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Cesarewitch winner Withhold set for Saturday return as Charlton targets Plate

Withhold: easy winner of the Betfred Cesarewitch under Silvestre de Sousa last year
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Cesarewitch winner Withhold is set to return to action at Newmarket on Saturday with connections eyeing a tilt at the Northumberland Plate at the end of the month.

The five-year-old, owned by Brighton & Hove Albion chairman Tony Bloom, justified strong support in the 2m2f handicap on the Rowley Mile last year and will drop in trip by a mile for his comeback.

Trainer Roger Charlton feels a run this weekend will prove a well-timed preparation for the £150,000 handicap on the Tapeta at Newcastle on June 30, for which he is a general 8-1 market leader.

Watch Withhold breeze to victory in last year's Cesarewitch

Charlton said: “Withhold is a likely runner at Newmarket on Saturday and he’s in good form and we’re happy with him. We’re dropping him in trip on his return and the race is a nice slot three weeks before the Northumberland Plate, which we're targeting.”

Overseas raid under consideration

A trip to Chantilly on Sunday week is a possibility for two of the trainer’s stable stars.

Almodovar finished second to Recoletos in the Prix d’Ispahan at Longchamp last month and may contest the Group 3 Prix Bertrand Du Breuil on Prix de Diane day, while Aspetar, unbeaten in two starts including in the Cocked Hat Stakes at Goodwood last month, could also make the trip for the Group 2 Prix Hocquart.

Charlton said: “We were really pleased with Almodovar in France – it was a good run but I’m not too sure whether it was a vintage Group 1. We’ll find that out when Recoletos runs in the Queen Anne.

“I certainly think Almodovar is capable of being placed at the top level and Ascot and Sandown will also come into consideration.

“The ground will be key for Aspetar and he'll also be entered on the same day at Chantilly in a Group 2. He’s been in very good form since Goodwood and Ascot is also an option for him, but we'll be looking for the easiest ground.”

Almodovar is a best-price 33-1 with Betfred to land the Prince of Wales's Stakes and is also entered in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown on July 7, for which he is the same price, while Aspetar is a general 8-1 second favourite for the King Edward VII Stakes at the royal meeting.

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We’re dropping him in trip on his return and the race is a nice slot three weeks before the Northumberland Plate
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