Sky Lantern charged past the leaders with just over a furlong to run and drew off to score an upset win the $290,500 Moyglare Stud Stakes (Ire-I) at the Curragh Sept. 9.
The victory guarantees an expenses-paid automatic berth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (gr. IT) at Santa Anita Park as part of the 'Win and You're In' program sponsored by the Breeders' Cup. However, Sky Lantern, a daughter of Red Clubs, is not presently nominated to the Cup.
A field of 13 evenly-matched juvenile fillies went to the post in the Moyglare Stud, with the Aga Khan's Harasiya made the 3-1 favorite. Also well-regarded were My Special J's, winner of the Keeneland Debutante Stakes (Ire-II) in her last start, and the undefeated Sendmylovetorose, who had captured the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Cherry Hinton Stakes (Eng-II) at Newmarket.
Sky Lantern entered the race having won two of four starts for trainer Richard Hannon. After breaking her maiden at Goodwood and winning a handicap at Naas, she was a good second both in the Sweet Solara Stakes (Eng-III) and the Prestige Stakes (Eng-III).
Karamaya went to the front in the seven-furlong test of 2-year-old fillies to set the pace. Hot on her heels was Private Alexander in second, with Sendmylovetorose and My Special J's just behind those two as the bulk of the field stayed fairly well-bunched. Sky Lantern was well-placed by jockey Richard Hughes, who had the gray filly covered up in the middle of the pack through the early stages.
Karamaya continued to lead the way as the field swept through the turn and entered the home straight in front, but was now being pushed along by jockey Niall McCullagh. The field had fanned out wide entering the straight, and the race looked wide open with several in with a chance. Sendmylovetorose was the first to make a bid, drawing on even terms with Karamaya two furlongs from home.
Hughes had Sky Lantern to their outside with a clear run at the leaders and asked his filly to go. The response was immediate as Sky Lantern displayed an impressive turn of foot to take the lead. She powered clear in the final stages to win easily by 2 1/2 lengths.
Scintillula got up in the final strides to take second by a head over favored Harasiya. Final time was 1:25.14 over a good turf course.
After the race assistant trainer Richard Hannon Jr. said that Sky Lantern, who was supplemented to the Moyglare Stud for €22,500, could very well be pointed to the Breeders' Cup. Hannon told reporters, "She could get a mile and Santa Anita is an option now that we're getting a head start with the entry system."
"I'll discuss that with her owner Ben Keswick," Hannon continued. "Unfortunately he's not here. He lives in Hong Kong and couldn't make it over, but was gutsy enough to put up the money to supplement her and it's paid off."
Sky Lantern was bred in Ireland by Tally-Ho Stud. She is out of Shawanni, a winning daughter of Shareef Dancer. Sky Lantern is a half sister to the stakes winners Shanty Star, Hinton Admiral, and Arctic. Her second dam, Negligent, was 1989 champion juvenile filly in England.