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Varian planning to celebrate

Sat, 25 August 2012

Roger Varian is praying the weather will not scupper the Goodwood recovery mission of Aljamaaheer in Saturday's Betfair Celebration Mile.

The lightly raced colt has been a growing force all year, striding clear in a Listed race at Newmarket before closing for third in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot, but he endured a real hard-luck story on his most recent start in the Thoroughbred Stakes at the Glorious meeting.

Jockey Paul Hanagan was terribly short of room at crucial stages in the home straight before eating up the ground to finish third behind the dead-heating pair of Trumpet Major and Archbishop.

Varian told his website: "He has been training really well since his luckless run in the Thoroughbred Stakes. I think he has a good chance, but a dramatic easing in the ground would be a big concern."

Trumpet Major reopposes on better terms and the Richard Hannon team are confident of retaining the title they collected 12 months ago with Dubawi Gold.

The handler told his website: "He may have been a bit lucky to beat Aljamaaheer last time, but we are 4lb better off and we'll be disappointed if our fellow is not right there again at the finish."

Sir Henry Cecil's Chachamaidee is unbeaten from two starts at Goodwood and followed up her 2011 Glorious success when sweeping clear in the Lennox Stakes.

Another filly to try her luck will be Roger Charlton's Thistle Bird, who has been successful in back-to-back Listed races, thought the trainer is unsure whether the gamble will pay off.

He said: "It's a bit of a double jump in class from a Listed race to a Group Two. We've had to give it quite a lot of thought as to whether it was worth it and I'd be very satisfied if she finished second or third, but it is a question if she is second or third, I don't know if she's capable of that.

"Sometimes fillies get on a roll and she's won her Listed races well, but this is tougher. If we can achieve a Group Two placing then I think the owners will be happy."