Fujaira Prince follows up his Royal Ascot success with victory in York’s Sky Bet Ebor Handicap
- The Andrea Atzeni-ridden 11-2 favourite landed the Sky Bet Ebor Handicap
- Six-year-old was running for only the eighth time in his career on Saturday
- Fujaira Prince landed the Copper Horse Handicap at Royal Ascot in June
The endless patience shown in Fujaira Prince by owner Sheik Mohammed Obaid and trainer Roger Varian paid off again as the Andrea Atzeni-ridden 11-2 favourite landed the Sky Bet Ebor Handicap at York.
Varian describes the six-year-old, who was running for only the eighth time in his career, as fragile but that fragility is matched by talent.
Fujaira Prince landed the Copper Horse Handicap at Royal Ascot in June — his first race since being placed at the meeting 12 months earlier — and since then Varian had wrapped Atzeni’s mount in cotton wool for a shot at the biggest handicap in Europe.
Fujaira Prince followed up his Royal Ascot success with victory in York’s Sky Bet Ebor Handicap
Varian said: ‘He is a wonderful horse and I really am grateful to Sheik Mohammed Obaid because he has been incredibly patient with a horse who has been delicate to train. When he gives us days like this and the one at Royal Ascot he is worth every bit of the patience. This horse has needed nursing. Without the team’s hard work he wouldn’t have achieved what he has this year.
‘The expression “made of glass” would really apply to this guy. We space his races out and the biggest number of races he has ever had in a season is the three he had last year.’
Varian was not at York, choosing to spend the day with his parents 10 years and a day after the murder of his brother Christopher.
But on what must have been a difficult day, the Newmarket trainer was focusing on the future with Fujaira Prince.
He added: ‘I’m not sure if he is a Melbourne Cup horse but I think we could freshen him up and maybe look at the stayers’ race on Champions Day. Having said that, you can’t take anything for granted with this horse.’
Half-length runner-up in was Tim Easterby’s 25-1 shot Glencadam Glory, who rallied bravely after being headed a furlong out, while Verdana Blue finished best of all in third, beaten by two lengths.
Back in seventh was the tricky Scarlet Dragon, who cruised into the lead two furlongs out only to capitulate in a few strides.