Lantern lights up Ascot as Hannon eyes Falmouth trip

Sky Lantern wins the Coronation Stakes
Sky Lantern wins the Coronation Stakes
Minellatillmorning won the Happy Birthday Sarah Cotty Handicap Hurdle. Picture: Fontwell Park

Balding celebrates Glory at Fontwell

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Hopes of Sky Lantern returning to Goodwood are on hold.

Richard Hannon’s stellar filly has long been considered as an ideal challenger for the 10-furlong Nassau Stakes at the Glorious festival.

However, after producing a breathtaking performance to win the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, the Wiltshire handler revealed Newmarket is the next port of call.

That means any ideas of the 1,000 Guineas winner visiting West Sussex are firmly on the backburner.

Hannon and his stable jockey Richard Hughes have always had faith in the grey.

After misfiring at the Breeders’ Cup, she bounced back with Guineas glory – as the latter predicted.

Hughes now reckons the Red Clubs filly will handle a step up in trip from one mile.

However, the plan is to stick to eight furlongs for the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket on July 12.

Hannon said: ‘We have always had a lot of faith in Sky Lantern.

‘She has filled out and is now much stronger than she was going into the Guineas.

‘Things did not work out at last year’s Breeders Cup.

‘But Hughesie got off the filly in California and said to me “don’t worry, she will win the Guineas” and he was proved right.

‘He is adamant that Sky Lantern will eventually stay a mile and a half.

‘And, though the Falmouth at Newmarket’s July meeting is the obvious next port of call, we will certainly start looking at the Group 1s over 10 and 12 furlongs, including the Arc.

‘Although, the plan is to keep her in training as a four-year-old, so we want to save something for next season.’

Sky Lantern made her debut at Goodwood – winning a maiden in fine style in May last year.

She returned for the Group 3 Prestige Stakes in August, only to finish second to Ollie Olga despite being the red-hot, 10/11 favourite.

Her class was clear for all to see last week, though, as she overcame a terrible draw in stall 16 to power home and claim a memorable triumph.