Roger Charlton Stable Tour: Guide to his team for 2020

Trainer Roger Charlton has high hopes for potential superstar Headman

Roger Charlton guides us through his team for 2020 including Fillies' Mile heroine Quadrilateral.

ASPETAR

He had a very good season last year starting off by finishing second in the John Porter at Newbury. He then progressed to finish second in a Group Two in France and then a Group One in Germany. It’s fair to say that they probably weren’t the strongest of Group races but we may drop him back in trip as he was a little keen last year.

The ideal ingredients for him would be a strong pace, a mile-and-a-quarter with some juice in the ground. If we’re allowed to go to the likes of France and Germany, they’ll be the places we’ll be aiming for.

BLUE MIST

I’ve always thought that there would be a decent handicap in him over seven furlongs or a mile. We never quite got it right last year. The initial plan was the Hunt Cup and we ran a really nice race in the Victoria Cup. Unfortunately, the handicapper dropped him a pound and we missed out on the Hunt Cup as a result. He ideally wants a straight course like Ascot, with the ground not too quick. I wouldn’t be surprised if he won one of those big handicaps, although they are very competitive and tough to win.

DANCING HARRY

He’s a good looking, strong colt by Camelot. He hadn’t shown us much prior to his debut at Newbury in October. The ground was very testing and at halfway he looked to be going nowhere. However, as the race progressed he started getting there, picking off his rivals and in the end he won well. I think stamina is his strong suit and he handled the ground better than some of his rivals who may have still been a bit weak, particularly on that surface. The form is difficult to assess but I think he will improve with age and will get a trip. He’s progressive without being a Derby horse at this stage.

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EXTRA ELUSIVE

He had his moments last year and ran well when finishing second at Sandown under Ryan Moore. He had a setback after that and didn’t run for the rest of the season. A Listed or Group Three over a mile-and-a-quarter would be his ideal target. Those races will be competitive and possibly in short supply at the start of the resumption. I think he can be competitive again this season all being well.

HEADMAN

I was very pleased with him last year and he progressed with every race. He matured mentally as he travelled across to France twice and Ireland once. This is quite demanding of a young horse but he took it all in his stride. He’s 17 hands high and weighs 540 something kilos, he’s a very big horse but also a very good moving one.

I think going into the Irish Champion Stakes we were hopeful and were slightly disappointed in only finishing fifth. That said, we weren’t beaten far and things went against us as he leapt up in the stalls as they opened, missed the break, and was drawn wide. If he can find four of five lengths improvement, he can be very competitive in all the Group One races this season.

Where he runs next will be the decision of his owner and he of course owns Enable. We might not be able to run in France initially so we would therefore look at races in this country. At the time of writing the Brigadier Gerard would be an option but is only 12 days before the scheduled running of the Prince Of Wales's Stakes. We’ll have to be flexible and see what happens.

Headman surges clear at Newbury

IMPERIUM

He’s a very big horse who was quite immature as a two and three year old. He’s got a nice pedigree and he surprised us a little last year. When he won at Kempton if you looked where he was three furlongs out he wasn’t winning anything but he stayed on and his best furlong was his last furlong. He was a touch unlucky at Lingfield over two miles when he was drawn wide in a slowly run race. He’s at the right end of the handicap with a mark of 77 and races between a mile-and-a-half and two miles should really suit him.

LOUGANINI

He slightly surprised us winning at Newmarket in a back-end maiden. The further they went the better and it was a good effort first time out. It’s hard to evaluate the form, he's maybe an 80 rated horse that will have to have a penalty in a novice or he’s better than that. Either way it was encouraging, especially as his pedigree suggests that he should get better with age.

POCKET SQUARE

She had a good season last year and managed to win on fast ground. She then went to France in the autumn on a soft surface and really toughed it out to win her Group Three in Deauville. She’s in a category where we were thinking of running her in a French Group One and if she was placed we’d be very happy. Obviously, she would have to improve to win her Group One though. I don’t know how much further she would stay, so perhaps a mile-and-a-quarter would suit her best. She’ll be ready more for the middle of the season.

QUADRILATERAL

She’s a very exciting filly who is three from three including the Group One Fillies' Mile at Newmarket. It’s so far so good with her. I’ll do the best I can to get her ready for the QIPCO 1000 Guineas. She’s pleased us but we haven’t asked her any big questions. She looks very well and has done well physically.

Quadrilateral in action at Newbury

SMOKEY BEAR

He’s a typical son of Kodiac who is a tough horse, progressing with racing. He keeps a bit up his sleeve and never wins by too far. He’s a nice horse to run in those good six furlong handicaps that they normally have at the likes of Ascot, Newmarket and York.

TEMPUS

He needs soft ground and therefore had a difficult time of it as we struggled to find the right race for him. He’s rated 91 which is a slightly awkward rating in a way. However, I think granted a smooth run in training him and conditions suiting him, he should be able to progress from that mark.

WITHHOLD

He’s a lovely horse. We were coming back from quite a bad setback in Australia where he had a bad bleed. We gave him plenty of time off and he was impressive winning the Marsh Cup at Newbury where I thought he might just need the run. He then sauntered through his race at Newmarket, winning a listed race easily.

We stepped him up in grade at Ascot on Champions Day and Jason (Watson) was never really happy with him as he lugged to the left as if there was something not quite right. He has a rating of 111, so we’ll look at anything listed or Group 3 from a mile and six upwards.

Withhold wins at Newbury


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