Knight takes top-class honours

Winning jockey Andrea Atzeni and trainer Roger Charloton (right) with Decorated Knight

British challenger Decorated Knight claimed top honours in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh.

Trainer Roger Charlton has claimed this Group One prize twice in recent years with former stable star Al Kazeem (2013 and 2015) and Decorated Knight was the 7/2 favourite to add his name to the roll of honour after winning at the highest level in Dubai earlier in the year.

Admirable grey Success Days took the eight-strong field along for much of the 10-furlong journey, with Decorated Knight always on his tail.

Atzeni sent his mount in pursuit halfway up the straight and he hit the front inside the final furlong.

Aidan O'Brien's tenacious filly Somehow, fourth in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury last weekend and running for the fourth time in the space of a month, was delivered late with her challenge, but Decorated Knight held on for victory.

O'Brien was also responsible for the third, Deauville.

Atzeni said: "It went very smoothly. We had a good draw, we had a good position all the way and he travelled beautifully into the race.

"Two (furlongs) out, I was very confident it was going take a decent horse to beat him today.

"He got to the front easily enough. In the last 100 yards he got a bit lonely, but when the second horse came he went again.

"He's very brave, he's got a big heart and he's going the right way."

Charlton said: "I was very worried when I saw the ground yesterday. I knew the forecast was for heavy showers, but not like an inch or whatever they had.

"People kept tactfully sending me photographs of flooded car parks and puddles everywhere and I thought it was getting bad.

"The surface was a bit dead, it's good to soft, but the course is in fantastic condition. They've opened up a new strip. I walked the course and was very pleasantly surprised how good it was.

"He doesn't have to have rattling quick ground. In Dubai it affected him quite badly.

"This horse has improved and improved. The Group One race he won in Meydan wouldn't have been the strongest race and this is a stronger race. He keeps on improving.

"If Minding had turned up it would have been a different story, but he won with his ears pricked and was pulling up in front.

"He has a very classy pedigree. He's a very close relation to Gleneagles and his dam is a half-sister to Giants Causeway, so he has a stallion career."

The Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot looks Decorated Knight's likely next port of call.

"We were looking to go abroad a bit but you would have to run at Ascot. It's worked for us before so hopefully it will work again," the trainer added.

"He went to the Arlington Million last year and got loose in the middle of the night somehow and cut his leg badly. We couldn't run him after that."


Read More at Sky Sports Racing

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