Roger Varian

Roger Varian Trainer

Roger Varian, born on March 14, 1979 had an immediate impact on horse racing around the world when he took out a training licence in 2011, having ridden seven winners under rules in a brief riding career.

Taking over from legendary trainer and mentor Michael Jarvis, the Newmarket-based handler has already landed more than 100 Stakes winners around the globe and is fast becoming one of the UK’s top trainers.

He became one of a select list of trainers to saddle a Group 1 winner in their first year in training when Nahrain secured the Prix de l’Opera at Longchamp and has had continued success at the highest level over the last eight seasons.

Kingston Hill was a popular winner of the Racing Post Trophy in 2013 for Varian, with jockey Andrea Atzeni taking the first of his four consecutive wins in the Grade 1 two-year-old mile race on Town Moor. He would go on to have more success back at Doncaster, winning the 2014 St. Leger to give the 40-year-old Varian a first British Classic.

Varian has a fruitful partnership with major owner Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum, whose familiar yellow silks with black dots have been spotted at major horse racing destinations all over the globe. Some of his best horses include Zabeel Prince, Laugh A Minute, Cape Byron and Postponed (see below).

Roger Varian is married to wife Hanako Sonobe and the couple have three children - Momoka, Eiji and Reika

Roger Varian’s Best Horses

Postponed was a brilliant three-time Group 1 winner for Varian in 2016, landing the Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan, the Coronation Cup at Epsom and the Juddmonte International at York.

The son of Dubawi won over £4.9 million in prize money and in the process beat the likes of Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Found, two-time Hong Kong Vase winner Highland Reel and Irish Derby winner Jack Hobbs.

Varian tasted plenty of international success in 2017, with Ajman Princess winning the Prix Jean Romanet and Nezwaah landing the Pretty Polly Stakes in Ireland, while he also claimed the E.P Taylor Stakes in 2018 with Sheika Reika.

He had a brilliant start to 2019, operating at a strike rate over 20% and landing another Group 1 success with Defoe (Coronation Cup) as well as the Victoria Cup with Cape Byron and the Group 3 Musidora Stakes with Nausha, who will surely have Group 1 targets on the horizon.

Other big race winners include:

Dewhurst Stakes - Belardo (2014)

Lockinge Stakes - Belardo (2016)

Criterium International - Vert De Grece (2014)

Prix d’Ispahan - Zabeel Prince (2019)

Moyglare Stud Stakes - Cursory Glance (2014)

Pretty Polly Stakes - Ambivalent (2012), Nezwaah (2017)

Flower Bowl Invitational Stakes - Nahrain (2012)

Stables used by Roger Varian

Roger Varian spent the first six years of his training career operating out of Kremlin House Stables on Fordham Road in Newmarket, the former home of Classic-winning trainer Michael Jarvis. Varian moved across the road in 2017 to the Carlburg Stables, where Clive Brittain - a multiple international Group 1 winner - had been based. Varian also has a further 60 boxes based at Woodlands Stables, also in Newmarket.

Carlburg Stables in Newmarket, Suffolk, boasts 137 boxes alongside an equine swimming pool, a private trotting ring, five horse walkers and heat lamps. The stables are just a short walk from the historic Limekilns and Al Bahathri gallops as well as Warren Hill.

Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum’s retained rider is the aforementioned Andrea Atzeni, meaning he has a large amount of rides for Varian. His previous big winners for the Varian team include Defoe in the Coronation Cup at Epsom and the Balmoral Handicap on British Champions Day on board Sharja Bridge. David Egan also rides regularly for Varian, having won the Nell Gwyn Stakes on Qabala earlier in 2019.

Roger Varian Horses to follow

Qabala (3yo): At the start of the 2019 season, few were talking about Qabala as a genuine Classic contender. However, she sprang to prominence in the Nell Gwyn Stakes in April when the subject of a huge gamble, returning as the 100/30 winning favourite. The daughter of Scat Daddy would be narrowly beaten into third in the 1000 Guineas and was well beaten in the Irish equivalent. Having won both starts at seven furlongs, she could be one to watch when stepping back in trip at some point this season.

Mountain Angel (5yo): This five-year-old had previously looked fairly exposed as a miler, but Roger Varian looks to have unlocked some more talent from Mountain Angel, who has already won two races in 2019 over the 10-furlong trip. Rated 96 at the start of the season, he improved 10lbs with two victories at Epsom and could now be aimed at the Wolferton Stakes or the John Smith’s Cup at York.

Pierre Lapin (2yo): Varian is not known for his early two-year-olds but looks to have found a gem in Pierre Lapin. He was well supported on racecourse debut at Haydock, going off the even-money favourite. With a confident David Egan on board, he swept past Godolphin’s Visible Charm - who has boosted the form since with a victory at Sandown - to win by 3½ lengths. With Royal Ascot on the cards and a string of potential entries over the next few months, this Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum-owned horse could be worth following throughout his two-year-old campaign.

Willie John (4yo): For a four-year-old who made his debut in October 2017, you would expect him to have had more than five starts in his career. Willie John clearly has had some problems, but finally looks to be getting towards the complete package. Having won novice races at two and three, he ended his three-year-old campaign with a heavy Group 3 defeat at Longchamp. After a disappointing reappearance in March, he put in a much better display to finish second behind Elarqam at Goodwood in May. Despite being put up 8lbs for that run, he still looks feasibly treated off a mark of 106 and could threaten in middle-distance handicaps during this season.

Roger Varian entries

You can stay abreast of Roger Varian’s latest entries via The Winners Enclosure’s racecards, which give up-to-date details on the runners and riders at all UK tracks for the current day and tomorrow.

Our team of experts also provide regular expert horse racing tips and will highlight when Roger Varian has horses entered who they believe have a real chance of victory and are worth betting on.

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