Varian belief in Postponed for Sheema repeat bid
Roger Varian still retains plenty of belief that Postponed can repeat his win of 12 months ago in the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan next Saturday despite his defeat on his seasonal return at the track a fortnight ago.
The six-year-old did not get the clearest of runs before failing to peg back one of next weekend's likely rivals, Prize Money, in the City of Gold on March 4.
A year ago, Postponed won that Group 2 warm-up before following up on World Cup night, when he accounted for Japanese top-notcher Duramente, with Highland Reel – who is set to reoppose – in fourth.
Assessing the strength of this year's renewal of the $6 million contest, Varian said: "The Sheema is looking like a good race again but no tougher than last year, when I think Duramente was better than anything we'll face this time around.
"I don't think Highland Reel was on his game that day on his first run after a busy winter, and we don't know how he'll be this time."
After his trial defeat, Postponed was pushed out to 5-2 for the Sheema by many firms, but he has been backed in again in recent days and on Saturday was a best-priced 9-4 with Sky Bet and only 11-8 with Paddy Power.
Varian added: "Postponed has been fine since the City of Gold and at least he has had a run out there, which is important going into these types of races. As last year we are very much looking forward to it."