Hill set for winter break as Varian rules out crack at Champion

Roger Varian has confirmed Kingston Hill will not run again this season, ruling out a crack at Saturday’s Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot.

Hill set for winter break as Varian rules out crack at Champion

The St Leger hero still holds an entry in the 10-furlong feature but following a campaign that has also seen the Mastercraftsman colt finish second in the Derby and fourth in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Varian and owner Paul Smith feel Kingston Hill now deserves a winter break.

The trainer told www.varianstable.com: “Kingston Hill will not run again this season. He ran a huge race in the Arc to finish fourth from the widest of draws. He is a horse with a great constitution but we feel that this race comes just too soon after such a big effort in France.

“He has done us proud this season, winning the St Leger, finishing second in the Derby and fourth in the Arc. He remains in training and we are looking forward to campaigning him in the big middle distance races next year.”

* Richard Hannon is eager to pitch Estidhkaar into Group One company in Friday’s Dubai Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket.

The Dark Angel colt has won three of his four starts this term and counts the Superlative Stakes at Newmarket’s July Course and the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster among his triumphs.

That Town Moor success came over seven furlongs and Hannon sticks to that trip in the Dewhurst rather than taking up his engagement in the Racing Post Trophy over a mile at Doncaster later in the month.

Hannon said: “Estidkhaar has been fine since his Doncaster win and the seven furlongs of the Dewhurst should be perfect for him. The step up to a mile can wait until next year.

“We have always thought that he is one of our best two-year-olds and he has already proved that by winning two Group Twos, including once with a 3lb weight penalty. Good ground would be fine for him on Friday but soft would be fine as well – he loves it.”

* Edward Lynam is hoping the ground at Newmarket does not change too much ahead of Agnes Stewart’s run in Friday’s Dubai Fillies’ Mile.

The Lawman filly has won two of her three starts this term and stepped up to Group Two level to claim the May Hill Stakes at Doncaster last month.

That victory prompted connections to supplement Agnes Stewart for the Newmarket event and Lynam believes the race represents a good opportunity as long as the forecast unsettled spell of weather does not turn the ground too testing.

He said: “It was not a difficult decision (to supplement her). She has won a Group Two so now needs to step up to a Group One and the Fillies’ Mile seemed ideal. The weather is the only issue. If we had heavy rain and the ground turned soft I am not sure how she would handle it.

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