About Roger

ROGER VARIAN is a Classic-winning racehorse trainer with 14 Group One victories to his name. He has recently relocated to the historic Carlburg Stables on Newmarket's Bury Road having previously trained out of Kremlin House Stables, where he took over the reins from long-time boss and legendary mentor Michael Jarvis in 2011. 

In six seasons with a license, Roger has made an immediate impact on his profession. He is approaching 500 career successes, including more than 60 stakes victories across the globe. He has saddled Group One winners in Britain, France, Ireland and the US, including Postponed, who won three times at the highest level in 2016. 

Owned by Sheikh Mohammed Obaid, Postponed spearheaded a record-breaking season for Roger and his team last year, winning the G1 Dubai Sheema Classic, G1 Coronation Cup and G1 Juddmonte International as well as the G2 Dubai City Of Gold. Alongside Belardo, who won the G1 Lockinge Stakes at Newbury, Postponed helped to secure a domestic prize-money tally of just shy of £2,400,000 and a global total of over £5,000,000.

Roger has saddled one Classic winner so far, securing the 2014 G1 St Leger with Kingston Hill, who had previously finished runner-up in the G1 Derby and would go on to finish a highly-creditable fourth in the G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe from the widest of draws. The win was also a first Classic success for jockey Andrea Atzeni, who is retained rider for Sheikh Mohammed Obaid, first-choice jockey to Varian Stable and a vital member of the team.

Roger also saddled three two-year-old Group 1 winners in 2014, landing the G1 Moyglare Stud Stakes with Cursory Glance, the G1 Criterium International with Vert De Grece and the G1 Dewhurst Stakes with Belardo, who went on to secure top juvenile honours in the European Free Handicap.

Cursory Glance was also victorious in the G3 Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot while talented mare Ambivalent struck in the G2 Middleton Stakes at York in addition to finishing third in the G1 Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan, a race that has become a staple of the Varian Stable calendar.

2015 saw the Varian Stable team send out over 100 winners for the first time in a calendar year with quality again to the fore thanks to the Pattern-race successes of Intilaaq, Steps and Realtra.

Looking back, the signs were always good when Roger’s very first runner, Laaheb, finished fourth in the G1 Dubai Sheema Classic, while his first representative on home soil, Eton Forever, stormed to victory in the Spring Mile at Doncaster.

In September 2011, Roger joined the select group of trainer’s to saddle a Group 1 winner in their first season with a license when Nahrain won the G1 Prix de l’Opera at Longchamp on Arc day.

Group 1 success has been achieved with regularity since – with Nahrain landing the G1 Flower Bowl at Belmont in 2012, Ambivalent the G1 Irish Pretty Polly in 2013 followed by Kingston Hill’s G1 Racing Post Trophy win in October of the same year. The son of Mastercraftsman was ridden by Andrea Atzeni on Town Moor, who has now won the prestigious juvenile prize for four consecutive seasons.

In terms of pedigree, Roger does not hail from a racing background but he enjoyed watching the sport as a child. At the age of 13 he began to ride-out point-to-pointers for Alan and Lawney Hill, who lived locally, and was well and truly captivated by the game, setting his heart on becoming a National Hunt jockey.

After school, Roger worked for Ian and Tockie McKie before moving to the legendary Josh Gifford’s stable where he rode seven winners as a conditional.

Prior to his stint at Gifford’s, Roger spent 10 weeks during the summer working for Michael at Kremlin House and, little did he know at the time this would be one of the most significant things he would ever do.

He then went to America to take up the offer of a three-month placement with Maryland-based jumps trainer Jack Fisher.

Six weeks into his stay Roger had a bad fall and smashed his wrist, putting an end to his riding dreams. On hearing about the accident, Michael asked him to become his assistant, and the rest is history.

During his 10 years with Michael, Roger helped oversee the careers of Oaks winner Eswarah, five-time Group 1 scorer Rakti, top sprinter Iffraaj and the globe-trotting Pressing among others.

Roger Patrick Varian

  • Age: 38
  • Married to: Hanako Sonobe
  • Children: Two daughters Momoka and Reika, One son Eiji
  • Winners Ridden: 7 under rules
  • Hobbies outside racing: All round sports enthusiast, especially golf
  • Other interests: Anything involving food - cooking to eating out
  • Favourite holiday destination: Positano, Italy
  • Favourite film: Gladiator
  • Drives: Overfinch Evoque
  • Radio Station: Radio 2 and Absolute when in the London area and Five Live for sport
  • Sporting hero: Luke Donald
  • A fact you didn’t know about Roger: His first full-time job was making pizza at Round Table Pizza, Agoura Hills, California.


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