Richard Hannon is confident Royal Ascot runner-up Threat can get back on the winning trail in the Qatar Richmond Stakes at Goodwood on Thursday.
The Cheveley Park-owned colt looked every inch a high-class juvenile in the making when registering an impressive victory on his racecourse debut at Newmarket in early May, and lined up for last month’s Coventry Stakes as a leading contender.
While he lost his unbeaten record, Threat only enhanced his reputation by finishing a half-length second to Aidan O’Brien’s Arizona and he is likely to be a hot favourite for a Group Two contest Richard Hannon senior and junior have won seven times between them.
“We agreed with the management of Cheveley Park that we were going to miss the July meeting at Newmarket, as it comes a little quick after Ascot, and go to Goodwood instead,” said Hannon.
“Working back from the Dewhurst is what we decided to do. He is in the Phoenix, the Prix Morny and the Gimcrack. He has all those nice entries, so we can pick and choose our way depending on what happens in the Richmond.”
The horse widely expected to give Threat most to think about is the Archie Watson-trained Guildsman, who was only a neck behind the Hannon runner when third in the Coventry.
Before that the Wootton Bassett colt had made a spectacular start to his career over this course and distance, while he was last seen finishing fourth in the July Stakes at Newmarket three weeks ago.
Watson said: “He’s in good form and we’re hoping he’ll run a good race.”
Charlie Hills saddles two last-time-out winners in Fleeting Prince and Royal Commando.
Other contenders include Aidan O’Brien’s pair of King Neptune and Royal Dornoch, Andrew Balding’s Symbolize, the Michael Bell-trained Maxi Boy and James Tate’s outsider Dream Shot – another horse with winning form at Goodwood.
“We did have a discussion over whether to go for the Molecomb or the Richmond and we decided to try him over six furlongs,” said Tate.
“He’s certainly going the right way, I just hope the rain stays away because his one disappointing run came at Beverley when it poured down.
“If it’s dry and he improves for the extra furlong, then you never know.”