Richard Hannon insists Snow Lantern is capable of “settling a score” by going one better than her mother Sky Lantern eight years ago in the Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes at the Moët & Chandon July Festival on Friday (July 9th).
The Frankel filly will bid to secure victory in the race that eluded her illustrious mother, who finished second in the 2013 renewal, when attempting to open her own account at the top level in the mile Group One feature.
Arriving on the back of victories in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas and Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, Sky Lantern had to settle for second best in her quest for a Group One hat-trick behind Elusive Kate, who held on to first place following a stewards’ inquiry.
After running out a stylish winner of a maiden at Newbury on her return Snow Lantern ran below expectations when finishing third in a Listed race at York before finding only Alcohol Free too strong on her Group One debut in the Coronation Stakes at the Royal meeting.
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.
“She 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.”
Assessing Snow Lantern’s season so far, Hannon believes her effort at the Royal meeting last time out confirmed that she firmly belongs at the top table.
He said: “Her performance in the maiden at Newbury was top class. She has been brilliant apart from that one bad race at York, where she was disappointing. She didn’t breathe for three furlongs - she just held her breath.
“She was back to her best at Ascot. She came with a lovely run, she just got tight for room for a little bit but she ran a lovely race and it showed you could put a line through the York effort.
“She hasn’t been thrown in the deep end every time this year or last year but we are there now and she is able to compete at that level, she just needs to get a bit of luck.”
Among the likely opposition Snow Lantern will face is her conqueror from the Royal meeting, Alcohol Free, and Hannon is confident that with a bit of luck his filly can turn the tables.
He said: “The winner won well at Ascot but we look forward to taking her on again in the Falmouth. I always hate saying we could reverse the form as the winner that day at Ascot ran well.
“We didn’t really have the rub of the green that day. Hopefully the ground will be better this time which will help our filly.”
Although Snow Lantern has a long way to go to match the exploits of Sky Lantern, Hannon admits there are plenty of similarities between mother and daughter.
He explained: “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.”
Meanwhile Hannon is leaning towards dropping recent course winner Lusail back to six furlongs on Thursday in the Group Two Tattersalls July Stakes.
Having made a winning debut at York, the son of Mehmas then lost his unbeaten record at Pontefract before making his first start over seven furlongs a winning one at the July Course last time out.
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.”