sport

Belardo eyeing Doncaster Champagne

Belardo is set to bid for a first Pattern race success in the At The Races Champagne Stakes at Doncaster on September 13.

Roger Varian's charge was an impressive winner of the Listed Washington Singer Stakes at Newbury earlier this month after winning on his debut at Yarmouth in June before finishing fourth in the July Stakes.

Belardo switched up to seven furlongs at Newbury and that is also the trip he will face in the Doncaster Group Two.

Varian said: "The Champagne Stakes is on Belardo's agenda. He is in good order and really took the race well at Newbury. He has been training nicely and the Champagne Stakes is where we are looking to go next.

"It was a good performance last time. We were a bit worried about the ground beforehand but he handled it well. He travelled nicely and showed a good turn of foot, which was pleasing.

"He has now won on good to firm and good to soft and is showing that versatility which is always nice to see in a young horse."

The Aidan O'Brien-trained pair of Gleneagles and Highland Reel, who both won Group Two contests last time out, are among the contenders at this stage along with last week's Acomb Stakes winner Dutch Connection.

Previous Group Two scorers Baitha Alga, Estidhkaar and Kool Kompany are still in the mix as is impressive Chesham Stakes victor Richard Pankhurst.