Irish raider lands Queen's Vase at Royal Ascot

June 21, 2013 at 12:55 PM
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ASCOT, England, June 21 (UPI) -- Royal Ascot's Friday races produced another win for the Irish and a stellar showing by the 3-year-old filly Sky Lantern.

Sky Lantern backed up her victory in the 1,000 Guineas with an impressive, 4-lengths win in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes. After being held up in the rear of the field under Richard Hughes, the Irish-bred Red Clubs filly made smooth progress, took the lead with a furlong to run and was in total command in the late going. Kenhope was a long shot second, with Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Just the Judge settling for third.

Sky Lantern, trained by Richard Hannon, has five wins from nine starts and appears to be headed the right direction.

Leading Light continued an impressive Royal Ascot showing by Irish horses with a victory in the Group 3 Queen's Vase, In Memory of Sir Henry Cecil, for 3-year-olds. Feel Like Dancing was second, 1 1/2 lengths back, and Boite finished third. Lady Jane Cecil, who took over her husband's training duties after his death last week, saddled Disclaimer, who finished 12th in the Vase. Leading Light, a Montjeu colt trained by Aidan O'Brien and ridden by Joseph O'Brien, won for the fourth straight time, stepping up from a group 3 win at the Curragh last month. Irish-bred horses have been prominent throughout the early days of the Royal meeting.

Hillstar rallied in the final furlong to get the better of the favorite, Battle of Marengo, in the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes for 3-year-olds, kicking clear in the final yards to win by 1 length. Mutashaded finished third. Hillstar, a Danehill Dancer colt, won for the second time in his first effort at the Group level. He got 1 1/2 miles in 2:30.09 with Ryan Moore riding for trainer Sir Michael Stoute. Battle of Marengo had won five straight starts before getting home fourth in the Epsom Derby.

Kiyoshi was slow out of the stalls in the Group 3 Albany Stakes for 2-year-old fillies but quickened nicely late to win by 3 1/4 lengths over the favorite, Sandiva. Kiyoshi, a Dubawi filly, won for the second time, finishing 6 furlongs in 1:13.82 with Jamie Spencer up for trainer Charles Hills.

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