09/28/2013 2:31PM

Newmarket: Vorda wins Cheveley Park, headed for Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf

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Newmarket Racecourse in England hosted three group stakes Saturday, and the race with Breeders’ Cup implications was not the one you’d expect.

Berkshire won the Royal Lodge Stakes, a Breeders’ Cup Challenge Win and You’re In race, but probably won’t start again until 2014. Sky Lantern, who traveled to Santa Anita for the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf last season, powerfully won the Sun Chariot Stakes, but her major late-season international goal is Hong Kong, not California.

That leaves Vorda. She captured the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes for 2-year-old fillies, which is not a Win and You’re In race, but the France-based Vorda nevertheless will make her next start in the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf, where she’s certain to be among the favorites.

[BREEDERS' CUP CHALLENGE: Win and You’re In schedule and results]

Second to the unbeaten colt No Nay Never last out in the Group 1 Prix Morny at Deauville, Vorda, an Orpen filly, won the six-furlong Cheveley Park by three-quarters of a length over Princess Noor. She has yet to race beyond six furlongs while winning four of five starts, and the one-mile BC Juvenile Fillies Turf will administer a distance test.

The star of Newmarket’s card, though, was Sky Lantern, who took two recent losses through little fault of her own and further burnished a bright reputation with a one-length victory over Integral in the Group 1 Sun Chariot, a straight-course mile for fillies and mares.

The 3-year-old Sky Lantern won the Group 1 English 1000 Guineas and the Group 1 Coronation Cup earlier this year but had to settle for second behind Elusive Kate in the Falmouth Stakes, her first try against older horses, after Elusive Kate drifted out and mauled Sky Lantern in the race’s final stages. In the Nassau Stakes on Aug. 3, Sky Lantern found traffic trouble and might not have been at her best racing beyond one mile for the first time.

On Saturday, jockey Richard Hughes kept Sky Lantern at the rear of a field led down the straightaway by Just a Judge, and this time, when Elusive Kate again began drifting across the track, Sky Lantern was positioned well behind her. Elusive Kate’s wandering left a gaping hole for Sky Lantern, who burst through with fine acceleration to collar Integral a few strides before the finish.

Duntle, who ran below form in the Beverly D. at Arlington, returned to her better self and finished 2 1/2 lengths in front of Elusive Kate for third.

Sky Lantern, a Red Clubs filly trained by Richard Hannon for owner Ben Keswick, won for the sixth time in 12 starts and is one of the top milers in Europe. She is unlikely to make a return trip to the Breeders’ Cup, with her Hong Kong-based owner desirous of a start there in December.

The favored Berkshire was more workmanlike than brilliant in beating Somewhat by a neck and Sir Jack Layden by two necks in the Group 2 Royal Lodge over one mile. He will be aimed at the English 2000 Guineas next spring and might not race again until then.

John Murray More than 1 year ago
Duntle, Dank, Vorda, Sky Lantern any Euro connections, please consider shipping to Santa Anita, if only to get a financially rewarding opportunity to humble us North Americans. Seriously.
arthur spalding More than 1 year ago
Dank has already done that. The Euros have the upper hand this year on turf. They suck on dirt..we Americans humbly whip their tails annually