Roger Charlton hoping Decorated Knight can shine at the Breeders’ Cup

Sun 29 Oct 2017

By Harry Allwood

Roger Charlton believes the Breeders’ Cup Turf will play to the strengths of Decorated Knight at Del Mar on Saturday.

The five-year-old won at the highest level for the third time this year under Andrea Atzeni in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown in September but will be having his first run over a mile and a half.

Connections had been toying with dropping in trip for the the Breeders’ Cup Mile but Charlton believes the extra four furlongs will suit due to the nature of the track. He is a general 8-1 chance.

Speaking on Luck On Sunday, the Wiltshire based trained said: "When he won the Irish Champion Stakes that got him a free pass into both races.

"I'm of the opinion the Mile looks the weaker race in terms of opposition and he hasn’t run over a mile for a long time. It's a very sharp track so at the moment I'm thinking of the mile and a half race.

“I don’t think the bends are a problem and he settles well. He hasn't run over the trip before, but he should be fine there, and fast ground is the one thing this horse wants.”

Charlton’s globetrotter was successful at Lingfield on his seasonal debut before he won the Jebel Hatta at Meydan a month later.

Charlton said: "He ran at Lingfield before Dubai, so he's been on the go since February. He trains by himself and is always fresh.

"On purpose he's had seven weeks off between Ireland and the Breeders' Cup. I'm not sure it would have been an ideal prep to have a hard race two weeks before the Breeders' Cup at Ascot [in the Champion Stakes].

Longines Irish Champions Weekend - Day One - Leopardstown Racecourse

Decorated Knight won the Irish Champion Stakes on his latest start

“He’s won as many Group One races as Ulysses and Cracksman combined together and has been consistent. He has only run bad races when the ground has been soft. I’m hoping he’s in a good place.”

The Aidan O’Brien-trained Highland Reel heads the Breeders’ Cup Turf market and Charlton also gave his views on O’Brien, who on Saturday achieved a record 26 Group One wins in a calendar year.

“I think it’s amazing that he organises the number of runners he has so meticulously,” he said. “I wonder if he sleeps at night with all the runners he has to saddle and the minute detail. I don’t think I would. We all take our hats off to him, it’s a fantastic achievement.”

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