Hang fire is Varian advice for punters on Eydon’s next move

Roger Varian has advised punters to sit tight with a decision yet to be made on Eydon’s Cazoo Derby participation.

The Feilden Stakes winner took a huge leap forward to be fourth in the 2000 Guineas, raising the possibility of another shot at Classic glory in the Epsom highlight on Saturday week.

Varian took the Olden Times colt to the track on Monday as part of the Cazoo Derby Gallops Morning and while Eydon pleased both Varian and big-race rider David Egan in his spin on the Downs, the Newmarket handler underlined the 10-furlong Prix du Jockey Club also remains a live option.

Roger Varian keeps a close watch on Eydon
Roger Varian keeps a close watch on Eydon (John Walton/PA)

He said: “David was very happy with the horse. He’s still in the Jockey Club and is not guaranteed to run here, it could go either way.

“My advice to punters thinking of backing him is to sit on the fence.

“There are still 12 days to go and the trip will come into consideration. He hasn’t run over more than nine furlongs, though I’m hopeful he would get both.

“Both races have tremendous prestige – he’s done everything right and will be a contender wherever he goes.”

Westover in action at Epsom on Monday
Westover in action at Epsom on Monday (John Walton/PA)

Another Derby hope to get a taste of Epsom was Ralph Beckett’s Westover, who worked with a companion under jockey Rob Hornby.

The son of Frankel made a triumphant return to action when holding Cash by a short head in last month’s Classic Trial at Sandown, and Hornby felt the racecourse workout would help bring the colt forward, as well as proving he can handle the unique track.

The rider said: “He’s such a big horse, and as it’s been a while since Sandown he needed a good blow out.

“He’s very well balanced for a big horse and when I rolled him onto his lead leg he hopped onto it fluently, which will have done him the world of good.

“This is the time when the sleepless nights start, as I’ve always thought a great deal about the horse and the opportunity to ride him in the Derby is very exciting.

“He dropped me a couple of weeks ago, as he was so exuberant, and going down today he let me know he was there. When we started to gallop he settled beautifully.”

Beckett has no fears about stepping up to a mile and a half for the first time in the Derby and is also relaxed about conditions.

He said: “He galloped out well at the end of some good work. They went a nice clip and it was all positive.

“I don’t think he’s bothered about the ground and one thing’s for sure, Andrew (Cooper) won’t let it get too fast. I also don’t have any fears about this fellow getting the trip.

“The benefit of bringing him here was for him to have an away day rather than another run.”

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