Roger Varian has lost no confidence in Molatham despite Autumn Stakes defeat

Molatham wins at Doncaster
Molatham wins at Doncaster

Roger Varian remains confident Molatham can leave his defeat in the Autumn Stakes behind and develop into a Pattern-race performer next season.

The Newmarket handler believes soft ground was to blame for the Night Of Thunder colt's reversal, on his first start over a mile in the Group Three contest at Newmarket on Saturday.

Previously the Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned two-year-old had chalked up wins in a maiden at York and a Listed event at Doncaster, having found only Mums Tipple too strong on his debut at Ascot.

Varian said: "I think he is a top of the ground horse. He travelled into it nicely, but he couldn't quite quicken going a mile for the first time.

"I think he will prove to be a good horse next year. I don't think the track was a problem, I think mainly the ground found him out on Saturday.

"Jim (Crowley) said he is naturally quite a fast horse and next year a mile is as far as he wants to go. Maybe his stamina on the ground stretched him a bit."

While plans remain fluid regarding targets for Molatham, Varian has not ruled him out of running back over course and distance in next year's Qipco 2000 Guineas.

He added: "You have to respect the form of his Listed win at Doncaster and he has good solid form throughout his first three starts.

"We have to see how he winters before we start thinking about him as a Guineas horse, but we did think of him as one before this run and I don't think we should be put off thinking that way."

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