ROGER Charlton’s Aspetar claimed Group 1 glory with an impressive victory in the 57th Preis von Europa at Cologne.
Successful at Group 2 level in the Grand Prix de Chantilly on his penultimate start, the four-year-old was last seen finishing fourth behind the John Gosden-trained Coronet when stepped up to the highest level in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud at the end of June.
Ridden by Jason Watson, the son of Charlton’s former stable star Al Kazeem was positioned in third rounding the home turn, but showed a smart change of gear once popped the question to leave his rivals trailing in his wake.
Charlton told the PA News Agency: “I’m very pleased. I haven’t watched the race in full yet, but he looked very good.
“I was quite worried about the ground. I said I wouldn’t run him on quick ground again, and the ground is usually soft at this meeting, but they didn’t get much rain.
“It’s great for Al Kazeem to sire a Group 1 winner, because he doesn’t get many opportunities, and it’s also great for Jason. We’ve now had two Group 2 wins and a Group 1 win together in a relatively short time together, so I’m delighted.”
Considering future plans for Aspetar, the Beckhampton handler added: “I don’t know if he’ll run again (this year) – there is nothing obvious for him, I don’t think. I think there might be another Group 1 in Germany, but we’ll see.
“The Qatar Cup, which I think is next February, is likely to be an objective. He’s Qatari owned, and I think he’ll be heading out there. Whether he’ll go to Dubai first maybe – he’s a Group 1 winner now, so I think he’ll be doing plenty of travelling.”
Saeed bin Suroor’s Best Solution, already a dual Group 1 winner in Germany, was disappointing behind Aspetar, as was Mark Johnston’s Communique.