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Andrea Atzeni advertised his skills as a freelance with a big-race double at Lingfield on Saturday

Updated: Sunday, 17 Mar 2013 11:28 | Comments

Andrea Atzeni has been in terrific form recently, advertising his ability with a big-race double on Saturday at Limerick
Andrea Atzeni has been in terrific form recently, advertising his ability with a big-race double on Saturday at Limerick

Andrea Atzeni advertised his skills as a freelance with a big-race double on Saturday at Lingfield.

The Italian-born rider made his first high-profile mount for Roger Varian count when driving home Farraaj in the Blue Square Bet Winter Derby.

With Neil Callan no longer stable jockey for the Newmarket trainer, Atzeni took the opportunity with both hands as the 6-4 favourite broke the 10-furlong course record in seeing off Robin Hoods Bay by half a length with Cai Shen a further three-quarters of a length away in third.

"They went a nice gallop and he travelled nicely off a good pace. He quickened and saw it out well," said Varian.

"He's always been a horse of potential, he's never run a bad race.

"He was a bit delicate last year and had just the two starts, but he was third in the Italian Guineas and won a Listed last November.

"We'll have to see what we do from here. He's got a Group Three penalty to burden at that level.

"It's only March so we won't be in a rush to make plans for him. He goes quite well fresh and if we run him on the turf he'd probably want top of the ground."

Atzeni had earlier struck on Teophilip (10-1) for fellow Italian Marco Botti in the bluesq.com Spring Cup.

Winner of a Wolverhampton handicap on his reappearance, the three-year-old took the step up to Listed company in his stride with victory by a length and a quarter over the favourite Emell.

"I was very concerned about the draw (10), but Andrea gave him a good ride and he got the split," said Botti.

"He's a genuine horse and is going the right way, so I'm really pleased.

"I presume he'll go up quite a lot (in the handicap), so we will probably keep him at Listed race level."

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