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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.

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.

Levey expecting to see the real Snow Lantern at Newmarket

Sean Levey felt soft ground at Goodwood was Snow Lantern’s undoing in the Qatar Sussex Stakes.

The three-year-old finished a three-and-a-half-length third to Alcohol Free in the mile Group One, having had that filly back in third when winning the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket previously.

Levey missed the Goodwood outing due to suspension, with Jamie Spencer taking the reins in his place, but he is looking forward to renewing their association in the Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket on October 2.

Sean Levey with Snow Lantern at Newmarket
Sean Levey with Snow Lantern at Newmarket (Tim Goode/PA)

Levey said: “I think she goes for the Sun Chariot, I think that’s why she ran in the Sussex as they wanted to stay at the mile for now. She ran a blinder in the Sussex on ground which I personally don’t think she likes.

“When she had good to firm at Newmarket, I think we all saw the true Snow Lantern there. She’s a very good filly with plenty of potential and I just feel as though she keeps improving as the year goes on and it’s exciting to know she’s going to be in training again next year.

“For me, she’s a great filly to have.”

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.”

Snow Lantern powers home in Falmouth Stakes

Snow Lantern turned Coronation Stakes form around when beating Mother Earth and Alcohol Free in a thrilling finish to the Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket.

Trainer Richard Hannon has never made any secret of the regard in which he holds the filly, a daughter of Sky Lantern who won the 1000 Guineas for the yard.

Sky Lantern was later felt to be an unlucky loser in the 2013 renewal of this Group One, so Hannon will feel a sense of vindication – especially as this filly is a homebred out of Frankel.

Having finished second to Alcohol Free at Royal Ascot, with Guineas winner Mother Earth just behind in third that day, the trio dominated once again, with Lady Bowthorpe doing her best to gatecrash the party but getting going too late.

Alcohol Free attempted to make all against the far rail, with Mother Earth keeping close tabs on her.

Sean Levey would have had a few anxious moments wondering if he was going to get a run, as he was trapped behind horses just as the pace quickened and he gave Primo Bacio a nudge when beginning his run.

The grey really picked up, however, and flew home with an irresistible run, winning by half a length at 6-1.

Mother Earth was a neck in front of Alcohol Free, with the same back to Lady Bowthorpe, who had to come widest of all.

Hannon said: “It’s very special because of the whole Sky Lantern story. It’s great for Rockcliffe Stud as they hadn’t had a Group One winner until today.

“We went to York to try to bag one of those (stakes races) and it didn’t work out, but she’s learnt to settle since then.

“She was a little bit unlucky in the Coronation. She looked exceptional when she won her novice at Newbury and she looked exceptional there today, I think – she’s a very special filly.”

On plans, he 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.”

Levey said: “It’s taken her a couple of steps to get to this point and it’s thanks to everyone in the yard. They have done a massive job. She’s not the easiest, so it’s great for everyone it’s all come to fruition now.

“She’s known to be keen, so my hands were tied as far as tactically what I could do with her. She came out of the gates fairly relaxed. As soon as they came over to that rail I knew I had to hold position when I was trying to settle her. I did think it would be very hard to get out of there.

Snow Lantern and jockey Sean Levey
Snow Lantern and jockey Sean Levey (David Davies/Jockey Club)

“Lucky enough I was able to switch her round just in time to pick them up.”

He added: “It means a massive amount. I’ve had Billesdon Brook, who was great, and King Of Change as well, but a lot of work has gone into this filly. In the yard she comes with a huge thing because Sky Lantern was her mother.

“For everyone it’s a big deal.”

However, there was a sting in the tail for Levey as he was given a six-day suspension for careless riding. He will serve the ban from July 23-28 inclusive.

Aidan O’Brien, trainer of Mother Earth, said: “She ran very well and we’re delighted with her run. I’m not too sure in terms of where next – there may be a fillies’ race in France for her, but we’ll wait and see how she is.

“We’ll keep her to these fillies’ races. We could try her over further, but she’s got plenty of speed.”

Of Andrew Balding’s Alcohol Free, jockey Oisin Murphy said: “She relaxed well in front and I just felt the race went to plan apart from at the three (furlong pole) when we got racing a little early. I tried to save horse, but the last 50 yards told.”

Kieran Shoemark was aboard Lady Bowthorpe for William Jarvis and said: “It was a good run and I think the 10 furlongs of the Nassau Stakes will really suit her. She’ll get the extra two furlongs easy and she was unlucky here.

“She didn’t get the splits so I had to switch out and she’s run well. I have no doubts that she’s the best filly in the race.”

Snow Lantern on Falmouth mission for Hannon

Richard Hannon will seek some Newmarket “closure” as Snow Lantern goes for gold in the Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes on Friday.

The Frankel filly is a daughter of Sky Lantern, who finished a neck second in the Group One contest for Hannon’s father, Richard senior, in 2013 after a dramatic battle during the closing stages that saw Elusive Kate hold on to victory following a stewards’ inquiry.

Hannon believes Sky Lantern should have been awarded the race, but he will be looking to Snow Lantern to right the wrong and continue her rapid upward trajectory this term.

Snow Lantern raced just once as a juvenile – but has made significant strides in 2021, winning a Newbury maiden before disappointing slightly at York and bouncing back with a fine second to Alcohol Free in the Coronation Stakes on her Group One debut.

Snow Lantern (right) chased home Alcohol Free at Ascot
Snow Lantern (right) chased home Alcohol Free at Ascot (David Davies/PA)

Hannon said: “We were disappointed on the day with Sky Lantern. I thought we should have been given the race but we weren’t, but we then beat Elusive Kate later in the season in the Sun Chariot Stakes.

“Snow Lantern hasn’t won a 1000 Guineas like her mum, but she is going there hopefully to win where her mother didn’t but should have, and it would be nice if she did just that.

“She is as fresh as a daisy. It would be nice if she could win the race as her mother deserved it. She is in good nick and is good enough to win a race like this.

“There is a score to be settled there and it would give us some sort of closure.”

Elusive Kate (left) beat Sky Lantern (right) in the Falmouth Stakes
Elusive Kate (left) beat Sky Lantern (right) in the Falmouth Stakes (Steve Parsons/PA)

Sky Lantern retired as a four-times Group One winner, including her 2013 Classic success, and while Snow Lantern has plenty to do to match her achievements, Hannon thinks she could rise to the challenge.

He added: “She has got a smaller profile than her mother at the moment, but she is just coming good. She is a Frankel out of a Guineas winner. She really is the image of her mother. I’ve never known one so similar.

“She is quite a butch filly and thick-set. The revs are a bit higher than her mother because she is a Frankel, but she could easily be as good as her mum.”

Lusail (left) could contest the July Stakes
Lusail (left) could contest the July Stakes (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Lusail is also due to strut his stuff at Newmarket this week, with Hannon favouring Thursday’s Group Two Tattersalls July Stakes for the son of Mehmas.

He won over seven at the track last month – but Hannon thinks coming back in trip could be the best course.

He said: “I think he might be a six-furlong horse, but we don’t know whether to go for the July Stakes or the Superlative Stakes.

“We will work him at home first and go from there. He is still not there in his coat, but he has been like that all his life.

“He won well at York, then I don’t know what went wrong at Pontefract but it did. He is going to go to Newmarket for one of the two, but at the minute I’m thinking of the July Stakes.”

Levey targets Royal Ascot breakthrough

Sean Levey is out to break new ground by claiming his first winner at Royal Ascot next week.

The Swaziland-born rider has been a pioneer for black jockeys in Britain – becoming the first to ride in the Derby in 2016 when steering Humphrey Bogart to fifth place, before claiming Classic glory two years later aboard Billesdon Brook in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket.

Success at the Flat season’s showpiece meeting has so far eluded Levey, but he is hoping to put that right on his return to Berkshire.

“My form at Ascot alone is very good – but when it comes to Royal Ascot, not so much,” he said.

Billesdon Brook and Sean Levey winning the 1000 Guineas
Billesdon Brook and Sean Levey winning the 1000 Guineas (Tim Goode/PA)

“I wouldn’t say I’ve been unfortunate. I’ve been placed many a time, mostly in handicaps and what have you.

“I’m disappointed it hasn’t happened yet, so I would just like the box ticked now.

“It’s a bit of a monkey on my back, that one.”

It has been quite a journey for the 33-year-old son of Epsom-based apprentice Mick Levey and Swazi mother Tini.

The family moved away from Africa shortly after the turn of the century, initially to Croydon in south London before heading across the Irish Sea to allow Mick Levey to work for Aidan O’Brien.

NewSean Levey has carved out an excellent career for himself market Races Day Two – July 10th
Sean Levey has carved out an excellent career for himself (George Selwyn/PA)

Levey said: “I wouldn’t say it was a huge culture shock as far as moving from Africa to Ireland was concerned – they’re not too far apart, to be fair.

“I did live in Croydon for a bit and I found that quite difficult. Being closer to London and being more closed, I found that quite tough. I preferred the open nature of Ireland, which is similar to Swaziland.”

Although only a teenager at the time, it did not take long for Levey junior to become part of the riding team at Ballydoyle.

“I was still at school, so I started working there on a weekend,” he said.

“I had a season pony racing and was meant to do a second season. But as luck would have it, I ended up just doing a summer in Ballydoyle and ended up signing on there as an apprentice.

“I won a few Listed races and Group races for Aidan and had the opportunity to ride, I think, in every Classic in Ireland. I rode in the Arc for him and a few other Group Ones, including the German Guineas, and I won the Irish Cambridgeshire on a horse called Poet (2009).

“It was a privileged apprenticeship. There’s no doubt he gave me a lot of opportunities, and I’ll be forever grateful.”

After six years on the Ballydoyle books, Levey made the bold move to return to continue his riding career in Britain in 2011.

Jockeys of ethnic minority were even rarer then than they are now, but he does not believe his opportunities have been diminished by his race.

“This has all been highlighted since the poor fella in America (George Floyd) was killed, but you’ve got to remember that I’ve been riding since I was 17,” said Levey.

“I was signed on for one of the greatest trainers in the world as a teenager, and thinking about the colour of my skin wasn’t at the forefront of my mind.

“I’d had massive opportunities as an apprentice and was wanting momentum over here. I was chasing my dream – and as much as racism exists in every walk of life, it’s becoming smaller and smaller worldwide, especially in countries like this.

“I was taken aback actually when they asked ‘how does it feel to be the first black jockey to win a British Classic?’, or ‘how does it feel to be the first black jockey to have a ride in the Derby?’.

“I didn’t look at it in that way at the time, but I am half-Swazi and I can speak Swazi, so I’ll take it – and if it benefits anyone looking in, then so be it.”

Jockey Sean Levey
Jockey Sean Levey (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

People from all over the world ride out in yards across Britain and Ireland.

Levey believes a lack of information, rather than systemic racism within the sport, is the main reason why many have not gone on to become jockeys – but feels improvements have and are being made.

Levey said: “What I am seeing, and should be seeing, is a lot more black and Asian people coming into racing.

“In Ireland there was only me – in England there is me and Royston (Ffrench) and Silvestre de Sousa, obviously.

“Now the next crop of apprentices are coming in, and I do see a lot more. If what we have done is give others the confidence, I think that is ultimately what everyone is looking for.

“(We want) to reach out to those urban areas where people don’t get the opportunities and show that the sport is open to anybody who would like to come into it.

“Rather than dwelling on ‘racing needs to change because it’s racist’, I personally don’t feel that that’s the case, but I do feel like more information needs to be put out there for people to know that they are more than welcome through those doors.

“I think what everyone has been doing in the last couple of years is making people more comfortable to take that chance, to get a licence and give it a go. It’s exactly the same with female jockeys.

“Sometimes people look at it the wrong way and think we’re trying to eradicate racism in racing because it’s rife, but that is not the case. I think everyone is just trying to say the doors open to anyone who wants to come in if they’re willing and want to give it a shot.”

“We want everyone to know you will get the opportunity if you work hard.”

Levey can look forward to a strong book of rides at the Royal meeting, with Snow Lantern chief among them in the Coronation Stakes – a race which is part of this year’s QIPCO British Champions Series.

The daughter of Frankel is out to emulate her dam Sky Lantern, who won the same race in 2013, but does need to bounce back from a slightly underwhelming performance at York.

“She’s in good order and all set to go,” he said.

“It was a slightly disappointing run at York – things didn’t really go our way. She was keener than you’d like on that occasion – and as a result, she didn’t quite run as well as we thought she would.

“She seems to be doing the right things at home and hasn’t put a foot wrong since. I’d like to think that if she runs her race nice and settled then she’ll have a big chance.”

Happy Romance winning at York
Happy Romance winning at York (David Davies/PA)

Another filly Levey believes can make her presence felt at Group One level is Happy Romance.

Together, they have already won five races – and she is viewed as a lively outsider for the Commonwealth Cup.

Levey said: “Happy Romance is one that does all the talking on the track. She’s very straightforward, an absolute pleasure to ride and has plenty of ability to boot.

“I think Ascot is her track – she ran really well in the Queen Mary last year. She’s shown she wants better ground, and a stiff track will suit her style of running – she’s more an off-the-bridle kind of sprinter, rather than an ‘all guns blazing’ kind of sprinter.

“Against her own age group, I would give her a good chance.”

Sir Ron Priestley and Santiago feature in Yorkshire Cup

Sir Ron Priestley heads a small but select field of five runners declared for the Matchbook Yorkshire Cup at York on Friday.

Runner-up to Logician in the 2019 St Leger at Doncaster, Mark Johnston’s charge has since returned from over a year and a half on the sidelines looking better than ever – winning the Further Flight Stakes at Nottingham and the Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket.

The five-year-old is the clear favourite to complete his hat-trick on the Knavesmire under Franny Norton.

Johnston also saddles Nayef Road, who has been placed behind champion stayer Stradivarius in three of his last four starts, most recently when third in the Sagaro Stakes at Ascot a couple of weeks ago.

Irish hopes are carried by the Aidan O’Brien-trained Santiago. Last year’s Irish Derby hero was third behind Stradivarius and Nayef Road in the Goodwood Cup and can be expected to improve from his recent comeback fourth in the Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan.

Wells Farhh Go returns to action in the Yorkshire Cup
Wells Farhh Go returns to action in the Yorkshire Cup (Simon Cooper/PA)

Andrew Balding’s Spanish Mission returns to British action after finishing second in Saudi Arabia and fifth in Dubai on his last couple of appearances.

The quintet is completed by the long-absent Wells Farhh Go, who makes his first appearance for Tim Easterby since finishing last of seven runners in the Cumberland Lodge Stakes at Ascot in October 2019.

A field of eight has been assembled for the Oak Farm Stables Fillies’ Stakes, where much interest will surround the Richard Hannon-trained Snow Lantern.

The Frankel filly is a daughter of the stable’s Classic-winning Sky Lantern and looked the part on her reappearance at Newbury last month.

Roger Charlton’s Nell Gwyn third Love Is You features among the opposition, as does the Charlie Appleby-trained Creative Flair.

‘Bigger picture’ behind Snow Lantern’s Guineas absence

Richard Hannon chose to miss Sunday’s Qipco 1000 Guineas with Snow Lantern because he is “looking at the bigger picture” – this season and next.

Snow Lantern is by Frankel and out of the Hannon yard’s own Guineas winner Sky Lantern, and Sunday’s Newmarket Classic therefore appeared the obvious target when she was so impressive at Newbury recently.

However, it was announced days later that she will not try to emulate her parents and will instead be possibly stepped up in trip. She is also due to stay in training at four.

“It was a team decision,” said Hannon.

“She’s by a Guineas out of a Guineas winner, so the 1000 Guineas looked her race, but you’ve got to look at the bigger picture.

“She has been lightly-raced up to now. She’s a very heavy filly, and they are looking to keep her as a four-year-old.

“They don’t want to throw her into the deep end right now. There’s the Prix de Diane, Coronation, Irish Guineas, Falmouth – there are all sorts of lovely races, so she can run in some of those if she’s good enough.

“I think she’s good enough. I hold her in the highest regard – I think she could be even better than her mum.”

Snow Lantern is not the easiest to handle but has always shown great talent.

Hannon added: “She’s a bit difficult – she can be a bit keen and can be a bit of a madam. But you don’t mind that when they have the talent and ability she has.

“I’ve never known a horse look so much like her mum, so much so I got Hughesie (Richard Hughes) to sit on her when he was down one morning. He didn’t feel this filly had the same sort of speed, but I think she had an off-day.

“I think she’s a miler personally. She won very well at Newbury, and I think she’s very good.

“Although it’s a shame to miss the Guineas, it will give us the opportunity to look at big targets in the summer.”

Snow Lantern to miss 1000 Guineas and wait for York

Leading Qipco 1000 Guineas contender Snow Lantern is to miss the Newmarket Classic and instead run at York’s Dante meeting.

The daughter of two Guineas winners in being by Frankel out of Sky Lantern, like her dam she is trained by Richard Hannon.

She was third-favourite for the fillies’ Classic having beaten John and Thady Gosden’s Derab – who Enable’s half-brother – by a length and three-quarters.

Hannon said on his website: “Following a discussion with connections, Snow Lantern will not be taking up her engagement in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket and will instead be aimed for either the Group Three Musidora Stakes or the Listed Michael Seeley Stakes at York’s May meeting.

“With the Michael Seeley being run over a mile and the Musidora over a mile and a quarter, both of these races will give us options and gives her an extra couple of weeks.

“Either race will give us a good guide on where we stand for the rest of the season with her too. She holds entries in the Epsom Oaks and Prix de Diane, and these engagements will be dependant on her York performance.

“There are plenty of options coming up for her. She is a special filly, with a beautiful pedigree and has already proved an exciting prospect for her owner-breeders, Rockcliffe Stud”

On the same card, Hannon landed the Greenham Stakes with Chindit, who has now won four of his five outings with his sole defeat coming on soft ground in the Dewhurst.

“Chindit came out of the race brilliantly, he was in the pen most of the next day and has cantered this morning and he’s fine,” said Hannon on Tuesday.

“His form is solid and it looks like he’s going to be suited by the test of the Guineas. To me it looked as if he was crying out for a mile.”

Chindit (far side) got going late to win the Greenham
Chindit (far side) got going late to win the Greenham (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

On the other side of the coin, however, was Happy Romance, who failed to see out seven furlongs in the Fred Darling and will now revert to sprinting.

“She just didn’t stay, so we’ll go sprinting,” said Hannon.

“I must admit I thought she was sure to stay, but she clearly didn’t.

“I don’t mind admitting when I’m wrong, it happens often enough. There are still plenty of races she can go for and she’s already won a Super Sprint, a Group Three and a sales race at York already and the owners have had a ball.

“There are many good days left in her yet.”

Guineas outing still to be confirmed for Snow Lantern

No decision has yet been made as to whether impressive Newbury winner Snow Lantern will line up in the Qipco 1000 Guineas.

The daughter of two Guineas winners in being by Frankel out of Sky Lantern, like her dam she is trained by Richard Hannon.

She is currently third-favourite for the fillies’ Classic having beaten John and Thady Gosden’s Derab – who Enable’s half-brother – by a length and three-quarters.

“We still don’t know if she’s going to run in the Guineas,” said Hannon.

“She’s a good filly, but we haven’t made up our minds yet. I’ll have to talk to the owners about everything and see what they say.”

On the same card, Hannon landed the Greenham Stakes with Chindit, who has now won four of his five outings with his sole defeat coming on soft ground in the Dewhurst.

“Chindit came out of the race brilliantly, he was in the pen most of the next day and has cantered this morning and he’s fine,” said Hannon on Tuesday.

“His form is solid and it looks like he’s going to be suited by the test of the Guineas. To me it looked as if he was crying out for a mile.”

Chindit (far side) got going late to win the Greenham
Chindit (far side) got going late to win the Greenham (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

On the other side of the coin, however, was Happy Romance, who failed to see out seven furlongs in the Fred Darling and will now revert to sprinting.

“She just didn’t stay, so we’ll go sprinting,” said Hannon.

“I must admit I thought she was sure to stay, but she clearly didn’t.

“I don’t mind admitting when I’m wrong, it happens often enough. There are still plenty of races she can go for and she’s already won a Super Sprint, a Group Three and a sales race at York already and the owners have had a ball.

“There are many good days left in her yet.”

Beautifully-bred Snow Lantern sparkles at Newbury

Snow Lantern ran out a cosy winner of what is sure to be an informative Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships Maiden Stakes at Newbury.

Richard Hannon’s grey filly is certainly bred for the job, being out of two Guineas winners in Frankel and Sky Lantern, the latter also trained by Hannon.

It looked a strong event on paper with Enable’s half-brother Derab and the Roger Varian-trained Fantastic Fox having also shown decent form, while there was market support for Simon and Ed Crisford’s newcomer Saleymm.

It was three of those with previous experience who fought out the finish, though, with Sean Levey on Snow Lantern (3-1) taking the race by the scruff of the neck over a furlong out.

While John and Thady Gosden’s 11-8 favourite Derab did hit top gear late on, looking sure to be suited by going over further than a mile, Snow Lantern was not hard pressed to beat him by a length and three-quarters with Fantastic Fox a short-head further back in third.

Coral cut the winner into 16-1 from 20s for the Qipco 1000 Guineas.

Hannon: “I haven’t enjoyed watching a race like that as much for a long time and I feel relief in a way because she is highly strung and I was worried about that, but she’s come here and behaved perfectly well.

“Obviously as a daughter of Frankel and Sky Lantern she’s got the lot and I’m very tempted by the Guineas, but we need to discuss it during the week.

“She did have some problems last year and of course Newmarket is an undulating track, but then her mother won two Group Ones there and if the owners want to go there must be a good chance that she will.

“Against that I will enter her for the Michael Seeley, a Listed race at York, as we are obviously keen to get some black type.

“Sean said her stride pattern was far from the normal kind and that augurs well for her.”