Invitational was our first winner of 2019 when winning a fillies' novice at Kempton on her second start and she went on to score twice more that year, including in a Listed race in France, so it was fitting that she should win her fourth race and become our first winner of the 2020 campaign.
The race came 50 days after she recorded a career best when winning the Listed Prix Ceres at Fontainebleau in November, but the 3lbs penalty could not stop her from recording a 1¾ length victory in this All Weather Championships Fast-Track Qualifier. This win qualifies her to run in the £150,000 Fillies and Mares race on Good Friday at Lingfield.
Our tally for the year doubled 30 minutes later when Nehaall got off the mark at the second time of asking in the 7f fillies' novice. She had made a promising debut at Newcastle a month ago and put that previous experience to good use when battling out the finish with the other fancied runner Symbol Of Love with the pair drawing 3¾ lengths clear of the third. Nehaall is the first foal out of Khatiba who Roger trained to win three races, including a conditions over course and distance.
With 2019 delivering Varian Stable's highest ever tally of winners (118) a double on January 3rd can only provide hope that 2020 can top it!