Kingston Hill, Roger Varian’s high-class juvenile of last season, may well take his chance in the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket in May without first having a prep race.
The unbeaten son of rising star stallion Mastercraftsman ended last term by completing a blemish-free hattrick in the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster in October, showing bags of class as he powered away from Ballydoyle’s very useful Johann Strauss to score by an impressive four-and-a-half lengths, establishing himself as a leading candidate for both the first colts’ class of the 2014 season and the Investec Derby at Epsom in June.
Varian has not committed his exciting prospect to the 2000 Guineas and intends keeping his options open as long as possible with the Derby appearing to be a central target for the Paul Smith-owned colt.
Currently an 8/1 shot in the racing betting list for the 2000 Guineas (with Bet365), and 8/1 second-favourite behind Aidan O’Brien’s Australia (9/2) for the Derby, Kingston Hill is out of a dam by Rainbow Quest, suggesting there is every chance he may be even better over middle-distances than over a bare mile. His half-sister, Ramona Chase (by High Chaparral), won twice at a mile-and-a-quarter and once at a mile-and-a-half.
Kingston Hill didn’t make his racecourse bow until Newbury on September 21 when comfortably accounting for Exchequer in a seven furlong maiden. He took the immediate step into pattern race company very much in his stride when beating Oklahoma City by two lengths in the Group 3 Autumn Stakes at Newmarket on October 12, then rounded off his rapid rise to the top by justifying racing live betting odds of 7/2 at Doncaster in the Racing Post Trophy.
Varian’s star has so far only run on easy ground but his Newmarket-based handler has few worries about his ability to handler a quick surface.