Cheveley Park Stud's Threat given the opportunity to shine in Group 1 Darley July Cup at Newmarket
The Cheveley Park Stud-owned Threat is set to take his chance in the Darley July Cup at Newmarket on Saturday (3.35pm).
The three-year-old, who is trained by Richard Hannon at his Herridge Racing Stables in Wiltshire, was initially thought to be heading for Sunday’s Prix Jean Prat in France.
However, following consultation between Hannon and Newmarket-based owners Mr and Mrs Thompson, it has been decided to redirect the son of Footstepsinthesand to the last Group 1 contest of the three-day July Festival at HQ.
Cheveley Park Stud’s managing director, Chris Richardson, said: “We had been toying with the trip to France and for a while that was the intended target.
“But when we looked at the race with the likes of Pinatubo potentially running, and the wet forecast, we decided against it. He’d be fine with a bit of rain but wouldn’t want it soft.
“A stiff six furlongs, close to base, will suit him. It also means we can get Oisin (Murphy, champion jockey) to ride him.”
Threat – a two-time Group 2 victor in 2019 – finished fifth to Palace Pier over a mile in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot last month on his only outing to date this season.
But while the result may not have gone his way, Richardson is confident last year’s Gimcrack winner has improved for the run.
“Oisin rode him at Ascot and he did not get the rub of the green on that occasion,” he added.
“He perhaps broke a little too free and then had no cover – we had hoped he would be able to slot in. But that race has put him on song and he is bouncing going into Saturday.”
For the Thompsons, 2020 marks the 45th anniversary since they purchased Cheveley Park Stud – the town’s oldest stud farm.
The July Cup, which is one of Britain’s most valuable and prestigious sprint races, has so far eluded them, with Threat currently an 8/1 shot to land the prize.
“We are by no means expecting him to win it, we just want him to run well and what happens after that happens,” said Richardson.
“The Thompsons enjoy supporting races like this at Newmarket and you have just got to keep trying.
“Richard is very happy with the horse and we are all sure that we have not seen the best of him yet.
“Saturday will answer some questions whether he wins or not, especially regarding if we are to step him up again or stay at six furlongs.”
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More by this authorLiam Apicella