When jockey Richard Hughes rode the winner back to the enclosure he exchanged a high 5 with his brother-in-law, trainer Richard Hannon junior, and Hughes junior, young Harvey.
This was a victory that meant a great deal to the two men and to the extended family.
Earlier in the summer they had been convinced Sky Lantern would have won the Falmouth Stakes in July but for interference from the eventual winner, Elusive Kate. The Hannon family appealed and appealed, but lost all appeals. But jockey and trainer remain convinced the grey would have won but for the actions of Elusive Kate and her jockey that day, William Buick.
But that was put to bed when revenge was a dish best served cold.
In this instance, very cold, as Sky Lantern won the Sun Chariot and Elusive Kate finished fourth.
Richard Hannon junior said: “She’s a very special filly and she’s got a special relationship with Hughesie – his first classic winner in the 1000 Guineas – and it’s so nice to see her come back. She’s our sort of filly. She didn’t cost a fortune (75.000 Euros). She’s got the heart of a lion and trains very hard. Never once has she given us a worry and she’s a pleasure to have around.”
Richard Hughes dropped the filly in at the back of the field. Someone I watched the race with could hardly believe he won from that position.
But, wearing my profitable punter hat, I was confident Hughesie would deliver Sky Lantern to victory.
Hughes said: “I couldn’t use her turn of foot at Newmarket (in the Falmouth) because I was dragged off a straight line but that’s in the past and I’m glad she showed how good she was today.
“The important things is that you have to leave her alone in her races. I got into a barging match at Goodwood and she didn’t like it. I was so confident about the Sun Chariot race as the last piece of work she did beforehand was the best she’s ever done.”
Hannon confirmed that the next outing for Sky Lantern is likely to be in December in Hong Kong.