Roger Varian Royal Ascot five to follow
Monday 19 June 2017
A winner at Royal Ascot often leads to scenes of jubilant celebration unlike at any other meeting on the Flat calendar.
Despite handling one of the biggest strings in Newmarket, trainer Roger Varian knows that while having vast numbers does help, it does not guarantee success on the big stage.
Varian has left the summer showpiece meeting without a winner to his name in each of the past two seasons, but the Classic-winning trainer has high hopes his fortunes can change for the better this week.
He said: "I think Royal Ascot is probably the hardest meeting to have a winner at all season. It really is our premier event.
"There are other festivals, but Royal Ascot consistently brings together the best performers year after year, not just from Britain, but from across Europe and the rest of the world.
"It makes getting a winner there all the sweeter. It is a great festival and there is a great buzz throughout the week.
"It is not just primarily one of horse racing's biggest annual events, but one of the biggest occasions throughout the English summer
"I think for a jockey, trainer, owner and stable lad, with the exception of winning the Derby, a winner there is better than winning most other big races."
Below Varian outlines some of his big hopes for the showpiece fixture:
APPEARED (Duke of Edinburgh Stakes):
"He was a course and distance winner last time out, which is a big plus.
"Provided the ground remains quick, he should run another very big race."
HORROOB (Britannia Handicap):
"The track didn't really suit him at Goodwood last time out, but a mile on this track will be more to his liking.
"He promises to be competitive from his current mark of 90."
MADELINE (Albany Stakes):
"She is a nice, sharp filly that ran well at Ascot on her debut and then bettered that effort when winning at Goodwood on her next start.
"She is well worth her place in the line-up. She has only won a maiden, but then a lot of the others she will be up against will have only done that as well.
"She would probably be better on faster ground and she is not out of place in the race."
SERENADA (Ribblesdale Stakes):
"She ran really well when she won her maiden at Sandown and ran another good race when finishing third on softer ground in the Musidora Stakes at York last time.
"I think a mile and a half on decent ground will bring out the best in her. She is a really nice filly and is thriving at present."
TOMYRIS (Coronation Stakes):
"After winning her maiden, she won the Michael Seeley at York and is two from two this season.
"She is likely to take on two Guineas winners, so she will have to step up, but I think my filly has improved and she is well capable of running her race.
"She has got to improve on what she has done, but she is thriving at the moment. She may have crept under the radar."
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