Kingston Hill Claims Racing Post Trophy Glory
1 Kingston Hill 7/2F
Roger Varian is dreaming of Classic success next year after Kingston Hill continued the Newmarket trainer's love affair with Doncaster by winning the Racing Post Trophy.
His first ever runner, Eton Forever, was a winner on Town Moor on April 2, 2011, when he took over the reins at Kremlin House stables after the late Michael Jarvis retired.
Kingston Hill only made his debut five weeks ago and after winning the Group Three Autumn Stakes at Newmarket on his second start, Varian and owner Paul Smith took the decision to supplement the colt at a cost of £17,500 on Monday, and it paid off.
It was a brave move by Smith, who is the son of Coolmore's Derrick Smith, co-owner of runner-up Johann Strauss.
Racing in mid-division through the early stages, Kingston Hill was asked to quicken well over a furlong out by Andrea Atzeni and the response was immediate, with the Mastercraftsman colt lengthening to stretch emphatically clear in the closing stages, beating Johann Strauss by four and a half lengths as the 7-2 favourite.
Altruistic was third for trainer-jockey Johnny Murtagh, but the well-fancied Century was one of the first of the market principals to be beaten and trailed home last.
"We were looking forward to what improvement there was to come from him and he's the first colt to win to win a Group One for us. It's been with fillies before," said Varian, who is ending the year on a real high having seen his yard hit with a virus in the summer.
"He's always looked good and been a good mover. If you look at him, he's a great model. We have so many horses who can do special things at home but disappoint on the track. He looked good at home, but I tend to sit on the fence and be pessimistic. Until they do it on the track, I won't hype a horse up.
"We thought he might make his debut a month earlier, but the horses weren't right in August. What is encouraging is what he's done in six weeks, and he has the shape to be better next year. We'll have to see how he winters and what he's like in the spring. People have said is he a 10-furlong, mile-and-a-half horse, but he has the pace for a mile and travels so well.
"He has good acceleration and will be in everything. We'll have a good eye on the Guineas. Whether he runs before or goes straight there or bypasses the Guineas, we'll have to wait and see."
Atzeni said: "He travelled really and when I picked him up three furlongs out he really quickened and not many horses can do that on ground as soft as that. I picked him up earlier than I would have liked because of the ground and because he stays further. He's got loads of class, he showed that today. He's definitely the best horse I've sat on."
Racing Post Trophy (Group 1) (Str)
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