09/26/2013 3:54PM

Europe: Sun Chariot features rematch of Falmouth


The Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes is a Win and You’re In race for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, but the best race Saturday at Newmarket is the Group 1 Sun Chariot Stakes.

The Sun Chariot, for fillies and mares at one mile, features a rematch between Elusive Kate and Sky Lantern. The last meeting between the two, in the Falmouth Stakes on July 12, produced a neck victory for Elusive Kate, but not before she interfered with Sky Lantern to an extent that would have resulted in a disqualification had the race been run in North America. English stewards hand down disqualifications less frequently, and not only did Elusive Kate’s number stay up, but an appeal of the result by Sky Lantern’s connections was denied by the British Horseracing Authority.

Elusive Kate returned 16 days after the Falmouth and won the Group 1 Prix Rothschild in France, but she most recently finished an even seventh of 13 on Aug. 11 in a loaded edition of the Jacques Le Marois at Deauville.

Sky Lantern, at age 3 one year younger than Elusive Kate, turned in a somewhat disappointing post-Falmouth performance of her own when she could finish only fifth of 14 on Aug. 3 in the Nassau Stakes. But the 1 1/4-mile Nassau was her first try beyond a mile, and the classy, gray filly almost certainly is better suited to the one-mile distance to which she returns Saturday.

The race also includes the improving, dangerous Integral, a Michael Stoute-trained filly with three wins in four starts. Duntle could only finish seventh of nine last out in the Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington and has yet to beat a horse as good as Elusive Kate or Sky Lantern. A drying Newmarket course could boost the chances of Just the Judge, who is better than her 12th-place showing in the Nassau suggests.

The Royal Lodge is one of two important races for 2-year-olds on the card, the other being the Group 1 Cheveley Park for fillies. Kiyoshi and Joyeuse are the favorites among eight entered in the Cheveley Park. The Royal Lodge drew only five entrants, none of whom have won a group stakes – a far cry from some recent editions of the race, particularly 2010, when Frankel won.

◗ Though he suffered a surprising defeat earlier this month, defending champion Lord Kanaloa is the star attraction in the Group 1 Sprinters Stakes on Sunday at Nakayama Racecourse in Japan.