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Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Charlton strikes again in numbers game as Knight wins the day

Andrea Atzeni gets ready to punch the air in triumph as Decorated Knight holds Somehow in the Tattersalls Gold Cup
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Whenever the year ends in an odd number, Roger Charlton seems to win the Tattersalls Gold Cup, and Decorated Knight landed a well-contested 2017 renewal to follow up victories in the race with Al Kazeem in 2013 and 2015.

With Thistle Bird landing the 2014 Pretty Polly Stakes, Charlton's last four winners at the Curragh have all been Group 1s.

Decorated Knight was a shade keen under Andrea Atzeni, but managed to avoid the trouble in running which principally affected runner-up Somehow, but he was never going to relinquish his advantage and found plenty close home to win by a length and a quarter.

Charlton said: "I was very worried when I was at Goodwood yesterday; somebody showed me a picture from the Curragh with near flood waters and cars splashing about, and I thought, 'Thank you very much!'

"But when I walked the course I was pleasantly surprised. The ground was in very good shape, it was a bit dead but I'd call it good to soft and there were no complaints."

The trainer continued: "He picked up well, he got a bit lonely in front, Andrea said he pricked his ears when he got there, but he picked up again when Somehow came to him, which was pleasing because she's a good filly. It worked out perfectly.

"This horse has improved, he's very tough and sound. The Group 1 he won in Dubai wasn't the strongest, but this race was a deal stronger and you couldn't really ask for more."

The Prince of Wales's Stakes could be next for Saleh Al Homaizi and Imad Al Sagar's five-year-old, with ventures abroad also in the pipeline.

Charlton added: "He's got a very classy pedigree, he's closely related to Gleneagles and his dam is a half-sister to Giant's Causeway, so he will have a stallion career."

Supporters of Somehow will be ruing their luck to a degree as she was stopped in her run more than once in the straight, but what might have been considered a gamble by Aidan O'Brien to run her only a week after her fourth place in the Lockinge almost paid off.

She was followed home by stablemates Deauville and Johannes Vermeer.

O'Brien expressed his satisfaction with all of his runners, and said: "Somehow ran very well, she's a very good, consistent filly. We know now that she gets ten furlongs and we might look at running her in the Prince of Wales Stakes."

He pricked his ears when he got there, but he picked up again when Somehow came to him, which was pleasing because she's a good filly
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