Sport Horse Racing

Friday 24 May 2019

Surfman primed to shine in red-hot Dante

Trainer Roger Varian. Photo: PA
Trainer Roger Varian. Photo: PA

Marcus Armytage

On paper, at least, the best of this year's Investec Derby trials has been saved for last and, even if it does not throw up the winner at Epsom in 16 days, today's Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes is a fascinating race.

The fact that it is, albeit by default, the comeback race for last year's unbeaten juvenile, Too Darn Hot, makes it exciting enough.

Godolphin's Line of Duty, a Breeders' Cup winner, boasts the second-best juvenile form, while Aidan O'Brien's Japan sits somewhere between proven two-year-old form and potential, adding further to the mix.

Roger Varian did not ride that many winners in a brief career as a jump jockey, but one of them was for Peter Winkworth and it is for the owner-breeder that he trains Surfman.

He is fit, should not lack for experience and has been impressing his trainer at home.

"I hope he is as good as I think he is," said Varian yesterday.

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