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Aspetar rules in Group One Preis von Europa for Charlton and Watson

Sun 22 Sep 2019

Roger Charlton’s Aspetar claimed Group One glory with an impressive victory in the 57th Preis von Europa at Cologne.

Successful at Group Two level in the Grand Prix de Chantilly on his penultimate start, the four-year-old was last seen finishing fourth behind the John Gosden-trained Coronet when stepped up to the highest level in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud at the end of June.

Ridden by Jason Watson, the son of Charlton’s former stable star Al Kazeem was positioned in third rounding the home turn, but showed a smart change of gear once popped the question to leave his rivals trailing in his wake.

Charlton said: “I’m very pleased. I haven’t watched the race in full yet, but he looked very good.

“I was quite worried about the ground. I said I wouldn’t run him on quick ground again, and the ground is usually soft at this meeting, but they didn’t get much rain.

“It’s great for Al Kazeem to sire a Group One winner, because he doesn’t get many opportunities, and it’s also great for Jason. We’ve now had two Group Two wins and a Group One win together in a relatively short time together, so I’m delighted.”

Considering future plans for Aspetar, the Beckhampton handler added: “I don’t know if he’ll run again (this year) – there is nothing obvious for him, I don’t think. I think there might be another Group One in Germany, but we’ll see.

“The Qatar Cup, which I think is next February, is likely to be an objective. He’s Qatari owned, and I think he’ll be heading out there.

“Whether he’ll go to Dubai first maybe – he’s a Group One winner now, so I think he’ll be doing plenty of travelling.”

Saeed bin Suroor’s Best Solution – already a dual Group One winner in Germany – was disappointing behind Aspetar, as was Mark Johnston’s Communique.

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