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Sky Lantern gives Hughes his first British Classic

5 May 2013

Toronado may have disappointed the Hughes-Hannon camp yesterday, but they made up for that in style today as Sky Lantern came late to capture the QIPCO 1000 Guineas from Just The Judge in second.

A delighted Richard Hughes enters the winner’s enclosure on Sky Lantern after their QIPCO 1000 Guineas triumph. Image courtesy of racingfotos.com.

The disappointment after Toronado’s fourth place in yesterday’s QIPCO 2000 Guineas was soon forgotten as Sky Lantern came late on the scene to win the QIPCO 1000 Guineas for trainer Richard Hannon and jockey Richard Hughes.

It was Hughes’s first British Classic as he timed his challenge to perfection, just getting past Just The Judge, who looked sure to win when she struck the front inside the final furlong, in the final strides.

Just The Judge ran a fine race on her seasonal debut for Qatar Racing, a subsidiary of QIPCO Holding, sponsors of the race and the British Champions Series. She looks sure to make a big impact in the months ahead.

A delighted Hughes said of Sky Lantern: "They didn’t go over fast – it was all about giving her plenty of cover. She was tough to see it out to the line.

"My wife was so upset (after Toronado’s defeat) – I was consoling her all night – but today was great. I believed in this filly.

"I knew I gave her a bad ride the last day, but she’s a good filly and loves that fast ground. It’s thoroughly deserved.

"It’s taken a long time (to win a British Classic)."

Richard Hannon jnr, son and assistant to his father, said: "We were pretty low after yesterday. It was a very disappointing, but she deserved a bit of luck, this filly.

"She went to America (Breeders’ Cup) and didn’t get any luck and then she bumped into a very good filly (Hot Snap) who didn’t run her race today.

"I’m delighted for Hughesie. He’s one of the best jockeys ever and I’m just delighted he’s done it on one of ours."