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Classy Postponed to defend crown after Epsom blitz

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Postponed will head straight to Ascot to defend his King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes crown after catapulting himself to be one of the leading middle distance performers in the world.

Roger Varian’s five-year-old turned in a classy display to make it five wins in a row when landing the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Cup at Epsom on Derby day.

The Group One contest began his remarkable rise last summer and Varian has confirmed the Ascot showpiece as his next target.

Varian said: “Postponed is a remarkably versatile horse and is just a pleasure to work with. The timing for this is right to go straight to the King George now.

“He really is the ultimate and he’s shown his adaptability at a track like Epsom – the conditions couldn’t be more different from Meydan, so he’s a versatile, talented horse and we are all very lucky.

Asked what set him part to others, he said: “His ability – you can’t install that. All his other attributes come a close second. He’s got the most level temperament; that’s a real quality.

“I should have thought he’s got the most level heartbeat of any horse at the start; he takes any situation in his stride.

“He can operate off a fast pace or a slow pace and in different ground conditions. He really is the ultimate.”

Winning jockey Andrea Atzeni added: “He’s just a proper racehorse. He is a machine. You can put him anywhere in a race, he travels well, goes on any ground and quickens up.

“We’re very lucky. He travels for fun and he quickens. I am glad that (owner) Sheikh Mohammed Obaid is her – he’s the main man. It’s good to do it for him and Roger (Varian).”

The son of Dubawi cruised through the Group One contest with his pacemaker Roseburg (50-1) cutting out the running in front.

But once Postponed made his move in the home straight the race was soon put to bed.

He swept past Roseburg and easily held of the challenge of Aidan O’Brien’s Found (3-1), who was four-and-a-half lengths back in second at the line.

The front-running effort from stable-mate Roseburg, under Jack Mitchell, was rewarded with the five-year-old holding on for third behind Found.

Varian added: “Jack (Mitchell) did a super job (on Roseburg) as he just kept an even pace.”

Saturday’s success followed up Postponed’s win in the Group One Dubai Sheema Classic in Meydan in March.

Winning owner Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum believes the horse has improved after switching Postponed to Varian’s stable following his third in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot last year, when trained by Luca Cumani.

The owner said: “I think the horse has improved for moving to Roger (from Cumani). I don’t care what anyone says, but he is a credit to Roger and his staff.

n There was no Derby or Oaks joy for Newmarket trainers in either of the Epsom classics.

John Gosden’s Dante hero Wings Of Desire finished fourth in the Derby, while Hugo Palmer’s Architecture was an excellent second, behind Aidan O’Brien’s Minding, in the Oaks.