Roger Varian’s Willie John impresses

Willie John went some way to repaying his substantial price tag when running out a ready winner of the Unison And LV Liverpool Victoria Car Insurance Novice Stakes at Doncaster.

After winning on his debut last year for William Haggas, he was bought for 1.9 million guineas by Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum.

Now with Roger Varian, he was keen in the early stages of this seasonal bow, but Andrea Atzeni managed to get him settled and he moved into contention like a class horse.

Without being asked a serious question, the evens favourite pulled five lengths clear of Sir Michael Stoute’s Hidden Depths.

The win completed a quick-fire treble for Atzeni following earlier wins on Coolongolook and Boitron.

Varian told At The Races: “That was nice to watch, he’s a talented horse. I’m very lucky to train for Sheikh Mohammed Obaid as he doesn’t put any pressure on and he’s been very supportive.

“This horse had a setback in the spring and we’ve had to take our time.

“He was ready to run, but I’m sure he’ll come on for it. He came with a big reputation and was expensive. He was very laid back and looked half asleep in the paddock, which long-term is a good thing.

“I’m very pleased with how he ran.”

Source.