Roger Varian believes Eldar Eldarov has to be viewed as a genuine St Leger candidate as the Group One-winning trainer plots a course to the Doncaster Classic with his Royal Ascot scorer.
The Dubawi colt, who cost £480,000 at the sales, has proved to be worth every penny so far and maintained his unbeaten record in a thrilling finish to the Queen’s Vase when stepping up in trip to a mile and three-quarters at the Royal meeting.
The KHK Racing Ltd-owned three-year-old showed a smart turn of foot to storm home in that Group Two event having found himself well down the field turning for home, with the classy operator prevailing by the barest of margins in the shadow of the winning post in the hands of David Egan.
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It is his pace that is encouraging Varian his versatile colt could still prove just as effective over a mile and a half, with Eldar Eldarov not short of options for his next outing.
“It was a good performance I thought at Ascot, he had to make up a lot of ground,” said Varian. “He obviously stays incredibly well, but he must not be short of pace to make up the lengths he did off the home bend. I think he’s going to stay very well, but there is no reason to think he won’t be just as effective over a mile and a half as well.
“He’s in great form and has come out of the Ascot race really well. I need to discuss with the owners where we are going next, but he holds an entry in the Grand Prix de Paris, Goodwood Cup, Great Voltigeur, so he’s well entered up and we’re pleased with him and that’s the main thing.”
However, it looks like the final Classic of the season, for which Eldar Eldarov is a best priced 8/ 1 with bet365, is the ultimate goal and Varian continued: “I think so (a St Leger horse), I think you would have to chalk him down as a Leger candidate, we just need to work out the route to take to get there.”
The Carlburg Stables handler also provided an update on the well-being of 2000 Guineas fourth Eydon, who was a late absentee from the Derby with a slight setback having been fancied in some quarters for Classic glory in the build-up to the Epsom showpiece.
The Sky Bet York Stakes on July 23 or the Prix Guillaume d’Ornano at Deauville on August 15 had been mentioned by connections, but Varian has suggested it is likely to be August when the Feilden Stakes winner is next sighted.
He said: “Nothing has been firmly decided, but he is back in work and we’re really happy with his condition. He’s not done any fast work yet and I think August is probably when you will see him – quite in what, we will have to wait and see.”
However, Varian’s Group One-winning filly Teona has been retired after meeting with a setback.
Winner of the Prix Vermeille, she had not been seen since finishing third to Yibir in the Breeders’ Cup Turf in November.
Varian posted on Twitter: “We are disappointed to report that Teona has met with a season-ending injury and will be retired. She was a pleasure to train and can now enjoy her second career as a broodmare.”