British Champions Day: Withhold taken to win QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot

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QIPCO British Champions Day takes place at Ascot on Saturday October 19.

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WITHHOLD is fancied to follow up on a wide-margin victory at Newmarket and win the QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup on Champions Day at Ascot.

The Roger Charlton-trained gelding has terrific form in long-distance races, the most recent a six-length victory in the two-mile Listed Jockey Club Rose Bowl Stakes at headquarters on September 26.

The lightly raced six-year-old has won four of his seven races since joining Charlton two years ago; getting off the mark in grand style when landing the valuable Betfred Cesarewitch Handicap over two miles and two furlongs at Newmarket on his second and final start of the 2017 season.

In the next campaign the son of Champs Elysees won the Stobart Rail and Civils Northumberland Plate over an extended two miles at Newcastle, on the sole start in the UK in 2018.

Plans to run in that year’s Melbourne Cup were scrapped after finishing eighth in the Geelong Cup where he was later found to have broken a blood vessel.

Withhold showed his well-being when returning with a victory in the Class 2 Marsh Cup over an extended two miles at Newbury on July 20 this year. The success followed a 269-day layoff and what connections described as a ‘tricky trip’ to Australia.

The gelding then finished midfield when carrying topweight of 9st 10lbs in the Sky Bet Ebor at York in August. Withhold quickly returning to winning ways when leading all the way to score impressively at Newmarket last month to book his place in the valuable British Champions Day card.

“Having had a 269 day lay-off before his first appearance this season at Newbury in the ‘Marsh Cup’ in which he impressively won by two lengths, he then went on to run in the ‘Skybet Ebor’ and finished 13th carrying a huge weight and on ground quicker than ideal,”  Charlton’s Beckhampton News site reported on the morning of the Newmarket victory.

Roger Charlton later confirmed on Twitter that Champions Day was the next target.

The trainer tweeted: “Withold won @TheJockeyClub Rose Bowl Stakes in taking fashion @NewmarketRace for Tony Bloom and @Jason7Watson1 and will head to @ChampionsSeries @Ascot.”

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