from a break, then he ought to prove hard to beat; but many of Sir Michael Stoute’s runners have needed their first outing of the campaign in recent seasons, and so the Acclamation colt could prove vulnerable on his return. It could be worth chancing HEY GAMAN to upset the applecart somewhat, and James Tate’s charge showed good form last term, winning three times which includes over course and distance.

The New Approach colt found only Seahenge too strong at Doncaster when last seen, and a line through that rival suggests he has a bit to find with the Stoute runner from that one’s encounter with Expert Eye at Goodwood.

But he has shown improved form for the step up to seven furlongs, and if continuing his improvement into his 3-y-o campaign then he ought to go well. Strictly on the book he has to find another jolt of progress on his seasonal debut, but it would be no surprise to see him going close with the free-going sort potentially proving hard to catch from the sharp end if allowed to stride on.

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Greenham Stakes Tips - Runner-by-runner guide and $3.50 prediction

Brian Healy gives his runner-by-runner guide to Saturday's feature race at Newbury, the Group Three Greenham Stakes.

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