Withhold set to miss Melbourne Cup return
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."
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.