Richard Hannon Jnr. has confirmed that his father’s star filly Sky Lantern is bang on course to bid to follow up her last-gasp success in the Qipco 1000 Guineas at Newmarket earlier this month with another top level victory in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 19, writes Elliot Slater.
Hannon reported that the daughter of Red Clubs has been in tremendous form since finishing fast and late to reel in Just The Judge in the last 50 yards of the first fillies’ classic at HQ, turning around the form of her previous defeat at the same track at the hands of the ultimately disappointing Hot Snap in the Group 3 Nell Gwyn Stakes three weeks earlier.
Confirmation of the plan for Sky Lantern came as the grey filly had been the subject of growing speculation among punters and horse racing writers, including those behind the follow the money column, that she might be supplemented to run in the Group 1 Investec Oaks at Epsom on May 31. But Hannon has made it clear that no such plan exists and that the attention of all his team is focused on getting the three-year-old to Royal Ascot in the best possible condition.
Sky Lantern proved herself great value for her 75,000 guineas price tag as a yearling by developing into a smart performer last term. The winner of a listed contest at Naas last June, the champion trainer’s filly finished runner-up in the Group 3 Sweet Solera Stakes at Newmarket and the Group 3 Prestige Stakes at Goodwood before hitting the jackpot when scoring in Group 1 company at the Curragh in September, beating Scintilulla by two-and-a-half lengths in the Moyglare Stud Stakes.
Sent off favourite for the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies’ Turf at Santa Anita last November, Sky Lantern had a nightmare journey through the race and was never able to challenge, eventually finishing an unlucky eighth.
Don’t forget to head over to Betfair for your Royal Ascot Free Bet.