April 18, 2021 - NEWBURY, Race 1, Msw, GBP £10,000, 8.0F, .0000

Snow Lantern (GB), F, 3, 2018 by Frankel (GB)

1st Dam: Sky Lantern (Ire) (Hwt. 2yo Filly-Ire, G1SW-Ire, MG1SW-Eng, $1,252,123), by Red Clubs (Ire)
2nd Dam: Shawaanni (GB), by Shareef Dancer
3rd Dam: Negligent (Ire), by Ahonoora (GB)

Owner: Rockcliffe Stud
Breeder: Rockcliffe Stud (GB)
Trainer: Richard Hannon

Newbury's card-opening Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships Maiden S. saw a new TDN Rising Star emerge as Rockcliffe Stud's homebred Snow Lantern (GB) (Frankel {GB}) cut a dash in the country's best-contested race of its type so far this season. Entered in the May 2 G1 1000 Guineas that her illustrious dam Sky Lantern (Ire) (Red Clubs {Ire}) captured in 2013, the grey was second-best in the betting for the mile contest at 3-1 behind Juddmonte's Derab (GB) (Sea the Stars {Ire}), the John and Thady Gosden-trained half-brother to Enable (GB) (Nathaniel {Ire}). Always travelling with abundant enthusiasm tracking the leader under Sean Levey, the grey was allowed to take command with two furlongs remaining and galloped relentlessly and true to the line to beat that 11-8 market-leader by 1 3/4 lengths, with Fantastic Fox (GB) (Frankel {GB}) a short head behind in third. The three class acts drew upwards of nine lengths away from the rest, giving the form the solid underbelly required for the case for the winner to take the plunge in three weeks' time.

Trainer Richard Hannon was keen to plead the case to the owner-breeders to take a chance in the Newmarket Classic and said, "She's been working great and I always thought she was a very good filly. She's very highly-strung, but behaved lovely there and I haven't enjoyed watching a race like that for a long time. I was expecting her to be keen, but she did it beautifully and Sean said her stride pattern is not normal. Hopefully she's a little bit special and it is more relief that I feel today. I'm very tempted to go for the Guineas-there's only one and although the breeder had said they don't want to go into the deep end I'll discuss it with them next week. The mare won two group 1s on the Rowley Mile and she's a very clever filly who works things out for herself."

Snow Lantern, who was second on debut to the subsequent G2 May Hill S. third Zabeel Queen (Ire) (Frankel {GB}) at Ascot in July, emerged as a live contender for the Guineas during a week where the established trials were in some part overshadowed by races outside of the Pattern. With the colt Mutasaabeq (GB) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) impressing in a Newmarket novice on Tuesday and the 1000 Guineas betting currently dominated by a Ballydoyle filly who has only a 2-year-old maiden win to her name, this could be a year when those with the leading juvenile form play second-fiddle to the emerging forces. Hannon also saddled the proven Happy Romance (Ire) (Dandy Man {Ire}) in the card's G3 Fred Darling S., but his response when asked to compare the two was illuminating. "Happy Romance has won a group 3, but Snow Lantern is by Frankel out of Sky Lantern and has the lot," he said. "How far she goes we'll see throughout the year, but if she goes to the top it wouldn't surprise me."

Sky Lantern had considerably more experience by the time she went to post for her Guineas, having won the G1 Moyglare Stud S., and held her form into the autumn when adding the G1 Sun Chariot S. to her tally which also included the G1 Coronation S. She is a half to four pattern-race performers with the stayer Shanty Star (Ire) (Hector Protector) and sprinter Arctic (Ire) (Shamardal) successful in group 3 company. She is a granddaughter of Negligent (Ire) (Ahonoora {GB}), the champion 2-year-old filly in England in 1989 courtesy of her win in the G3 Rockfel S. who was later third in her 1000 Guineas. After Snow Lantern there is the 2-year-old colt First Emperor (GB) (Galileo {Ire}) and a yearling son of Kingman (GB).

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