Second in a last year's controversial edition of the QIPCO Falmouth Stakes (Eng-I), Sky Lantern is back for another try this year in the July 11 race at Newmarket.
Trainer Richard Hannon's 4-year-old Red Clubs filly takes on six opponents, including Royal Ascot winners Rizeena and Integral, the latter of which won the June 18 Duke of Cambridge Stakes when Sky Lantern was fifth while making her first start of the season.
Winner of ast year's QIPCO One Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) and Coronation Stakes (Eng-I), Sky Lantern subsequently lost a neck decision to Elusive Kate after a stewards' inquiry in the Falmouth, prompted when the winner hung far left in the final furlong and forced Sky Lantern out to the center of the course. Sky Lantern went on to win the Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes (Eng-I), defeating Integral by length, last September at Newmarket.
Hannon said on his website he believes Sky Lantern will improve off the Duke on Cambridge.
"Sky Lantern is already a four-time group I winner, so she owes us nothing, but we think there could be more to come," he said. "We were not surprised she did not win at Royal Ascot as she is built like a colt and, as with last year, she was always going to need her first run... She has looked more like her old self in the last couple of weeks.
"Integral, who won the Ascot race, is a very good filly," the trainer continued. "We hope (Sky Lantern) might be able to reverse the Duke of Cambridge form. She will need to improve, but we think she has.
Rizeena is in search of her third group I win following a three-quarter-length triumph over Lesstalk In Paris in the June 20 Coronation Stakes at the Royal meeting. The victory made amends for her lackluster seventh-place effort in the May 4 One Thousand Guineas. Olivier Peslier will be aboard for the first time for trainer Clive Brittain.
Godolphin's Certify, a group I winner as a 2-year-old in 2012, will try for her first win in three starts since returning from Dubai where she landed the Jan. 30 Cape Verdi (UAE-II).
As part of QIPCO's sponsorship of the race, the winner will be given a free 2015 season to Tweenhills Farm resident sire Makfi, who is owned by Qatar Bloodstock, a subsidiary of QIPCO Holding. The winner also gets a 50% discount on one season to any Tweenhills stallion.
QIPCO Falmouth Stakes (Eng-I), Newmarket, July 11; 3YO & Up, fillies and mares, one mile, turf.
No. PP. Horse, (Where Bred) (Sire), Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. 2. Certify (KY), (Elusive Quality), W. Buick, 133, C. Appleby
2. 5. Integral (GB), (Dalakhani), R. L. Moore, 133, M. Stoute
3. 3. Peace Burg (FR), (Sageburg), J. P. O'Brien, 133, A. P. O'Brien
4. 7. Purr Along (GB), (Mount Nelson), J. P. Spencer, 133, J. P. Murtagh
5. 1. Sky Lantern (IRE), (Red Clubs), R. Hughes, 133, R. Hannon
6. 4. Kiyoshi (GB), (Dubawi), H. Bentley, 124, C. Hills
7. 6. Rizeena (IRE), (Iffraaj), O. Peslier, 124, C. E. Brittain