ST Leger third Pyledriver is on course for British Champions Day.
William Muir's stable star has been one of the stories of the season, and his trainer remained upbeat with Ascot now the target.
The three-year-old ran another cracker at Doncaster, travelling powerfully into the straight but just coming up short behind winner Galileo Chrome and runner-up Berkshire Rocco.
Muir said: "He's come home safe and sound. I wondered whether the race might have taken a bit out of him, but he's eaten everything and he's in great shape."
"I don't want to be dogmatic and say he didn't stay. He didn't stay quite as well as the first two, but I felt he was closing again at the line and at the end of the day he's been beaten a length and a neck.
"He couldn't quite go through the gears like he did at York. It didn't help that he got a bump and ended up out on a wing on his own, but that's racing.
"The Champion Stakes was the plan and I don't see any reason to change it.
"I think he'll be fine back at a mile and a quarter and if it did come up heavy ground, he'd handle that and it would mean you'd nearly need to stay a mile and a half well to win, which he obviously does.
"He is still a bit weak, which I've been telling everyone all year. He'll be some horse next year, I promise you."
He is a 14-1 shot for the Ascot race with Paddy Power and Betfair. John Gosden's Mishriff is the 5-2 jolly.
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