O'Shea to ride Ektihaam
Ektihaam is reported to be on target for the Betfred Dante Stakes at York on Thursday but he will have a new jockey in the saddle.
The son of Invincible Spirit, owned by Sheikh Hamdan Al Haktoum, won a conditions race comfortably at Newbury on his seasonal bow, bouncing back from a below-par display in the Dewhurst Stakes last October.
He is set to be partnered for the first time by his owner's second jockey Tadhg O'Shea as the colt's regular rider Paul Hanagan is suspended.
Varian said: "Ektihaam is due to run in the Betfred Dante Stakes which has been his target since he won well at Newbury.
"I have been happy with him since that run and his work has been good. He is a big, strong horse so we hope he will be suited by York's galloping track."
Meanwhile Bonfire, a late withdrawal from the Dee Stakes at Chester, has been installed as the 2/1 favourite (with a run) by the sponsors.
"It's no surprise to see Bonfire at the head of the betting for the Betfred Dante but Andrew Balding has hinted that his colt could go straight to the Derby if conditions aren't suitable at York so it's only fair that punters can back him 'with a run' and get their money back if he misses the race," said Betfred spokesman George Primarolo.
Mandaean is the 9/4 second-favourite with Noble Mission next in the market at 4/1 after two victories this season, including in a Listed event at Newmarket last time out.