Roger Varian hits 210-1 four-timer at Ascot

Trainer in flying form at Berkshire venue.

  • Saturday 08 August
  • News

Roger Varian dominated at Ascot with a 210-1 four-timer on a day which would usually be the Shergar Cup.

With that team event cancelled this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Varian gained the headlines for himself.

There were some attractive pedigrees on paper in the opening Berkshire Community Foundation “Newcomers” Maiden Stakes, but there was plenty of market support for Varian’s Laneqash (6-4 favourite), a colt by Cable Bay, and he ultimately ran out a ready winner for Jim Crowley.

Varian also sent out Line Of Departure (100-30) to win the Berkshire Vision Nursery Handicap.

Racing off a mark of 79, David Egan’s mount put the race to bed a furlong out and beat the staying on Ataser by a length and a quarter.

“He’s a laid back horse. In his first few runs he had blinkers on which is unlike one of Mr Varian’s, but it’s just taken a few runs for him to wake up and realise his job,” said Egan.

“He won well the last day, but he was a good winner today – he definitely doesn’t need blinkers any more.

“Wesley Ward uses blinkers on his two-year-olds, but when they know their job he takes them off.”

The trainer then brought up a treble when Look Closely (7-2) defied an 8lb rise for a recent course-and-distance win when just holding off Hyanna in the Thames Hospice Handicap.

Andrea Atzeni was on board and said: “When we were drawn 12 I wasn’t too worried, as he doesn’t like to be crowded. When he won last time, we were just behind the leader and the plan was to do the same.

“We know he can quicken, he’s only done enough today and he’s going the right way. In his younger days he never did on the track what he was doing at home.”

Egan then did the steering on Shandoz (100-30) who got up late to win on his seasonal reappearance.

Andrew Balding’s Chil Chil looked a cut above the opposition when winning the ITV Home Of Terrestrial Racing Handicap.

The filly is a half-sister to Beat The Bank, one of the first horses bought by King Power Racing who sadly died after winning the Summer Mile last season in their colours.

Chil Chil (7-2 favourite) briefly looked in trouble a furlong and a half out as Oisin Murphy looked for some racing room, but when the gap appeared she shot through and won by a length and three-quarters.

Balding told Sky Sports Racing: “She’s got a very good turn of foot, very good acceleration.

“You have to get her covered up and ride her for a bit of luck and everything worked out right. She’s a decent filly.

“I hope we can step her up in class now. She’s a sister to Beat The Bank, who was the first horse bought by King Power and very important to us all.

“Hopefully she can get some black type in time.”


Hayley Turner and Charlie Fellowes have teamed up at Ascot to great effect at the last two Royal meetings and they hit the mark again at the Berkshire track as Via Serendipity won the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Celebration Handicap.

Moved from Stuart Williams, the six-year-old could run off a mark 19lb lower on turf than the all-weather and justified 7-2 favouritism.

Fellowes said: “I don’t mind having a lucky track that is Ascot and Hayley rides that straight course so well.

“We’ve not had him long and he came to us in great condition. He won easy at Wolverhampton having been held up while usually he’s ridden quite forward, so we changed the tactics and it seems to have worked.

“I’m quite surprised how easy he won, but he was thrown in on his all-weather mark and he does have turf form. Things just hadn’t gone right recently and I’m the lucky recipient of a well-handicapped horse.”

Martin Dwyer came from last to first on Heather Main’s Island Brave to cause a 33-1 shock in the Dubai Duty Free Millennium Millionaire Handicap.

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