Impressive when making a winning start to his career at Newbury in mid-July, the son of New Bay was narrowly beaten by previous Superlative Stakes runner-up Masekela on his return to the Berkshire circuit.
However that form was franked 24 hours after Bayside Boy and in-form jockey David Egan beat hot favourite Reach For The Moon and Frankie Dettori in the Group Two Champagne Stakes at Doncaster.
This came when Charlie Appleby’s Superlative winner Native Trail, the conqueror of Masekela, won Group One honours in the National Stakes in Ireland under William Buick.
The pair look likely to lock horns in the Dewhurst on October 9.
“Saturday was very satisfying,” said Varian.
“His form is looking very strong.
“If you look at the distance between us and Masekela at Newbury and the distance between Native Trail and Masekela at Newmarket in the Superlative, that form is all starting to tie in.
“We were very impressed with Charlie’s horse at the Curragh on Sunday – but our horse has only had three starts as well, and he couldn’t do much more than beat Reach For The Moon in the Champagne. He’d have to be considered as a high-class juvenile, I think.
“He’s a horse that will stay beyond seven furlongs, but he’s not a slow horse. He’s a strong traveller and has won a Group Two race that often points to the Dewhurst.
“He wouldn’t be out of place in the Dewhurst field, and I’m sure that will be the number one target – but he’s got entries in all the big races, and we’ll have to see how he trains over the next fortnight or so and speak to connections.”
Meanwhile, Benoit de la Sayette could return to action next month after been given a six-month ban, backdated to April, for testing positive for cocaine.
The 7lb-claimer grabbed the headlines earlier in the spring when he partnered Haqeeqy to victory for John and Thady Gosden in the Lincoln at Doncaster.
However, a video was subsequently circulated on social media claiming to show De la Sayette at a party in the presence of cocaine following his Doncaster victory, prompting the British Horseracing Authority to take urine and hair samples from De la Sayette on March 31.
The urine sample returned negative on the same day the test was administered, but the hair sample had returned positive for metabolites of cocaine.
At a disciplinary hearing yesterday, Ciara McElvogue, representing the BHA, said the rider had admitted taking cocaine “around three or four times” between August 2020 and January 2021, after falling in with a “bad crowd” while living in Newmarket.
De la Sayette was represented by Rory Mac Neice, who said the rider came into contact with cocaine through people he lived with when he “succumbed to temptation”.
He added: “He won’t be the first teenager to have done so and he possibly won’t be the last. He is very young, to his credit he had recognised prior to the positive test the need to make changes to his living arrangements and he had taken the counsel and advice of his parents and Mr (John) Gosden.”
Shadwell Estate Company has announced plans to slim down its operations in the UK, Ireland and America “to focus on quality and competition at the highest level of the sport”.
The racing and breeding enterprise was established by Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum in the 1980s, with the famous blue and white silks carried by greats such as Nashwan, Salsabil, Dayjur and Battaash, with Prix du Moulin hero Baaeed currently flying the flag this season.
However, following the death of Sheikh Hamdan in March, Shadwell has announced it will undertake “a full review of all its activities that will result in important changes”.