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Varian retains Belardo faith

Roger Varian is hoping for some ease in the ground at the Curragh this weekend to allow Belardo to show his true colours in the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas.

The Lope De Vega colt looked every inch a Classic contender after rounding off a fine juvenile campaign with a Group One success in the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket, but he was never a factor on his first start at three, finishing down the field in last month's Greenham at Newbury.

Varian insists there are no signs his charge has not trained on judged on his homework and he expects a bold show on Saturday, as long as underfoot conditions are suitable.

"He doesn't want it too quick. I think good ground and anything easier than good is favourable," the trainer told At The Races.

"He did some very nice work on Sunday morning, the plan is to run him on Saturday and we just hope it doesn't dry out too much.

"You have to keep faith in these horses and you can't write them off after one run, especially as the ground was very quick at Newbury and he just never let himself down.

"He didn't have a hard race, he's a fresh horse. His work had been excellent leading up to that race and excellent since.

"We'd be very confident that, provided the ground isn't too quick, we've a very good horse on our hands still."

Belardo is one of 16 colts still in the Classic, with impressive Newmarket winner Gleneagles topping the list.

His trainer Aidan O'Brien has also left in Cape Clear Island, Highland Reel, Sir Isaac Newton, Smuggler's Cove, The Warrior and War Envoy.

Joining Belardo on the trip from England could be Richard Hannon's duo of Ivawood and Lexington Times, although stablemate Estidhkaar was a surprise absentee.

The Ger Lyons-trained Cappella Sansevero, Convergence and Endless Drama all still remain.

Pat Shanahan's Carbon Dating, Dermot Weld's Tombelaine and Kevin Prendergast's Mohaayed complete the list.

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