Watson at Newbury
I was thrilled with the results on Sunday in France where I rode Headman to win the Group 2 Prix Eugene Adam, and Aspetar finished fourth in the Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud.
I was particularly delighted for the guv’nor Roger Charlton and very grateful to Headman’s owner Mr Abdullah to have been given the opportunity to ride in a race of such prestige at this stage of my career.
I went to France expecting Headman to run a nice race. He came out of his win in the Al Zubarah London Gold Cup at Newbury in May very well. I was pleased he missed Royal Ascot due to the ground which would have been quite testing for him. He is learning with every run and Sunday’s race showed how much he is coming on.
He relaxed quite well. Things didn’t go exactly to plan as I was kind of trapped in and would have liked to have been on the outside. They didn’t go a great gallop and I wasn’t expecting him to quite pick up like he did. As soon as I pulled him out to the middle of the track he was quick to respond and he pulled away nicely. I knew he would be tough to beat from then on.
I am so delighted. He is going to be a very nice horse going forward which is very exciting for me. He could be a horse that could be big for my career, so I am looking forward to seeing what the future will bring.
Aspetar ran well too and I am sure there is a big race in him. Without a doubt he didn’t disgrace himself in being beaten by some class horses who have been knocking on the door at Group 1 level. I am sure we will get Aspetar into that category as well.
8.00 Dr Doro
I think six furlongs will suit him a lot better and a flatter track. He is quite a quirky type. He hasn’t won off a mark like this for a long time. He didn’t disgrace himself the other week and on that effort I think he is in with a chance. I think the trip will make a world of difference as well.
8.30 High Acclaim
He is another who is quite quirky. He can be slow into stride early in a race but I think a likely good gallop will help in that, if he jumps slow and is behind early on, there is a nice long straight in which to get organised and creep into the race. He is more than capable of winning a race like this having won off a lot higher mark before in much more competitive races than this. In my opinion he stays a mile and two furlongs well.
9.00 Canal Rocks
He found a mile and a quarter a bit too far for him last time and didn’t quite see it out, having looked on his previous runs like he might want a bit further than a mile. This is a stiff mile so it should suit him down to the ground. The track will also help. I will be patient on him, bearing in mind he only just does enough and always is getting there a bit too late. At Newbury you can afford to do that and, having come down a couple of pounds in the handicap, I think he has a chance of breaking his maiden.