Varian plots a juvenile finale to do Jarvis proud

 

Whatever the merits or otherwise of its horse-trading with Ascot, Newmarket may well perceive some kind of poignant benediction in the inauguration today of its new autumn programme. For those seeking centre stage, at a reconfigured Cambridgeshire meeting, include a man determined to treat his own career as a monument to one of the town's most respected citizens, Michael Jarvis, who died on Tuesday.

Back in February, when deteriorating health obliged him to end a training career stretching back four decades, Jarvis handed over Kremlin House Stables to his young assistant, Roger Varian. And, even in the trials of his final months, he must have found some comfort in the knowledge that he had groomed a talent worthy of his legacy.

In terms of both style and substance, it quickly became difficult to see the join. Varian was plainly cut from very similar cloth. Unassuming but assured, he has brought horses along – and placed them – with familiar circumspection. At 22 per cent, in fact, he enters the final weeks of the campaign with a higher strike rate than any of his domestic rivals in the trainers' top 30.

How fitting it would be, then, if Varian ended the week in which he lost his mentor with his boldest step yet into the future. Tomorrow, he seeks his first Group One prize when Firdaws, who has shown such radiant promise in two maiden starts, contests the Shadwell Fillies' Mile. But first he saddles one of his most promising colts, Farraaj, in the big race on the opening day of the meeting.

Given his general conformity to the temperate example of Jarvis, it admittedly feels surprising to see Varian turning Farraaj round for the Somerville Tattersall Stakes just eight days after an impressive performance at Sandown. "He didn't get a hard race last week, and has come out of it quite well," he said. "And I'm conscious we might lose the fast ground in October. We are turning him out again quite quickly, but he seems fresh and well."

In fairness, there has already been time for the form to be lavishly advertised. Tell Dad, thrashed five lengths at Sandown, was himself pressed straight back into service to dominate a competitive sales race at Newmarket last weekend. Farraaj's rivals today are a mixture of the seasoned and the unexposed, the latter including a couple from powerful Irish stables. Jim Bolger reckons the ground was too soft for Zip Top in the Anglesey Stakes while Crusade, having shown little on his first visit to these shores, built on his York debut with an impressive success at the Curragh just nine days later.

Varian had the option of running perhaps the very best of his young prospects, Ektihaam, in the Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes – like the Fillies' Mile, a refugee from Ascot – on Saturday. But Angus Gold, racing manager to Sheikh Hamdan, confirmed yesterday the colt would instead wait for the Darley Dewhurst Stakes on 8 October.

As usual, Godolphin go into autumn in especially good fettle, and their twin stables shared four winners at Goodwood yesterday. These included Hunter's Light, supposedly the least fancied of three Godolphin runners in the Listed race, and both maiden winners. Nine furlongs in testing ground so found out Welcome Gift's rivals that he romped home by 10 lengths, while Genius Step was following some illustrious hoofprints in the opener. It was in the equivalent race two years ago that Workforce announced himself.

By no stretch could Genius Step's trainer, Mahmood al Zarooni, any longer be considered junior to Saeed bin Suroor. In only his second domestic season, he has won twice as much prize-money as his old boss, and tomorrow provides the most obvious obstruction to Firdaws in Lyric Of Light, winner of the May Hill Stakes. She is 13-8 favourite with Victor Chandler, with the Doncaster runner-up, Fallen For You, next best at 9-4 while Firdaws is rated 5-1.

Turf account

Chris McGrath's Nap

Gouray Girl (5.05 Newmarket) Has not been getting home over a mile but the return to this trip could bring an end to a frustrating sequence, with a new jockey likely to suit in Richard Hughes.


Next best

Ghostwriting (2.45 Newmarket) Well-bred colt in top hands who proved better than his initial rating when a decisive winner at Doncaster.



One to watch

Epoque (Sir Henry Cecil) represents an excellent Juddmonte family and has plainly inherited plenty of ability, judged on her third at Newmarket on Saturday, green throughout but closing nicely for third late on.



Where the money's going

Deacon Blues is 11-4 from 7-2 with William Hill for the Qipco Sprint at Ascot next month.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: SEO Manager

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are looking for a white-ha...

Recruitment Genius: Operations and Administration Support Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading Solar P...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Support Specialist

£18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This organisation is changing the way at...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Web Designer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Digital Web Designer is required to join a f...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor