Sky Lantern team reawaken pursuit of Elusive victory

Hannon swayed by pressure to appeal against controversial Falmouth Stakes ruling

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Sky Lantern was not only carried off a straight course at the end of the mile contest, but was intimidated by the flicking whip of William Buick on Elusive Kate, and not only the prestige of a Group One win but some £100,000 prize-money is at stake. “Though we were originally going to take the decision on the chin, so many people have insisted we have a strong case we have backtracked and decided to give it a shot,” Hannon said. The appeal is scheduled for Thursday.

The heroine of the 1,000 Guineas and Coronation Stakes may take on older fillies again next month in the 10-furlong Nassau Stakes at Goodwood, one of two top-level prizes at the Glorious meeting. In the other, the Sussex Stakes, her stablemate Toronado will face his old rival Dawn Approach for the third time, with the score 2-0 in the Irish raider’s favour.

The outcome of a horserace, however prestigious, is – obviously – put into perspective by graver racecourse incidents. Yesterday came the welcome news that the condition of jockey Brian Toomey is improving as he recovers in a Dundee hospital from head injuries sustained in a fall at Perth 12 days ago. The 24-year-old underwent surgery to reduce swelling on his brain and is no longer under sedation. Lisa Hancock, of the Injured Jockeys’ Fund, said: “I spoke to Brian’s mother and she reported that he made good steady progress over the weekend.”

Two fillies, Riposte and Venus De Milo, were added yesterday to Saturday’s Irish Oaks, bringing the field for the €400,000 (£346,000) Curragh showpiece to 13 at this stage. Lady Cecil’s charge Riposte won the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot last month and Venus de Milo (Aidan O’Brien) a Classic trial at Naas and either would have to finish first or second to recoup the €40,000 late entry fee. The favourite is the Ralph Beckett-trained Oaks heroine Talent, with the Tommy Stack contender Alive Alive Oh perceived as best of the home defence.