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Eton primed for International exam

Mon, 16 July 2012

Eton Forever will return to Ascot for the Betfair Summer Double International Handicap on Saturday after giving Roger Varian his first victory at the Royal meeting last month.

The five-year-old also provided the Newmarket handler with his first success as a trainer in the Spring Mile at Doncaster in April 2011, and Varian reports him to have taken his triumph in the Buckingham Palace Handicap in his stride.

"He seems to be in the form of his life since Ascot so we're keen to go back. It's the same course and distance where he won, but it will be tougher for him. He's got a 3lb penalty and will be racing off 106," said Varian.

"They put him up six to 109, so it's probably his last chance for a little while in handicaps. Because he's now on 109, we might have to look at other options for him.

"He's in great form so we're going back there. We just hope the deluge of rain we've been battered with in the last week doesn't come back this week. He does seem quite versatile regarding the ground, but he wouldn't want it too soft, that's for sure."

Eton Forever heads the weights for the seven-furlong handicap, with 52 left in at the confirmation stage. The David Elsworth-trained Bonnie Brae, winner of the Bunbury Cup at Newmarket on Friday, could try to defy a 3lb penalty for that success.

Among the other entries are the Jim Goldie-trained Hawkeyethenoo, George Margarson's Excellent Guest, Brian Ellison's Victoria Cup winner Global Village, Mark Johnson's Van Ellis, the William Haggas-trained Cape Classic and Andrew Balding's Highland Colori.