Hannon team to challenge Falmouth result

Elusive Kate and Sky Lantern - too close?

Elusive Kate and Sky Lantern - too close?

In a four-runner race in which the two horses that set out in front remained there throughout, you wouldn’t expect any of them to find trouble in running. That did happen in Friday’s Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket, so it can’t be a major surprise that the connections of Sky Lantern, runner up to Elusive Kate, have decided to appeal against the decision to the Newmarket stewards not to reverse the placings after their enquiry.

The two finished just a neck apart, but in the final furlong, despite the best efforts of William Buick, Elusive Kate drifted right across the track, taking Sky Lantern with her. Buick had his whip in the appropriate hand, but was suspended for three days for careless riding after he was found to have caught his rival’s mount.

Yesterday, Sky Lantern’s trainer Richard Hannon said on his website, "So many people have rung urging us to appeal and insisting that we have a strong case, so we have decided to give it a shot. We have spoken to Ben Keswick (owner), and, though originally we were taking the decision on the chin, we have back-tracked and decided to go ahead with the appeal." The British Horseracing Authority said the appeal would be heard on Thursday subject to the availability of those involved.

John Gosden, Elusive Kate ‘s trainer, acknowledged that his filly did have a tendency to hang left, and would have benefited had the race been run on the other side of the track. He said, “She has always had a tendency to drift left but William has always had his stick in the correct hand, as did Richard. They have drifted off a true line but there was no contact and William has done nothing wrong. It didn’t surprise me that she has drifted left and William was aware of it. She has drifted left all of her life and did it when she won her maiden at Kempton.”

I’ll be very surprised if the result is changed, as it appears that Buick did all he could to manage Elusive Kate’s direction. In a larger field I doubt that a challenge would be entertained. The problem just looked so much more severe in a small field on Newmarket’s wide-open track.

Your first 30 days for just £1