x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Sky Lantern and Vorda book tickets to Hong Kong and United States

Sky Lantern is in line to jet to Hong Kong after running out an easy winner of the Sun Chariot Stakes on Sunday, and Vorda could head to the United States from her French base in a bid to prove she can stay a mile at the Breeders’ Cup.

Sky Lantern may be looking at a change of scenery to Hong Kong after winning the Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket on September 28. Alan Crowhurst / Getty Images
Sky Lantern may be looking at a change of scenery to Hong Kong after winning the Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket on September 28. Alan Crowhurst / Getty Images

NEWMARKET, ENGLAND // When the leaves turn in Europe, trainers start making concrete plans for the big international targets and both Sky Lantern and Vorda are set to go on their travels after securing Group 1 success on the Rowley Mile on Saturday.

Sky Lantern is in line to jet to Hong Kong after running out an easy winner of the Sun Chariot Stakes, while Vorda could head west from her French base in a bid to prove she can stay a mile at the Breeders’ Cup.

Of the two, Sky Lantern was the most impressive with Richard Hughes’s bullish comments in the lead-up to the mile contest proving spot on as he guided the grey filly from last to first in an irresistible charge up the middle of the track.

Hughes was motionless as his mount approached the line, not needing to urge her onwards as he judged the length back to Integral and Ryan Moore was more than adequate.

Having won the English 1,000 Guineas and Coronation Cup, Sky Lantern has now proved that she is top of the fillies’ mile division in Europe.

She is not bombproof though as her defeats to Elusive Kate, who was fourth, however, and Winsili, illustrate that when things do not go her way she can be a tricky ride.

It was something Hughes was mindful of with regards to Hong Kong, where he rode Dubawi Gold into fourth in the BMW Hong Kong Mile in December 2011.

“They go around like a bunch of sardines there,” he said of the intimate nature of Sha Tin.

“I would prefer if she went for the 10-furlong race as it would give her time to catch up.”

Sky Lantern was fifth as a two year old in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Santa Anita last season and Vorda will now head to California to try to better that run.

Sky Lantern was beaten by Flotilla, owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa of Qatar, who bought Vorda outright after her defeat to American raider No Nay Never in the Prix Morny in Deauville last month.

Another horse that will depart Europe is Educate, who won the 31-runner Cambridgeshire handicap for Ismail Mohammed.

Mohammed was the leading trainer at the Dubai World Cup Carnival in 2007 and will return to Dubai with his stable flag-bearer.

“The more horses there are, the more it is a challenge,” Mohammed said.

“To win this race is my dream. Educate will be my first runner at the Carnival this season.”

sports@thenational.ae