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Close second for Royal Crusade in G2 Champagne Stakes


Two-year-old colt Royal Crusade ran a race full of promise when going down by a neck in the G2 Champagne Stakes over seven furlongs at Doncaster, UK, on Saturday, 14 September.

The son of Shamardal, the least experienced of the five runners having won at Newmarket on his only previous start for Charlie Appleby, broke well and soon disputed third behind the leaders.

Royal Crusade quickened strongly to take a narrow advantage under William Buick well over a furlong from home and stayed on after being headed by Threat approaching the final half-furlong.

Threat, winner of the G2 Gimcrack Stakes at York in August, won in 1m 25.42s on good to firm ground, with Royal Crusade coming home three-quarters of a length ahead of third home Juan Elcano.

Charlie Appleby said: “Royal Crusade ran a blinder, especially considering it was only his second start. He has come up against some battle-hardened rivals and a class horse in Threat.

“I feel that he has lost nothing in defeat and has gained some valuable experience. We will see how he comes out of this race before deciding whether to run him again this season or put him away for the year.”