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    Varian is optimistic about Matsuri’s performance at Curragh
Varian is optimistic about Matsuri’s performance at Curragh
Roger Varian. Source: britishchampionsseries.com

Varian is optimistic about Matsuri’s performance at Curragh

Roger Varian is confident that Matsuri is poised for a significant step-up in class at the upcoming Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby, benefiting from his recent freshness. The son of Sea The Stars showed promise as a juvenile, culminating in a victory at Kempton after overcoming challenges during the race.

Although Matsuri took time to hit form this season, he impressed with an eight-length win at Leicester in late May. Despite the leap into Classic company being a major move, the Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum-owned colt is priced at 7-1 with Paddy Power for success at the Curragh.

Varian, who recently celebrated Group One success with Charyn at Royal Ascot, commented, “I think he’s very talented and thriving at home. Moving straight into Classic company from novice ranks is a challenge, but if they're good enough, they can handle it. We believe he's quite good, so we’re optimistic.”

Reflecting on the season, Varian noted, “We were disappointed not to have him ready earlier for a proper Derby trial and Epsom, but missing those races might work to our advantage. He's fresh going into the Curragh.”

Acknowledging Matsuri’s lack of experience compared to his main rivals, Varian emphasised his belief in the colt’s ability to perform at a high level. He added, “He’s versatile – fast ground or good to soft wouldn’t worry me, though very testing conditions might not suit.”

Currently, Ambiente Friendly leads the betting at 11-10 to improve on his runner-up finish at Epsom, followed by Los Angeles at 15-8, aiming to give Aidan O’Brien a 16th victory in the race.

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