Roger Varian hopes Third Realm will land the Cazoo Derby in Epsom

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Roger Varian hopes Third Realm will land the Cazoo Derby on Epsom after waiting seven years to find the ‘right horse’ after Kingston Hill’s runner-up.

  • Trainer Roger Varian is optimistic about Third Realm’s chances at Epsom
  • He has had a previous runner there after Kingston Hill finished second in 2014
  • Varian backed Third Realm, calling him ‘relaxed character’ and ‘a cool guy’

Roger Varian believes Third Realm has all the right qualities to give him a second time of luck in the Cazoo Derby at Epsom on Saturday.

Surprisingly, the Newmarket trainer has only had one previous runner in the main race of the Flat season when Kingston Hill finished second behind Australia in 2014.

Third Realm, Andrea Atzeni’s mount, is a 12-1 chance after an impressive win in the Lingfield Derby Trial and Sheikh Mohammed Obaid’s colt leads the Varian challenge for a massive three days in front of his stable.

Third Realm is a 12-1 chance after an impressive win in the Lingfield Derby Trial

Third Realm is a 12-1 chance after an impressive win in the Lingfield Derby Trial

On Friday, stable mates Save A Forest, Teona and Zeyaadah run in the Oaks in Epsom, while on Sunday Varian’s El Drama, winner of the Dee Stakes in Chester, contest the French Derby in Chantilly.

Varian said, “I don’t think we’ve had the right horse other than Kingston Hill. It’s not like we’re afraid of running a horse in the Derby. They are hard to find and I really don’t think we missed one over the years.

“It was a special day with Kingston Hill. He was a great horse. It was a bit bittersweet to get that close and maybe we naively thought we’d come back next year or a few years with something.

The longer you train, you realize that these Derby horses are extremely hard to find.

Roger Varian has had just one previous runner in Britain's richest flat horse race

Roger Varian has had just one previous runner in Britain's richest flat horse race

Roger Varian has had just one previous runner in Britain’s richest flat horse race

“I suppose every year that goes by could have been rue, but Kingston Hill gave us special days and went on to win a St Leger, which was our first classic.”

Third Realm has only been run three times, but made a striking winning move around the turn in Lingfield Street.

Varian added: ‘He’s a relaxed character and a bit of a cool guy. Whatever Epsom throws at him the day I’d be hopeful he can pass that test.

‘In these big races, it’s essential that you don’t waste energy in the paddock, on your way to the start, behind the gates or in the first two stages.

Varian's Kingston Hill (right) finished second behind Australia in the 2014 Derby in Epsom

Varian's Kingston Hill (right) finished second behind Australia in the 2014 Derby in Epsom

Varian’s Kingston Hill (right) finished second behind Australia in the 2014 Derby in Epsom

“We have yet to learn if he has the bike to take The Derby home. But I think he’s looking forward to it.

“He is not a large horse, but is very balanced and a neat horse. I am confident that he will make the trip.”

The strength of Varian’s three-year-old is reflected in his results with 47 winners this year with a 25 percent success rate.

The trainer added: “If you look at the results of the past six to eight weeks, we have won a lot of three-year-olds. We have three year olds who are not involved with Epsom who are going to Royal Ascot and those who may not make it to Ascot but will make nice horses later in the year.

“As a collective group, this is the strongest crop of three-year-olds we’ve had, but you need one or two to really come out and turn into group one horses.”

Varian hopes Third Realm will do just that.

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