Threat to swerve 2000 Guineas and head straight to Royal Ascot

St James’s Palace the target for Richard Hannon-trained colt.

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Connections of Threat have opted to miss the Qipco 2000 Guineas and head straight to Royal Ascot for the St James’s Palace Stakes.

The Richard Hannon-trained colt, who runs in the colours of Cheveley Park Stud, was one of the standout performers in the juvenile division last season and had been prominent in the ante-post market on the Newmarket Classic.

But Hannon told the PA news agency: “He’s unlikely to run in the Guineas, Mr and Mrs Thompson love having runners at Royal Ascot and they just decided the track there would suit him a bit more and the extra bit of time would suit him.

“There’s nothing wrong with him, it’s just a decision with all of us that’s he probably better off on a flat track and it gives him an extra bit of time. I’m very happy with the horse and he couldn’t look any better, but he’s probably going to have a busy year and they don’t really want to go in quick succession to two very hard races.

“I love the horse, I make no secret of the fact I think he’s very good. He’s grown up mentally and physically he looks great. The horse has been very good to me, so we’ll be kind to him.”

A son of Footstepsinthesand, Threat has not raced beyond seven furlongs, when winning the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster, but Hannon is confident he will get a mile.

He said: “He’s relaxed and around a bend might well suit him. If you’ve got a very fast horse, quickening off a bend is going to be more to their liking. It’s a lovely flat track, I think it will be more to his liking.

“He proved himself as a stallion (prospect) last year with the Gimcrack and the Champagne and we’d just like to put the finishing touch on that with hopefully a Group One during the year and I think that is the best option for him.”

Despite the absence of Threat, Hannon will still be represented on Classic weekend at Newmarket, with runaway York sales race winner Mums Tipple set for the 2000 Guineas and Dark Lady and Cloak Of Stars on course for the 1000 Guineas.

He said: “We’ve got Mums Tipple for the race, while Cloak Of Spirits and Cheveley Park’s Dark Lady go for the 1000.

“Dark Lady is tough and is amazingly similar to Sky Lantern. Mums Tipple has done great, we took him to Kempton and he worked fabulous, we were very pleased. He’s very lightly raced and his run in the sales race was fabulous. He’s owned by some very keen racing people, so it would be lovely to see him run well.

“He’s settling very well and he’s very relaxed. If he doesn’t get it (mile) then we can send him to Ascot, either for the Jersey or the Commonwealth Cup. It’s worth a go and I think he gives himself every chance of getting the mile.

Threat to swerve 2000 Guineas and head straight to Royal Ascot
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