One-time Derby fancy Eydon is creeping towards an eagerly-awaited return to the racecourse later this month, with connections dreaming of teeing-up a shot at Ascot’s Qipco Champion Stakes later in the autumn.
The lightly-raced colt’s progress has been curtailed by injury and having advertised his talent with a taking success at Newmarket in the Feilden Stakes, he returned to the Rowley Mile to finish an honourable fourth behind Coroebus when getting a first taste of Classic action in the 2000 Guineas.
He was on course for a second bite of the Classic cherry in the Derby when a setback ruled him out of the race, and his 2000 Guineas appearance remains Eydon’s last sighting on a racecourse.
Switched to Andrew Balding from Roger Varian over the winter, it was anticipated he would return to the track in the early stages of the 2023 season, but a further issue in the spring ruled him out of the key summer months.
An outing at Listed level in either the Chasemore Farm Fortune Stakes at Sandown (September 20) or Ayr’s Virgin Bet Doonside Cup Stakes (September 23) is on the radar, before a possible big-race tilt on British Champions Day (October 21), providing Eydon shows he retains all of his old ability.
“Oisin Murphy was on him at Andrew’s and seemed happy and we’re going to either the Doonside Cup or the Fortune Stakes,” said Ted Voute, owner Prince Faisal’s racing adviser.
“He’s probably going to be a bit ring-rusty, but the aim is to see if we can get him to the Champion Stakes.
“It’s a big ask and he’s had lots of little niggly things along the way, but from what Andrew has seen, he has seen sparks of good things on the gallops and touch wood he’s still in one piece and that will be the plan.
“We’ll see how we go and we thought it was a good idea to have a target, because if he came out and was as good as he was in the Feilden Stakes then we would have a bash. We’re keeping our fingers crossed.”