Skip to main content Skip to site footer


Article 18th April 2023 Newmarket

By Graham Clark

Roger Varian admits he is ‘confident as he can be’ that Sakheer will see out the mile in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas on his comeback after putting in what he described as a ‘perfect’ piece of work in a racecourse gallop at Newmarket before racing today.  

The Zoffany colt, who signed off last season with victory in the Group Two Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury, continued his preparation towards opening Classic of the season on May 6th when taking part in the exercise under regular rider David Egan.

Working over five furlongs alongside a senior stablemate, Sakheer, who is a general 8-1 chance for the QIPCO 2000 Guineas, stretched smartly clear late on much to the delight of Newmarket handler Varian.

Varian said: “It was perfect to be honest. It was not meant to be gut busting work, and it wasn’t. He did enough to have a nice blow and it got him a day away from home.

“It is nice to come an hour before racing as there are a few people around and there is a little bit of atmosphere. He got to experience the undulations.

“He was very well balanced throughout the work. He came through the work nicely. It was a bridle work, but a strong work and he will come forward nicely for it.

“It is very much part of his schedule and his programme and he has got a strong two weeks ahead of him.

“I think he did one piece of work over here before he ran last year, but he didn’t so much after that this side of town. It is probably only the second time he has been on those undulations and it is nice to give him an experience of it.”

Although Sakheer is yet to race beyond six furlongs Varian believes the additional distance will prove to be well within the capabilities of his improving colt on his Group One debut in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas, which is the opening contest of the 2023 QIPCO British Champions Series.

He added: “We are as confident as we can be. He is bred to get the trip and he is bred to get beyond the mile really.

“He was strong through the line in all of his starts as a two year old but he never raced beyond six furlongs and none of us will truly know until the Guineas (if he gets the trip) as he is a quick horse.

“If he gets home over the mile then he could be a very good miler. If he doesn’t we know he has options back in trip, but we are not thinking about that at the moment we are thinking about the Guineas.

“We wouldn’t be running him in it if we didn’t think he had a strong chance of getting the mile. He has got loads of ability and I thought he looked lovely out there today.

“You are hopeful he will get the mile but we are not going to test him over it before the Guineas and we will find out then. He has a good temperament. Today would have done him good getting a bit of gas out of him.

“I didn’t ask David (Egan, jockey) how he felt on the ground but he looked fine on it. He has been trained for the race.

“The ground and the trip are two things he has not encountered before but this has been his target all winter and if we are happy with him I’m sure we will be here.”


Cookie Policy

We use “cookies” to help enhance your experience and improve the functionality of our website. You can find out more in our cookie policy. We also serve cookies, some with chocolate chips, on our racecourses.