Saturday 24 February 2018

Decorated Knight swoops late to claim Meld spoils for Roger Charlton

Decorated Knight storms to victory in the Meld Stakes
Decorated Knight storms to victory in the Meld Stakes

Decorated Knight was a decisive winner of the ICON Meld Stakes at Leopardstown.

Narrowly denied in the Diomed Stakes at Epsom on his previous outing, the four-year-old made amends in no uncertain fashion in the Group Three.

Now with Roger Charlton having spent his early days with Roger Varian, he was ridden with the utmost confidence by George Baker.

James Doyle appeared to have made a race-winning move when Royal Hunt Cup hero Portage (5-6 favourite) swept into the lead but Baker had everything covered on the outside.

Without asking for maximum effort, Decorated Knight (9-4) quickened clear impressively and was value for a good bit more than the two-length winning margin.

Baker said: "It's my first time at Leopardstown, I've never been here before. Fran Berry gave me plenty of advice about the track and I have to thank him.

"I've sat on him at home and spoke to Andrea Atzeni, who is banned. He said he's very straightforward now and the quick ground was a help.

"He wouldn't want to be in front too long and my plan was to sit in behind but I was going to get pushed three wide on the bend so rode him with confidence and took him back.

"He arrived very strong and quickened up well. I wouldn't say it was the strongest Group Three but he couldn't have done it any smoother.

"I'd say Mr Charlton has a plan for him and while the ground is quick he could step up in class."

Press Association

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