Varian plots further flat glory after Belardo wins Group 1 Lockinge

BIG WIN: Belardo, pictured with (from left) head lass Jo Fowles, groom Dean Bell, trainer Roger Varian and work rider Noel OConnor, landed his second Group One win in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on Saturday

BIG WIN: Belardo, pictured with (from left) head lass Jo Fowles, groom Dean Bell, trainer Roger Varian and work rider Noel OConnor, landed his second Group One win in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on Saturday

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Newmarket trainer Roger Varian is plotting further flat glory over the coming months after Belardo capped a memorable start to the new season by winning the Group 1 Lockinge.

Belardo’s late swoop under Andrea Atzeni gave Godolphin back-to-back successes in the Group 1 showpiece after the Kremlin Stables handler kept faith with his four-year-old.

Varian, who has earmarked the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot as the next possibility for the horse, said: “This was always his early-season target.

“He chased home Solow at Ascot last year and that was good form. His work has always been outstanding at home and he deserved another big one.”

Varian is becoming accustomed to big-race triumphs in 2016, five years after taking over the reigns from the late Michael Jarvis, who he served as assistant for 10 years.

Postponed provided him with his first major success of the calendar year after running out a mightily impressive winner of the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan back in March.

The five-year-old son of the Irish 2000 Guineas winner Dubawi, who won the race in a record time, has now been lined up for a tilt at the Coronation Cup at Royal Ascot.

Varian said: “We’ve been very lucky and we’ve got some lovely horses. We made a good start to the season in Dubai and have carried that on domestically.

“I never set targets in terms of a number of winners because you are dealing with horses.

“You always want to win races but it’s all about working hard, keeping the horses fit and running them in the right races.”

Varian paid tribute to his team down the stable, saying: “I’m in a very fortunate position to have an 85-strong team of staff behind me.

“They do all of the hard work and the stellar thing for any trainer is to have good staff.”

Twenty-four hours before Belardo’s second victory in Group 1 company, the Varian team were celebrating more success at the York Dante meeting after Barsanti produced a facile display in the Betway Jorvik Handicap.

Despite being hit by an 11lb rise for two wins on the all-weather, the four-year-old streaked clear of his rivals to put the race to bed on the Knavesmire.

Varian said: “Barsanti stays very well and handles fast ground, so we could look at the Duke Of Edinburgh Handicap at the Royal Meeting or the Pontefract Castle Stakes.

“He is on a steep upward curve and there is no reason why he should not continue to progress.”