Exciting Elmalka Coronation bound

Roger Varian has confirmed his 1000 Guineas winner Elmalka is on course to return to action in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot.

ELMALKA. Picture: Healey Racing.

The Roger Varian-trained three-year-old stayed on strongly from the rear of the field to edge out Porta Fortuna by a neck to claim 1000 Guineas honours at Newmarket in May and looks all set for an appearance at the royal meeting.

"She's in great form and has had no problems, she's done everything right since the Guineas and did a lovely bit of work last week," Varian told Sky Sport's Racing.

Elmalka had the option of turning out in the Irish equivalent at the Curragh just under two weeks ago, but Varian was quick to write off that possible target after her Newmarket triumph. He said: "We're very much thinking of the Coronation Stakes. Since she won at Newmarket, we were never going to Ireland.

"I think that was only her third start, so she looks like she's getting the hang of it now and hopefully we'll see a strong performance at Ascot."

The daughter of Kingman was ridden quietly when coming home strongly on the Rowley Mile, but Varian is confident his filly is versatile when it comes to tactics.

He added: "That's really the only way we could ride her at Newmarket when we were drawn 16 of 16. She's so inexperienced, we couldn't really go forward from that draw and race on a wide wing with no cover.

"So, we said beforehand, we're just going to have to suck up the draw and ride her to run well – and as it turned out, everything worked for her.

"But she's very straightforward. She's been slow to get the hang of things, but she's looking like she knows her job now, so I'm sure she'll be a very straightforward ride at Ascot."

The Carlburg Stables-based handler is keen to stick to a mile for now with his star filly but didn't want to rule out stepping up in trip going forward. "She shaped that way at Newmarket, but I'd say she has sharpened up, because she was still a bit green in the Guineas and as I say, it was only her third run," said Varian.

"You can make a mistake sometimes in thinking they need further when they are kind of learning on the job, and I think it would be a mistake to go 10 furlongs now.

"But we'll see how we get on at Ascot and I'm sure we'll put her in races like the Nassau later on.

"That's not to say she'll run there, she might stay at a mile all year, but I think we're still learning about her and hopefully we get a good result at Ascot."

Another horse with Group 1 aspirations from the Varian yard is Charyn, who has his sights firmly set on the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot after backing up successes at Doncaster and Sandown with a good second to the surprise Lockinge Stakes winner Audience. 

"He's in great form – I wish it was tomorrow, so hopefully the next two weeks will go smoothly, with no problems," said Varian.

"He ran great in the Lockinge, he was the only horse to come out of the pack. I thought he ran really well.

"Credit to the winner, who is a very good horse and put in a great performance, but I thought Charyn came a long way away from all the horses he raced with, so it was a great performance and hopefully he can do something similar at Ascot."

Racing and Sports

today's racing

Error occured
{{course.CountryName || course.Country}}