Sky Lantern has returned to her best and settled an old score in the Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket.
The winner of the Thousand Guineas earlier in the season, the Richard Hannon-trained 7-4 favourite was not just taking on Classic runner-up Just The Judge once again but also Elusive Kate, who beat her in controversial circumstances in the Falmouth Stakes.
The rematch with Elusive Kate never materialised, as John Gosden’s multiple Group One star folded from her prominent position and could only finish fourth, while it was the lightly-raced Integral who made a break for it as Elusive Kate began to drift off a true line.
Sir Michael Stoute’s filly was slightly flattered to finish as close as a length in the end, with Richard Hughes never needing to get too serious on Sky Lantern as she flashed past Integral with 100 yards to run and confined her modest fifth in the Nassau Stakes firmly to the past.
“Fillies like this don’t come along very often and when they do you’ve got to make the most of them,” Hannon’s son and assistant, Richard jnr said.
“She’s a very special filly being Hughesie’s first Classic winner and we all love her.
“She is very strong and always held her condition very well. She has been on the go since April and held her form. She has never given us a moment’s worry.”
Looking further ahead, Hannon jnr will follow the wishes of owner Ben Keswick.
“She and Elusive Kate are two great fillies and let’s hope their rivalry continues,” he said.
“The owner lives in Hong Kong and that is where he wants to go. Whether we look at something like the QEII at Ascot as well, we’ll have to see.”