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Horse Racing

Withhold set to miss Melbourne Cup return

31st March 2019, 13:17 by Craig Smithson

Roger Charlton has revealed that Withhold is unlikely to return to feature in the Melbourne Cup after last year's injury disappointment.

The six-year-old was expected to be a serious contender for the Flemington showpiece after following up his Cesarewitch Handicap success in 2017 with victory in the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle last summer.

However, an eighth-placed finish in the Geelong Cup when in Australia hampered Withhold's chances of booking a Melbourne Cup spot, while a broken blood vessel in a prep run ended the adventure Down Under.

As a result, Charlton appears keen to stay closer to home when deciding on a schedule in 2019, with his charge now back in training.

"I don't know (about going for the Melbourne Cup)," he said.

"I wasn't impressed by the quarantine facilities, and I think the track is difficult to train on.

"There was a certain amount of criticism about the bedding and the forage."

"It's a long way to go to break a blood vessel," added Charlton.

"He may well bleed - but it is better to bleed closer to home.

"You have to come through with a healthy horse after a long journey, and he didn't make the cut.

"There are no complaints really. What happens in the future, we will see - but there are plenty of nice races here."

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Craig Smithson is a journalist with over two decades of experience at the keyboard. A life-long Middlesbrough fan, Craig has an in-depth knowledge of all football and is also a keen fan of boxing amongst other sports.

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