Roger Charlton has unfinished business in mind for classy stayer Withhold – a return Down Under for the Melbourne Cup.
Two years ago he sent the Cesarewitch and Northumberland Plate winner out to Australia only for his big-race bid to be derailed when the gelding broke a blood vessel in the Geelong Cup.
Last season Charlton made an early decision to keep him to domestic targets for fear of a repeat, but after another successful campaign – in which he added Newbury’s Marsh Cup to his handicap haul as well as a Listed race at Newmarket – the November showpiece is back on the agenda.
“Withhold is set to have a Group-race campaign but his handicap days may not be completely over as the Melbourne Cup is very much in our minds,” said Charlton.
“Tony Bloom, his owner, spends quite a lot of time in Australia and I’m sure he’d still like to have a crack at the race.
“Last time we had to draw stumps after he bled, but this year he’d be guaranteed to get in off his higher rating so wouldn’t necessarily need a prep run over there.”