Saturday 30 November 2019

Roger Varian: It's Been an Exceptional Season

It’s been an exceptional season for Newmarket trainer Roger Varian and his 2-year-old team. Let’s rewind back to the start of the season. On the 18th May at Newmarket racecourse Roger Varian introduced a lovely looking Bated Breath filly in the name of Daahyeh. Born 29 January 2017 and sold for £75,000 at the 2018 Goffs yearling sales. 

The money was down as Daahyeh opened up 4s but that soon went, and she was sent off 3/1 joint-favourite for her racecourse debut. The result was never in doubt as Daahyeh beat the Mark Johnston filly Raffle Prize. That was an impressive performance considering we didn’t know Raffle Prize would turn out to be a 113 rated filly. 

As for Daahyeh her next start would see her win the Group 3 Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot and go on to finish second in the Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes and the Moyglare Stakes before adding the Group 2 Shadwell Rockfel Stakes to an impressive first season. Daahyeh wasn’t finished as Roger Varian gave her the chance to finish the season in style as Daahyeh traveled across the pond to take on the best in the Breeders Cup Juvenile fillies Grade 1 turf race at Santa Anita. It was a valiant effort by Daayeh who ran a fantastic race to finish second to the American filly Sharing in what was a brilliant debut season and I can’t wait to see her back out as a 3-year-old next year. 

The following Friday another Roger Varian 2-year-old superstar was about to be unleashed at Haydock Park. Bought for 140,000 Guineas at the 2018 October Yearling Sales by Roger Varian for owner Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum. 

Pierre Lapin must have been setting the gallops alight as the Cappella Sansevero colt was sent off even-money favourite for his debut. Pierre Lapin quickened clear in the final furlong showing why he was such short odds on debut. 

A string of significant entries followed but no sign of the Varian colt turning up. Finally 120 days later when Roger Varian was happy with Pierre Lapin he lined up for the Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury where his half brother Harry Angel was victorious in 2016. Another easy victory here as Pierre Lapin showed his class and won again at odds of 9/4. The futures bright and I can see him being a real star next season when he fills out and learns to settle. 

My first Roger Varian 2-year-old to follow also comes with a big reputation and a touching story. DELTA’S ROYALTY has a lot to live up to being the only foal produced by the sadly departed American superstar Royal Delta. 

Owner Mr Benjamin Leon Jr bought Royal Delta for $8.5 Million at the Keeneland sales in 2011, and she went on to win six Grade one races in America. As for Pedigrees, they don’t come much bigger than Delta’s Royalty after the mare Royal Delta was bred to the brilliant Galileo, but it came at a price as on the 1st February 2017 Royal Delta gave birth to Delta’s Royalty only to die due to complications which must have been heartbreaking for owner and connections. 

By all accounts, Delta’s Royalty has impressed in her work and the fact she had an entry for the Group 1 Fillies Mile this season and has been given an early entry for the Group 1 Irish Oaks next July gives the impression it won’t be long before she gets off the mark. 

Roger Varian likes to wait till he has his horses spot on before they hit the track and even though Delta’s Royalty may not be much of a price I really hope she can give owner Benjamin Leon Jr another brilliant filly like her mother Royal Delta was. 

Thanks for reading and look out for part two of Roger Varian's horses to follow.

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