Perth trainer Stephen Miller will send his tough three year old Variation straight to the paddock for a spell after winning the Group 2 $500,000 Sky Racing-W.A. Guineas (1600m) at Ascot in Perth last Saturday.
“To the paddock,” winning trainer Stephen Miller said straight after the race.
Miller said that Variation had always shown plenty of ability and deserves a well-earned break after winning his third race from five starts this preparation,
“The horse has always shown up a lot and he has come through a faultless preparation well,” Miller said.
“I thought his last win was very good. We were stepping up in class, we had to have a dip at it.”
Miller was able to book Melbourne based jockey Damian Lane to ride Variation after regular rider Brad Parnham elected to ride the more fancied Daniel Morton trained Saul’s Special ($7.50) who failed to beat a runner in the W.A. Guineas.
“Damian rode him an absolute treat. It was great to get his services. Brad (Parnham) had the option and I know he rides for the other stable a lot and I only have a small team,” Miller said.
“He has got a fair bit of ability and we just had to place him right.”
“The blokes around me, the owners, have been with me for thirty-five years and just to repay them is incredible.”
Variation was stepping up from a win in restricted grade in the a 1600m NMWLY at Ascot on November and courtesy of a brilliant ride from Lane, the War Chant gelding was able to slice through the field to record a half a length win over $4 favourite Ellicazoom with $26 chance Ragazzo D’Oro holding on for third.
Variation was sent out at the good odds of $19 and gave Lane a triumphant return to Perth where he began his career as an apprentice and he was thrilled to chalk up a feature race win on is home soil.
“I am rapt to be home. I picked up this guy just last week,” Lane said.
Lane had settled Variation midfield and thought he was in trouble at the top of the straight when he had a wall of horses in front of him, but somehow he was able to weave a passage through and once the gelding was in the clear sprinted to the line to clock up a clear cut win.
“He would have been the biggest certainty beaten for a long time,” Lane said.
“Lucky enough I got a run back to the inside and sprinted really well for me.”
Variation’s win in the W.A. Guineas was his third from seven starts and took his winning prizemoney to $357,650.