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Top owner pulls horses from trainer's yard with immediate effect but denies row

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KIA JOORABCHIAN has laughed off rumours of a dramatic fall-out with top trainer Roger Varian.

The football superagent-turned-racehorse owner has removed a handful of horses from Carlburg Stables in recent days — but his superstar King Of Steel remains in Newmarket.

Kia Joorabchian, right, will keep stable star King Of Steel with Roger Varian, left, but pulled two other horses from his yard

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Kia Joorabchian, right, will keep stable star King Of Steel with Roger Varian, left, but pulled two other horses from his yardCredit: Alamy

Last year’s Champion Stakes hero had been pencilled in for a return in next week’s Brigadier Gerard at Sandown.

Yet Joorabchian, head of growing force AMO Racing who looked after footballers including Carlos Tevez, Willian and Philippe Coutinho, has said his four-year-old could head to the Curragh for the Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup on May 26.

Mr Hampstead and Ornellaia have recently left Varian to go to up-and-coming trainer Dominic Ffrench-Davis in Lambourn — a yard Joorabchian likes to operate out of.

There have been rumours Varian and members of the AMO Racing team were involved in a heated bust-up at the sales in Deauville last week.

AMO splashed €1.8million on three horses in France and reports indicated those horses would also join Ffrench-Davis.

Joorabchian, 52, said: “King Of Steel has two options, Sandown or Ireland.

“We will see where the horse is and make a decision closer to the time.

“Roger and I had a long chat about it — there has been no falling out.

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“He is our best horse. If there had been an argument, why would I leave him with Roger?

“His targets will be races like Royal Ascot, the Coral Eclipse and the Juddmonte International.

“You name it, we will do our best to be there.

“He’s won his big Group 1 already so we will pick our battles carefully this season.”

Joorabchian and AMO are on to their third retained jockey in three seasons after they parted ways with Kevin Stott last year.

David Egan, Varian’s former No1, is now in the hotseat and will be on board King Of Steel — one of only two Kia horses still with Varian — wherever he runs.

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