Newmarket’s excellent Future Champions Festival culminates this weekend, with Saturday’s seven race card providing plenty to whet the appetites of racing fans. The Cambridgeshire Handicap will attract the highest betting turnover, but in terms of sheer class, it is this Group 1 7f event which takes centre stage.

Race Analysis

Many punters will see the name of Expert Eye atop the betting lists here, and look no further for the winner. Raced just the twice to date, the Sir Michael Stoute runner has already rocketed towards the head of the 2018 2000 Guineas market, largely courtesy of a scintillating display in Goodwood’s Vintage Stakes. Not seen at the track since that August contest due to a slight setback, he has amongst the best form in the book, but will need to be at 100% or close to it to see off a field of highly promising rivals.

By super sire Dubawi and having fetched a whopping 2.6million Guineas at the sales, John Gosden’s Emaraaty makes arguably more appeal than the favourite on paper. Whilst his two outings to date have come in maiden and Novice events, he showed enough last time to suggest he is a Group horse in the making. Cruising throughout before being pushed clear to score by 2 ¼l, he looked a horse going places and rates an intriguing contender.

Jim Bolger’s Verbal Dexterity provides the biggest threat from Ireland according to the betting market. Already a Group 1 winner and hailing from a yard who have taken this five times in the past, it’s easy to see why many are keen on his chances. He wouldn’t be as handsomely bred as some here, but it’s hard to argue with his performance last time out when slamming the highly regarded Beckford in the National Stakes. If handling the likely quicker ground here, he ought to go well.

Seahenge seems to be at the head of the Aidan O’Brien squadron. This Scat Daddy colt needed only hands and heels riding to score on debut, which is a little unusual as many of the O’Brien horses seem to need the run first time up. Hopes were then high headed into the Vintage Stakes, however he managed only fifth in the end as he and everything else were put firmly in the shade by Expert Eye. He did still seem a little green that day though and posted a much improved effort when scoring in the Champagne Stakes last time out.

Betting Tips

Expert Eye is certainly precocious, but he is far from the only promising sort in what looks a high quality renewal. It would be no surprise to see him come out on top, but at the prices we just favour an each way punt on the John Gosden runner Emaraaty. This one was extremely impressive last time out and could really be anything at this stage. Take the 11/2 with Betfair.