Varian to keep Leger punters waiting

Roger VarianTrainer Roger Varian has once again thrown the cat amongst the pigeons by suggesting he may withdraw favourite Kingston HiIl from Saturday’s St Leger if he feels the ground is too quick for his charge.

With most jockeys on Friday morning suggesting the ground at Doncaster for Saturday’s final classic of the season would be good all had appeared set for Kingston Hill – runner-up to Australia in the Investec Derby at Epsom in June, and winner last year of the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy on Town Moor – to finally have a chance to prove what he can do over a distance of ground.

Varian withdrew the grey son of Mastercraftsman less than an hour before the start of the Irish Derby citing ground concerns, but ran his charge over a seemingly inadequate trip soon after when he could finish only fourth behind Mukhadram in the Group 1 Eclipse Stakes at Sandown a week later on fast ground.

“If I’m happy with the ground conditions I’ll run, and if I’m not, I won’t,” Varian insisted. “I’ve said we’re participating on good ground. I can’t be more clear than that. I’ll be here on Saturday and let’s hope we’re here competing.”

Dry weather is forecast over the weekend in South Yorkshire for Kingston Hill’s hoped for bid for the world’s oldest classic race. He is currently a 5/2 market leader with Betfred, with Sir Michael Stoute’s Lingfield Derby Trial winner Snow Sky proving the best backed against the favourite and now offered at 5/1.

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