Sky Lantern lights up Newmarket with blistering finish
Richard Hannon-trained filly and claims 1000 Guineas ahead of Just The Judge and Moth
Richard Hughes riding Sky Lantern (left) celebrates winning The Qipco 1000 Guineas Stakes from Just The Judge at Newmarket. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
Sky Lantern showed top-class form in her juvenile year, during which she won the Group One Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh.
She appeared well held by Hot Snap on their recent course meeting but while that filly disappointed, Hannon’s inmate rose to the challenge admirably to give an emotional Hughes a keynote success. The victory comes 24 hours after Hannon’s Toronado disappointed in the 2000 Guineas under Hughes.
Hughes said: “My wife was so upset (after Toronado’s defeat) — I was consoling her all night — but today was great. I believed in this filly. I knew I gave her a bad ride the last day, but she’s a good filly and loves that fast ground. It’s thoroughly deserved.
“It’s taken a long time (to win a British Classic).”
Just The Judge ran a superb race to fill the runner-up spot for trainer Charlie Hills and jockey Jamie Spencer.
Curragh maiden winner Moth looked green coming out of the dip but finished off well to pick up minor honours.
ust The Judge’s owner Sheikh Fahad said: “She ran a fabulous race. She came there to win, she got to the front and looked like the winner from a long way out, but Hughesie has also ridden a great race.
“Sky Lantern has had a run (this season) and we haven’t. She hasn’t come in her coat yet, so I’m still pretty confident we can change it around later in the season.”
Moth’s rider Joseph O’Brien said: “She ran a blinder. “I had to weave through to get a run and she stayed on well, but I think she’d be more suited by an even track as she’s still quite green.”