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Kingston could be the making of Roger Varian's career

By Martin Kelly

Roger Varian has suffered a couple of big-race false starts with Kingston Hill but the ante-post Ladbrokes St Leger favourite heads to Doncaster today in what could be a "huge" moment in the trainer's career.

A Group One winner at the same course as a two-year-old and second in the Investec Derby, the grey swerved possible appearances in the Irish Derby and Great Voltigeur Stakes because the ground was considered too quick.

After a week of 'will he, won't he', the Newmarket trainer officially gave Kingston Hill the go-ahead after consulting with big-race jockey Andrea Atzeni over conditions.

Varian said: "It was not a big issue having to miss the Great Voltigeur Stakes as York was actually not that long ago. We purposely gave him a break after the Eclipse and we weren't sucked into any of the big summer races like the King George. He has not been at full throttle all year.

"We are pretty confident Kingston Hill will get the trip. He was ridden aggressively in the Derby from an inside draw and he had every chance to shape like a non-stayer at Epsom, but he galloped all the way to the line. Andrea (Atzeni) has always felt he would get the trip and I am sure he will do.

"Winning my first Classic would be huge. It is a bit more than a Group One, you only get five goes at a Classic in a year and that's if you are lucky enough to have a horse good enough to run.

"There have been some very good trainers with yards full of very good horses who have had to wait a long time to win a Classic."

The Queen's horse Estimate was a big winner yesterday, triumphing in the Doncaster Cup under Ryan Moore.

Belfast Telegraph


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