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Egan upbeat on chance of first British Classic victory with Eydon

David Egan insists Eydon can make good use of his stamina and put it up to Native Trail in Saturday’s Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.

The 22-year-old jockey, unquestionably one of the rising stars of the sport, is no stranger to the biggest stage, having won the world’s most valuable race aboard Mishriff in the $20million Saudi Cup last year.

Now he seeks his first British Classic with the Roger Varian-trained Feilden Stakes winner Eydon.

The Prince Faisal-owned Eydon made his racecourse debut on the all-weather at Newcastle in December and was beaten three-quarters of a length in a mile novice event.

Having been short-headed on his next outing over the same course and distance, he went into the Feilden at Newmarket as a 22-1 outsider – but relished his first run on turf and powered up the Rowley Mile for a three-and-a-quarter-length success over dual winner Masekela.

His sire, Olden Times, also won a Feilden as a maiden for the late John Dunlop and having successfully followed in his footsteps on the same Rowley Mile course over a furlong further than he will encounter this time, Egan hopes Eydon’s stamina will come into play.

“It was Prince Faisal’s decision to step him up,” said Egan.

“Obviously he had been beaten twice on the all-weather at Newcastle and finished behind some nice horses, but it was a brave decision to step him up in company, and he took it well within his stride and won it decisively.

“His pedigree has a lot of stamina in it. Prince Faisal knows the family, as he had the father and bred the horse himself.

“Going into the Feilden, the Prince was telling me how much confidence he has about his stamina.

“Dropping back to a mile (in the Guineas), stamina is going to play to our strengths and what also will probably play to our strengths is how well he travelled into the Feilden Stakes off a slowly-run pace.”

Eydon is berthed in stall 10 of the 15 runners in the colts’ Classic, but neither the draw or the likely quicker ground worries the rider.

Eydon was an impressive winner of the Feilden Stake
Eydon was an impressive winner of the Feilden Stakes (Tim Goode/PA)

He added: “They are going to go a lot faster, but I’m happy with the draw. As long as you are not out on the wing, any draw is good, because you have so many good horses in the race.

“Coroebus, Luxembourg and Perfect Power are drawn one, four and three respectively.

“They are three very strong, competitive horses. I’m sure it will be a strongly-run event as it is normally in every Guineas. We will have a plan in place before we go out and hopefully he is good enough to take the step up in grade.”

On official ratings, Eydon has some 13lb to find with unbeaten favourite Native Trail, who is the one they all have to beat according to Egan.

“You could say the top four are four top-class two-year-olds,” he added.

“Obviously Coroebus hasn’t run this year and Native Trail is still borderline odds-on. It just shows the authority Native Trail has and how much regard he is held in by his supporters.

“He has a lot of track experience and any test that has been thrown at him, he just takes it in his stride and does everything with such ease. So obviously he is the horse to beat, but there are four unbeaten horses going into the Guineas, which is not something you see very often.”

David Egan seeks a first British Classic with Eydon
David Egan seeks a first British Classic with Eydon (Tim Goode/PA)

With Newmarket officials continuing to water after another dry week, the ground is set to be on the quicker side of good, but Egan is not making any excuses on that score.

“Eydon is a very good mover and physically he is a very strong horse,” he said.

“As they say, good horses go in any ground. It was on the quick side of good when he won the Fielden Stakes and probably was not as quick as he is going to find this time.

“There hasn’t been much rain recently at Newmarket, but he is a very good-moving horse and I wouldn’t be worried about what the ground was.”

:: The Qipco 2000 Guineas is the start of this year’s Qipco British Champions Series. For more info go to britishchampionsseries.com.

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