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Alcohol Free leads 17 seeking Sun Chariot glory

Alcohol Free and Snow Lantern are among 17 fillies confirmed for the Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes.

Having already won the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood, the Andrew Balding-trained Alcohol Free will bid for her third Group One success of the season in Saturday’s Newmarket feature.

The daughter of No Nay Never will drop back in distance over the Rowley Mile after seemingly having her stamina limitations exposed over 10 furlongs when sixth in the Juddmonte International at York on her latest appearance.

Richard Hannon’s Snow Lantern was behind Alcohol Free at Royal Ascot and Goodwood, but reversed that form when claiming top-level honours in the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket’s July Course.

The Frankel filly was last seen finishing fourth behind the brilliant Baaeed in the Prix du Moulin at ParisLongchamp – and Hannon feels his star filly has an “outstanding chance” of getting back on the winning trail this weekend.

“Snow Lantern is in good nick. She didn’t scope very well after France, but she has had the antibiotics since then and she has scoped fine,” said the Herridge handler.

“She did a bit of work yesterday morning and will now be turning up in the Sun Chariot on Saturday. She will run a lot better than she did in France.

“This is a golden opportunity against her own sex and hopefully she has an outstanding chance.”

Mother Earth winning the 1000 Guineas under Frankie Dettori
Mother Earth winning the 1000 Guineas under Frankie Dettori (David Davies/Jockey Club)

Mother Earth won the 1000 Guineas over the course and distance in early May. She is closely matched with Alcohol Free and Snow Lantern on her subsequent form, having finished third in the Coronation and second in the Falmouth Stakes.

Aidan O’Brien’s charge has since doubled her Group One tally in the Prix Rothschild, but could only finish third behind Jessica Harrington’s No Speak Alexander when last seen contesting the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown. The pair could renew rivalry on Saturday.

O’Brien could also run Empress Josephine, with Champers Elysees (Johnny Murtagh), Epona Plays (Willie McCreery) and Shale (Donnacha O’Brien) completing the potential Irish challenge.

Jane Chapple-Hyam’s Saffron Beach and Althiqa from Charlie Appleby’s yard also feature.

Title frontrunner Murphy hits back with treble

Just 24 hours after William Buick closed the gap to six in the race to be champion jockey courtesy of a treble, the man defending the title, Oisin Murphy, secured a hat-trick of his own at Newbury.

Murphy is now 1-3 favourite with Paddy Power to defend the championship, with Buick a 2-1 chance.

His first winner came in the Dubai Duty Free Nursery Handicap on Ed Walker’s American Star (11-2) – who had been slightly outclassed in the Gimcrack at York but, down in grade and up in trip, proved in a different league to his rivals here.

“David Ward (owner) asked Ed Sackville (bloodstock agent) to buy him a Gimcrack horse – but he found six furlongs too sharp, and we should have run him in the Acomb,” said Walker.

American Star was always in command under Oisin Murphy
American Star was always in command under Oisin Murphy (Steven Paston/PA)

“He did that very nicely, was well-ridden – and it never looked in any doubt to me.

“I’m not sure what we’ll do now. We may go back up in class but we’ll just wait and see – that looked a good race.”

Murphy then made every yard of the running in the feature Dubai Duty Free Cup on Saeed bin Suroor’s Silent Escape (16-5 joint-favourite).

The winner is now heading to Dubai, where there will no doubt be plenty of options for her.

The champion jockey ended the day by winning the Crossland Employment Solicitors Handicap on Andrew Balding’s Neenee’s Choice (13-8 favourite), who himself was scoring for the fourth time in a row.

“He’s just a very honest horse, and Oisin gave him a lovely ride,” said Balding.

“He’s in the Cambridgeshire but he won’t get in it. We’ve no great plans, so we’ll just take stock.”

Heredia showed a smart turn of foot to remain unbeaten
Heredia showed a smart turn of foot to remain unbeaten (Steven Paston/PA)

Heredia potentially threw her name into the hat for one of the big juvenile contests at the end of the season when maintaining her unbeaten record in the Dubai Duty Free Full Of Surprises British EBF Fillies’ Conditions Stakes

The Richard Hannon-trained Dark Angel filly had got off the mark with the minimum of fuss at Windsor 20 days ago – but faced three other previous winners here, including Charlie Appleby’s 4-9 favourite Silk Romance who looked smart when winning at Newmarket.

“She’s a lovely filly, a homebred of Andrew Stones (St Albans Bloodstock) and I have to say (pre-trainer) Malcolm Bastard has done an amazing job,” said Hannon.

“She came to me in June and she’s been really sweet ever since. We thought a bit of her when she went to Windsor, and she won there.

“I’d say that was a smart race – she looked like she enjoyed the seven furlongs, but where we go know I don’t know.

“There are loads of options, but I didn’t want to put her in anything in case she finished sixth at Windsor, and then I’d look a plonker. If we need to supplement for something we can now, because she’s paid for it.

“We’ll all have a chat, but I would be keen to run her again looking for some black type.”

Deodar made a winning debut for Ralph Beckett
Deodar made a winning debut for Ralph Beckett (Steven Paston/PA)

Ralph Beckett introduced a nicely-bred newcomer in Deodar to win the British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes.

The dogs were barking for Hannon’s Witch Hunter, who was sent off the 7-4 favourite and in a prime position throughout.

Deodar had been slightly outpaced early, but got the hang of things from halfway under Rob Hornby and fairly powered home with the rail to assist him, beating the favourite by a neck – although there was not much between the first five home.

“He’s just come together in the last three weeks – it took him a long time to work out what was required, but he’s suddenly realised,” said Beckett, of the Juddmonte-owned son of Bated Breath.

“In his last bit of work he put it together between his ears.

“I don’t know what we’ll do with him now. Richard fancied his, so I’d say it was a good effort, and we’ll have to work out what to do.

“He’s out of a Selkirk mare, so should have no trouble getting further. I’d say we’ll crack on with him now.”

Roger Charlton’s Makram (11-4 favourite) survived a stewards’ enquiry to win the Dubai Duty Free Handicap.

James Doyle’s mount drifted out as Calling The Wind challenged, but the view taken was that there was not enough interference to change the result. The winning distance was a head.

“He’s a lovely horse – but I think he’s heading to the sales now because he can earn far more abroad than he can here, unfortunately,” said Charlton.

Hannon eyeing end-of-season options for Mojo Star

Mojo Star is likely to be given one more opportunity to bag a major prize this season after another fine Classic effort, this time in the St Leger at Doncaster.

Richard Hannon’s charge found only Adayar too strong in the Derby at Epsom in early June, after which he finished a slightly disappointing fifth in the Irish Derby at the Curragh, enduring a rough passage in the race.

But following a confidence-boosting win in maiden company at Newbury last month, Mojo Star bounced back to his best to fill the runner-up spot behind Hurricane Lane in the world’s oldest Classic on Town Moor.

The Sea The Stars colt has the option of taking on Adayar and potentially Hurricane Lane once more in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, while he is also entered in the Qipco Champion Stakes and the British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot on Champions Day.

Hannon said: “He’s come out of the race fine and he’ll probably run again (this year).

“I haven’t discussed it yet with the owner. He (Mojo Star) has had a couple of days off out in the pen, so we’ll see.

“He has loads of options. He’s entered in races abroad and here – he’s in the two-mile race on Champions Day.

“It’s all about next year, but he will have one more run this year.”

Armor winning the Molecomb Stakes at Goodwood
Armor winning the Molecomb Stakes at Goodwood (John Walton/PA)

Hannon was out of luck in the Group races at Doncaster’s St Leger Festival, with high-class juveniles Armor and Lusail finishing second and fourth in the Flying Childers and Champagne Stakes respectively.

The pair could now meet in the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday week.

“Armor ran a terrific race, and Lusail just doesn’t act on that ground – he was just wheel-spinning the whole way,” Hannon added.

“I thought Armor had the Flying Childers won, so I was gutted to get beat. He just got nailed on the line, but that’s how it goes.

“Both of them might have a go in the Middle Park. It just depends on ground.”

Hannon confident Flying Childers test will suit Armor

Trainer Richard Hannon expects the step back to five furlongs to suit Armor as the youngster seeks to return to winning ways in the Wainwright Flying Childers Stakes at Doncaster on Friday.

The No Nay Never colt tackled six furlongs in the Group One Prix Morny at Deauville on his latest start, but was only fourth to Perfect Power when sent off favourite, albeit not beaten far.

Hannon believes Armor was not helped by the way the race was run and feels the drop down to the minimum trip will see him in a better light.

Armor had looked a smart two-year-old when scooting home by three and a quarter lengths in the Group Three Molecomb Stakes at Goodwood on his previous start.

He also proven on the track, having made a winning debut over the course and distance in April.

“I’m very happy with him. I thought he made a very big move in the Morny and it was as good a Morny we’ve had for 20 years,” said Hannon.

“They didn’t go that tempo in the Morny that they over five furlongs and because of that he was a little bit too keen. It stopped him finishing his race.

“He still ran with huge credit and ran to a very good mark. Coming back to five is what he wants and he would probably be my pick of the meeting.”

Attagirl (white cap) bids to follow-up his Roses Stakes victory in the Flying Childers
Attagirl (white cap) bids to follow-up his Roses Stakes victory in the Flying Childers (Nigel French/PA)

Attagirl put the colts in their place when winning the Listed Roses Stakes at York last month and Karl Burke is hoping she can repeat the trick.

The daughter of Wootton Bassett held the late challenge of the Clive Cox-trained Caturra by half a length and the pair renew rivalry.

“She’s very well and I think she goes there with a great chance of a place, at least. It wouldn’t surprise me if she runs a bit better than that,” said Burke.

“She’s taking on the colts again and you’d have to respect the favourite (Armor), but she goes there with a chance.”

Burke warns his second string Korker should not be underestimated.

The Dandy Man colt has won two of his five starts and ran respectably in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot and the big sales race at York.

“On paper we’re punching above our weight a little bit, but he’s maturing all the time and to me he’s a very good horse and we haven’t seen the best of him yet,” said the North Yorkshire handler.

“We’re throwing him in at the deep end a bit, but he’ll shape very well.”

Bryan Smart is expecting a big run from Bond Chairman
Bryan Smart is expecting a big run from Bond Chairman (Mike Egerton/PA)

Bond Chairman is another going back to the minimum distance after finishing sixth to Caturra in the Rose Bowl Stakes at Newbury last month.

The Bryan Smart-trained colt had put up creditable efforts in both Sandown’s National Stakes and the Windsor Castle at Royal Ascot in his two runs before that.

“He’s in good form. I’m very happy with him. He looks well. He’s back to five furlongs and we’re hoping for a big run,” said Smart.

Hannon has Sun Chariot in sights for Snow Lantern

Richard Hannon is eyeing the Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes as an opportunity for Snow Lantern to redeem herself after finishing fourth at Group One level in France.

The three-year-old was beaten four lengths in fourth place behind Baaeed in Sunday’s Prix du Moulin, with Hannon admitting he was disappointed by her effort.

Having previously won the Falmouth Stakes on Newmarket’s July Course as well as finishing placed in both the Coronation Stakes at Ascot and Goodwood’s Sussex Stakes, Snow Lantern is likely to return over the Rowley Mile on October 2.

However, Hannon will also give her a thorough check over on Tuesday to make sure there were no underlying issues at ParisLongchamp.

He said: “She didn’t run her race. I think she does need further, but we didn’t see a flash of brilliance, (then) going to the line she started to run on. The winner is a good horse.

“We’ll go back to the Sun Chariot, which is fillies only. I know it’s a mile, but she has the beating of fillies in this country, and then we might go to a mile and a quarter.

“But I’m going to scope and trachea wash her on Tuesday just to see if she is all right. It’s one of those where you hope you find something.”

Of Snow Lantern’s Moulin performance, Hannon added: “She has her head to the side, but there was no excuse.

“She just didn’t pick up like she normally does. Only time will tell what figure she ran to, but it was disappointing. I know that was not her level.

“I couldn’t have been happier with her going into the race.”

Hannon happy to take on Baaeed with Snow Lantern

Richard Hannon believes he has “nothing to lose” by allowing his star filly Snow Lantern to take on the unbeaten Baaeed the Prix du Moulin at ParisLongchamp on Sunday.

The William Haggas-trained Baaeed is a hot favourite to successfully graduate to Group One level this weekend, having been hugely impressive in winning each of his four starts to date.

With Jim Bolger deciding against declaring his 2000 Guineas and St James’s Palace Stakes hero Poetic Flare, who instead looks set to head to next weekend’s Irish Champion Stakes, Snow Lantern could prove to be Baaeed’s biggest threat.

The daughter of Frankel has already proven herself in Group One company, with a top-level triumph in the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket sandwiched by creditable placed efforts in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.

Hannon said: “Hopefully this race will show her in a better light – I think she could have been closer at Goodwood.

“It’s a very good race and we’ll find out where we stand. We can always go back to fillies only company in the Sun Chariot after this.

“You can’t be frightened of one horse. Baaeed has looked very good and I’m sure he’ll take a lot of beating.

Richard Hannon respects the threat of Baaeed
Richard Hannon respects the threat of Baaeed (David Davies/Jockey Club)

“He travels very well in his races and in some of his races he’s looked unbeatable.

“I’m sure it will be a good race and I’m looking forward to it – we have nothing to lose.”

Aidan O’Brien saddles both Order of Australia and Lope Y Fernandez, who will be ridden by Ryan Moore and Ioritz Mendizabal respectively.

Andre Fabre’s Victor Ludorum and Peter Schiergen’s German filly Novemba complete the six-strong field.

Ehraz off colour after Acomb

Ehraz produced an unsatisfactory scope after disappointing in the Acomb Stakes at York.

Trainer Richard Hannon had made no secret of the regard in which he holds the Showcasing colt, and his previous win at Ascot looked exciting.

Ehraz was sent off joint second favourite in last week’s Group Three alongside Noble Truth, who had beaten him on debut. But neither had any answer to 25-1 winner Royal Patronage – with favourite Dubawi Legend also well beaten in third.

“We’ve just got to put a line through that – he didn’t scope very well,” said Angus Gold, racing manager for Ehraz’s owner Shadwell Estate.

“It was too bad to be true, and it was a strange race altogether. But that is taking nothing away from the winner, who was very impressive.

“They just sort of went nowhere in behind, and the supposed good horses just never made up any ground at all.

“We’ll get him right, and those at home think he’s very good – certainly better than he showed there.

“It’s a case of back to the drawing board.”

Lusail stamps class on Gimcrack

Lusail drew clear in the closing stages to land a convincing success in the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Gimcrack Stakes at York.

A 3lb penalty for his victory in the July Stakes on his previous start failed to stop the Richard Hannon-trained colt from chalking up a second Group Two win.

Pat Dobbs had Lusail (7-2) tucked away off the pace as Last Crusader made the early running, with Gis A Sub always prominent, while the 3-1 favourite Berkshire Shadow compromised his chance by being slowly away.

Up front, Lusail burst through to score by a length and a quarter from Gis A Sub, with Irish raider Twilight Jet three-quarters of a length away in third.

Hannon said: “He’s so straightforward. I brought him here for his maiden and I didn’t actually fancy him, I had another in the race I thought would nearly win (Secret Strength) as he wasn’t really there in his coat. But he’s very uncomplicated.

“He’s already proved he stays seven. The best thing we did was not go to Ascot and he’s on his way to being another stallion for Al Shaqab.

“This is the one two-year-old who has the class and scope for next year and he already stays seven. He’s in the Middle Park and the Dewhurst and I’ve put him in the Jean-Luc Lagardere. He’ll take one of those on. He’s under the radar and the best ones are like that.

“He goes well with Dobbsy because they are both so laid back.”

He added: “My horses have run terribly all week, I can’t explain what happened to Ehraz as he’s a very good horse but he didn’t show it on Wednesday.

“This lad is a Guineas horse, no doubt, he’s got the scope but we’ll take what we can now.”

Mojo Star set for Newbury on Saturday

Derby runner-up Mojo Star will attempt to open his account in a maiden at Newbury on Saturday, before bidding for further Classic honours in the Cazoo St Leger.

Trainer Richard Hannon wants to give the Sea The Stars colt a less daunting task first in the Academy Insurance British EBF Maiden Stakes ahead of the world’s oldest Classic at Doncaster next month.

Mojo Star has just had the four careers starts so far. He finished second on his first three, culminating in his tremendous effort at Epsom where he out-ran his odds of 50-1 behind Adayar.

Then three weeks later, he was fifth to Hurricane Lane in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh.

“He’s going to go to Newbury on Saturday in a mile-and-a-half maiden,” said Hannon.

“He’s in great form. He’s had a break. He’s run in two Derbys. Hopefully this will be easier and a nice stepping stone to go onto the Leger.”

Armor plated success for Hannon in Molecomb

Armor fairly bolted up in the Markel Molecomb Stakes at Goodwood and turned Royal Ascot form on its head.

Richard Hannon’s youngster had finished fifth behind Chipotle in the Windsor Castle Stakes in June, where Boonie was third.

Drawn against the fence, Ryan Moore could not have wished for a smoother run through the race.

It was Kevin Ryan’s Boonie and Ed Bethell’s 13-8 favourite Fearby who initially started to pull away, a few horse widths from the rail.

That was more than enough of an invitation for Moore, who had ridden Armor to victory on his Doncaster debut victory.

Armor hit top gear inside the final furlong and shot clear, winning by three and a quarter lengths with Fearby winning the battle for second from Boonie.

Betfair cut the son of No Nay Never to 5-1 from 10s for the Gimcrack at York next month, but he could be aimed higher still.

Hannon said: “Ryan said he would go like that – I think he knows what he’s on about – and he did.

“I’ve not made too many flash entries for him, but we’ll look at something like the Morny now, Flying Childers.

“He should (make a nice three-year-old), he’s not a big horse and this is his year right now.

“If that happens, great, but he’s doing enough right now.

“He’ll get six, you have to go six if you’re going to go up.”

Bethell, meanwhile, was happy with the effort of Fearby.

The North Yorkshire trainer said: “It was a very good run on ground that was holding.

“It showed that Sandown was no fluke, and we have a very decent colt on our hands.”

Kevin Ryan added of Boonie: “He travelled well and battled, but I think he will be a better horse on better ground.”

Super Sprint delight for Hannon with Gubbass

Richard Hannon is gaining ground on his father having notched up his fourth victory in the Weatherbys Super Sprint through Gubbass at Newbury.

Richard senior retired with seven victories in the race where a two-year-old’s weight is determined by how much they cost at the sales – which highlighted his knack of finding a bargain.

It turns out the apple has not fallen far from the tree, as 12 months on from the victory of Happy Romance 12 months ago – who returned on the same card to win the Hackwood Stakes this time – Hannon unleashed what could be a potentially smart juvenile.

Winner of his debut at Leicester, Hannon decided to skip Royal Ascot and it paid dividends, coming home half a length clear of stablemate Symphony Perfect to win at 4-1 for Sean Levey.

Delmona finished third, with Guilded fourth and 100-1 chance Adnaan fifth.

“We’ve always liked him a lot, we didn’t go to Ascot because he was growing – but he’s a very good horse,” said Hannon.

“He’s by a sire (Mehmas) who is getting very good horses, but my worry today was lack of experience and halfway through I thought he was going to finish eighth. But his class pulled him through. The filly ran well in second, too.

“He’ll probably go to the Richmond at Goodwood now, I’ve put him in the Gimcrack as well.

“He just wasn’t right before Ascot and was working moderately, there was no point going to Ascot if he wasn’t working very well and this race came at the right time in terms of Goodwood.

“He’s a very good two-year-old, no question, only time will tell if he’s more than that. He will probably get further, as the further he went the better he was going.”

Hannon, who won the Group One Falmouth Stakes recently, added: “It’s been a good few weeks, but days like today are vital for everyone.

“Races like this, for the smaller owner, it is their day and it’s very important they have their day. There’s room for everyone.”

Happy days as Romance strikes again

Happy Romance bounced right back to her best in the bet365 Hackwood Stakes at Newbury.

Winner of the Super Sprint on this card 12 months ago, the filly was only narrowly beaten at Sandown last time out but she had generally been running below the form which made her such a favourite of Richard Hannon’s last season.

Along with the Super Sprint she won another sales race at York and a Group Three at Sandown, before finishing a creditable fourth behind Alcohol Free in the Cheveley Park.

Bar a win on the all-weather this season Happy Romance has struggled, but back on a quicker surface she proved she retained all her old ability and perhaps a bit more when seeing off last year’s winner Tabdeed and Diligent Harry.

Diligent Harry tried to make all, but Tabdeed breezed by with a furlong to run, only for Happy Romance to swamp them both. Diligent Harry snatched second back right on the line. As he has been all her career, Sean Levey was on board.

Winning owner Ray McMurray, who received a rapturous reception when picking up the trophy, said: “After Sandown we thought there was something there, but she just hasn’t had her ground all season.

“We thought she had every chance today, we were cautiously optimistic as the last time we had this sort of going was in the Super Sprint last year.

“This is better though, last year there were 10 people here!

“Richard always said she’s trained on, but he actually said the worry might be crowds as none of last year’s two-year-olds had ever seen one.

“She had to prove it today and now we might go to Goodwood and take on Battaash, I think she deserves to.”

Happy Romance was cut to 14-1 from 25s for the King George Stakes at Goodwood by Paddy Power.

Hannon said: “She’s lovely and my job now is to persuade them (owners) to keep her in training next year because I think she can win a Group One. I actually met them here in a lift if you can believe that.

“You could be tempted by the Abbaye later in the year. They wanted to supplement for the July Cup, but to me that was crazy.

“She’s definitely improving and to look at her she’s got the constitution of a filly who’s only getting stronger.”

Motakhayyel bounds to Bunbury victory

Motakhayyel looked the proverbial Group horse in a handicap when landing back-to-back victories in the bet365 Bunbury Cup at Newmarket.

Already a dual winner on the July Course for trainer Richard Hannon – including in this race 12 months ago – the Shadwell Estate-owned five-year-old was a well-backed 11-2 chance to land the £100,000 contest for a second time in the hands of Frankie Dettori.

Stepping down in class after finishing second in the Group Three Criterion Stakes over the course and distance last month, Motakhayyel travelled like a dream before bounding three and a half lengths clear, with Fundamental best of the rest in second.

Hannon said: “He’s a gentleman of a horse and has been for years. He’s such a pleasure to have around.

“He’s struggled between a rock and a hard place in handicaps and Listed races. He ran a very good race here in the Criterion and I watched the race today on the same TV I watched it on last year.

“He’s in the mile race at Goodwood and we’ll speak to Angus (Gold) and Richard (Hills) and see what they want to do.”

Frankie Dettori with trainer Richard Hannon in the Newmarket winner's enclosure
Frankie Dettori with trainer Richard Hannon in the Newmarket winner’s enclosure (Tim Goode/PA)

Dettori, riding his first winner of this year’s July Festival, said: “He took me by surprise – I still had a double handful two out and he kept finding.

“Richard told me Jim (Crowley, owners’ retained rider) was going to York and I couldn’t do the weight for John (Gosden, trainer of Fundamental). Richard told me to get on this horse as he loves Newmarket and he was right.

“I didn’t expect him to win like he did. He’s a very long horse with a long stride and I’m not sure he’d enjoy turning tracks.”

Hannon sweet on Ardbraccan

Richard Hannon is eyeing a return to Newmarket for next month’s Sweet Solera with Ardbraccan after she made it third time lucky in the Rossdales British EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes.

Down the field on her Kempton debut in early June, the daughter of Lawman raised her game to fill the runner-up spot on her second start here a fortnight ago.

She looked booked for minor honours once more after 11-8 favourite Calm Skies – who was immediately behind the Hannon runner last time out – moved smoothly into contention, but Ardbraccan knuckled down for Sean Levey to win the argument by half a length.

Hannon said: “She’s a lovely filly and always has been very classy.

“She ran very well last time and got beaten and it looked like the Godolphin filly (Calm Skies) got to her very easily there today. I thought we’d bumped into a good one.

“I’m very tempted to bring her back for the Sweet Solera (August 7) now. She’s got a lot of class and she doesn’t want too much (racing) this year as she’ll be a nice filly next year.”

Royal Fleet maintained his unbeaten record in the bet365 Mile.

Previously successful at Kempton in November and Yarmouth in April, Charlie Appleby’s charge was the 5-6 favourite to complete his hat-trick on his handicap debut.

Royal Fleet (right) completed his hat-trick
Royal Fleet (right) completed his hat-trick (Tim Goode/PA)

Just as he did at Yarmouth, Royal Fleet hung to his left and raced alone for much of the one-mile journey, but his latent ability enabled him to get the job done by half a length from Latest Generation.

“He’s a horse who has got a lot of raw talent,” said Appleby.

“Some days at home he’ll get into a rhythm and be straight as a gun barrel, but unfortunately some days he’ll lock on the bridle and grab that left side of the bit and do what he’s done today.

“William (Buick) was very impressed with him in that he’s done everything wrong and he still couldn’t pull the horse up!

“I hope that in time, with racing and experience and maturity, if we can put everything in the right format he could be a good horse.”

William Haggas and Tom Marquand combined to land the Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa Fillies’ Handicap with Spirit Of Bermuda.

The 12-1 shot followed up victory at Leicester last month with a three-quarter-length verdict over Rising Star.

“She’s a nice filly who loves fast ground. She’s a good, galloping filly,” said Haggas.

“I said to the owners that if she won today she’d be worth having a shot at a Listed race, so that’s what we’ll be doing.”

Snow Lantern delivers on everything Hannon hoped she would

Relief was the overriding emotion for Richard Hannon after Snow Lantern came of age to settle an old score in the Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket.

It is eight years since the Frankel filly’s top-class mother Sky Lantern was narrowly and controversially denied in the Group One feature.

The 1000 Guineas and Coronation Stakes heroine was impeded by first past the post Elusive Kate in 2013, but the stewards decided the interference did not affect the placings and a subsequent appeal by Sky Lantern’s connections was ultimately unsuccessful.

Given her blue-blooded pedigree, plenty was expected by Snow Lantern from the start, while Hannon has never hidden the regard in which she is held by those closest to her.

She looked ready to follow in her dam’s hoofprints when opening her account at Newbury in the spring – and although an odds-on defeat at York in the spring was a significant bump in the road, a fine effort to finish second in the Coronation last month was much more like it.

With Sean Levey in the saddle, Snow Lantern was a 6-1 shot for her latest Group One test and charged home to defeat 1000 Guineas winner Mother Earth and her Coronation conqueror Alcohol Free by half a length and a neck respectively.

“She’s shown how good she is and what she’s capable of,” said Hannon.

“I always felt this filly was not good, but extremely good. Sky Lantern was by Red Clubs and she was exceptional. This filly, I think is exceptional and she has that pedigree, too – being by Frankel out of a Classic-winning mare.

“After what happened at York, I was sort of out on a limb thinking ‘she needs to do something or you look a bit of a plonker’!

“I think she showed that at Royal Ascot on ground that probably doesn’t suit her, and then she had to come here for what I thought was a very strong race – all the nice fillies were there.”

Asked if he felt the victory gave him a sense of closure following Sky Lantern’s reverse in 2013, the trainer added: “I always did anyway – you don’t want to win in the stewards’ room.

Trainer Richard Hannon
Trainer Richard Hannon (David Davies/PA)

“Once the day is over, I think ‘do you really want to win a race like that?’. It’s done and today is great, several years on – I didn’t get the prize-money back, though!

“I’m delighted for the owners after everything that happened with the mare. She’s always created a buzz and got a big following, so it’s a great relief she’s gone and done it.

“I think I shouted today and I never shout – usually when I shout, they start to stop!

“She looked like she was going to struggle for room and if you struggle for room it is generally because you have not got the horse, but he had the horse and it is great for him.

“Sean is riding great, but a winner like this does an awful lot for him and for us.

“There’s a football match on Sunday, but I couldn’t care less.”

Celebrations for the connection of Snow Lantern
Celebrations for the connection of Snow Lantern (David Davies/Jockey Club)

Whether Hannon shouted or not, there was no stopping Sky Lantern on the July course – setting up a likely appearance at Glorious Goodwood in either the Sussex or the Nassau Stakes.

On the future, Hannon said: “We’ll sit down and have a think, but I do think she’ll get a mile and a quarter.

“She’s in the Nassau and the Sussex, so we’ll look at Goodwood and I’d probably be leaning towards the fillies’ race (Nassau).

“She’s in the Juddmonte International as well, but I’m very hopeful she’ll stay in training next year, so I’m happy to give her a nice time.

“These Group One races you need to be at your best and there are no weak ones at all. I I’m delighted to win one and not be unlucky for a change.”