THREAT added further gloss to his burgeoning CV as he took the step up to seven furlongs in his stride to land the Group 2 Pommery Champagne Stakes at Doncaster.
The Richard Hannon-trained youngster has been one of the leading lights of the juvenile scene this season, finishing second at both Royal Ascot and Glorious Goodwood before hitting the target in the Gimcrack Stakes at York.
Burdened with a 3lb penalty and keen through the early stages of this seven-furlong affair, he settled down and loomed large full of running well over two furlongs out, although Royal Crusade was also on the premises and did not go down without a fight.
The pair battled it out through the closing stages, but the 6/5 favourite always looked to be just holding the upper hand and in the end had a neck to spare, despite jinking slightly to his right as the line approached.
A brilliant finish between two very good horses! Threat is all out to hold off Royal Crusade in the @PommeryOfficial Champagne Stakes at @DoncasterRaces for @rhannonracing... pic.twitter.com/ixC9VIB1wP— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) September 14, 2019
Hannon said: “When you see what he does at home you think, ‘how good can he be?’, but on track he just does what he has to do. He had a 3lb penalty there and it was quite cosy.
“He’s a stallion for the Thompsons (Cheveley Park Stud) now, which is important – he’s won two Group 2s. He’s in all the end-of-season Group 1s and we’ll just see where he ends up. We’ll work back from the Guineas.”
Charlie Appleby was happy with the effort of Royal Crusade, whose only previous run was in a novice event at Nemwarket last month.
He said: “The winner, as you could tell from the way he travelled, just has the experience. For just the second run of his career, I’m delighted. For a few strides when he hit the front I thought he was going to win.
“He lost nothing in defeat, it was a nice run and William (Buick) said he showed a nice bit of class and he should have no trouble with a mile next year.
“He’s in all the nice races at the end of the year and we’ll make a call in the next week or two.”