William Hill St Leger 2017


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Defoe completed a hat-trick of wins when landing the Listed Glasgow Stakes at Hamilton last week and Varian has bigger aims for his three-year-old this season

ROGER VARIAN has the William Hill St Leger at Doncaster in sight for Defoe.

The progressive three-year-old notched up a hat-trick when winning the Listed Glasgow Stakes at Hamilton last Friday.


Varian said: “I’m not quite sure where Defoe’s next run will be, but I would very much like to get him to the St Leger in peak condition.

“He shapes like he is an improving horse and he shapes like he will stay further, and that he will possibly get better over further.

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Varian is hoping Defoe will develop into a St Leger contender

“It was good that he won at Hamilton as that had been the plan for a few weeks.

“He’s come out of that race well.”

Stablemate Madeline is set to run in the Group 2 Lowther Stakes at York next month.


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Madeline (right) is set to be stepped up in class

Varian’s filly finished fifth in the Albany at Royal Ascot and followed up with victory in a Listed event at Newbury last Friday.

The Newmarket handler said: “Madeline put in a good performance at Newbury and she is improving.

“I think she deserves a crack at the Lowther and that is likely to be her next start.

“She is a real two-year-old type. We will not worry about next year yet, as there are plenty of races still to go for this year and hopefully add to her CV.”


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Madeline put in another smart performance at Newbury

Varian also intends to step Morando up in class ahead of a potential outing in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on QIPCO Champions Day in October.

Varian said: “He is a very progressive horse and should have a good back-end to the season.

Roger Varian


Varian is also keen to step Morando up in class

“Obviously he was winter favourite for the Lincoln and he was not quite ready.

“He took a while to come to himself. He goes better with juice in the ground, so that is why we didn’t turn up for the Royal Hunt Cup.

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“We’ll step him up now and look for a Group 3 for him. He will get an entry in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, but we have got an awful long way to go to talk about him being a Group 1 horse.

“He is lightly raced, though, and his best days are still ahead of him.”

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