Roger Varian is counting down the days until the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot with Eldar Eldarov following his hugely encouraging return at York last week.
The Dubawi colt was a nose winner of the Queen’s Vase at the Royal meeting last season and went on to claim Classic glory in the St Leger at Doncaster in September.
He had to concede weight all round on his his four-year-old debut in the Group Two Yorkshire Cup and powered home to be beaten just half a length in second place by St Leger third Giavellotto.
Varian is confident his charge will improve for the run and also views the step up from a mile and three-quarters to two and a half miles in next month’s Ascot showpiece as a positive.
“He’s great, he couldn’t have taken it (the run) better and I’ve been delighted with him this week,” said the Newmarket handler.
“His profile looks good for the Gold Cup and the St Leger form is starting to show its worth now.
“His run at York would excite anyone, whoever’s camp he was in. It was just a good run, he hit the line strong, he gave weight to the field and looks like he’ll improve over a bit further.
“We’re looking forward to it.”
Eldar Eldarov is a 4-1 shot with Paddy Power for the Gold Cup, making him their clear second-favourite behind Andrew Balding’s 3-1 market leader Coltrane.