06/21/2013 1:23PM

Royal Ascot: Sky Lantern runs away with Coronation Stakes

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Sky Lantern gave top jockey Richard Hughes his first British classic win last month, and she saved his Royal Ascot meeting Friday.

Nearly seven weeks after winning the Group 1 English 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, Sky Lantern won Friday’s Group 1 Coronation Stakes, the top race for 3-year-olds fillies over the five days of racing at Royal Ascot.

The $546,000 Coronation Stakes was billed as a matchup between two 1000 Guineas winners – Sky Lantern and Just the Judge, who won the Irish 1000 Guineas on May 26.

But Sky Lantern’s performance made the contest lopsided. Sent off as the 9-2 joint favorite with Big Break, Sky Lantern won by four lengths over 33-1 Kenhope. Just the Judge, a 5-1 chance, finished third, beaten 4 1/4 lengths in the field of 17.

Hughes, who spent Friday morning on a local golf course, reflected on a frustrating week after winning on Sky Lantern.

“What a relief, what a relief,” Hughes said. “Everything has gone wrong.”

Sky Lantern closed from the back of the field before reaching contention with a quarter-mile remaining. She took the lead with a furlong to go.

“She’s a brilliant filly who had no recognition after the Guineas,” Hughes said. “She was brilliant [Friday]. She will get further.”

Trained by Richard Hannon for Ben Keswick, Sky Lantern has won 5 of 9 starts. One of her losses was an eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Santa Anita last November.

In the $273,000 King Edward VII Stakes on Friday, Hillstar won his group stakes debut, closing from the back of a field of eight to finish a length in front of the 10-11 favorite Battle of Marengo.

Ridden by Ryan Moore for Michael Stoute, Hillstar took the lead in the last sixteenth to win the Group 2 race over 1 1/2 miles on turf for 3-year-olds.