Aspetar impressive in York Stakes


Group Two win provides Chalrton with quick big-race double.

Aspetar ran out an impressive winner of the Sky Bet York Stakes to complete a memorable 15 minutes for Roger Charlton.

Hot on the heels of Blue Mist winning the Moet & Chandon International Stakes at Ascot for Charlton, his five-year-old turned what looked a competitive Group Two into something of a stroll on the Knavesmire.

Aspetar had in fact won a Group One in Germany last season, but escaped a penalty for that success, and surely more races at the highest level await following this impressive display.

Second to Andre Fabre’s Magny Cours on his reappearance, he clearly stripped much better for that and never looked in any danger.

The two market leaders, Elarqam and Telecaster, took the field along – but it looked as if they perhaps cut each other’s throats, because with two furlongs to run they both looked in trouble.

With King Of Comedy ploughing a lone furrow away from the others, he never looked a factor as Aspetar kicked clear entering the final furlong.

Fox Chairman and Lord Glitters, who ran with credit just days after the death of his owner Geoff Turnbull, made ground from the rear – but Aspetar had put the race to bed before they hit top gear, and he won by a length and a half at 11-1 under Jason Watson.

The winner was given an 8-1 quote by Betfair for the Juddmonte International back at York next month.

“He’s been very progressive – we’ve always liked him, and this year he’s been a lot more relaxed at home,” said Watson.

“We’ve taken our time with him – he ran a nice race back at Sandown a couple of weeks ago, and we’ve come here quietly confident. Although he’s not always the most straightforward, he’s matured plenty – and he put the race to bed very well today.

“He’s quite versatile with trip. A mile, a mile and a quarter, a mile and a half – he’s a small horse but well built with a good turn of foot. That’s what some of these stayers lack, which plays into our hands.

“I didn’t have to do a lot today, nice and smooth through the gears, and he’s done it well.”

As for whether the Juddmonte International may beckon next, Watson said: “It was a competitive race today, and I didn’t think we’d win like we did.

“He’s improved massively and keeps on improving, so we’ll just see how he comes out of this, but he was impressive today.”

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