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Sky Lantern brightens up Coronation Stakes

Richard Hughes ends his winless run at Royal Ascot coming home first aboard Sky Lantern on penultimate day of festival.

Last Modified: 21 Jun 2013 16:27
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Irish jockey Richard Hughes (R) is presented with award by Britain's Prince Andrew, The Duke of York (C) [EPA]

Sky Lantern followed up her victory in the 1,000 Guineas by winning the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot on Friday, ending champion jockey Richard Hughes' barren run at the prestigious meeting this week.

Hughes appeared close to tears after producing a superb ride on the 9-2 joint favorite, who came from the back of the 17-horse field and stalked main rival Just The Judge before bursting clear to win the day's big race by about four lengths.

"You have to have people behind you who trust you - I'm lucky,'' said Hughes, likely referring to trainer Richard Hannon.

She made them look slow, and they aren't bad, I can tell you

Richard Hughes, Champion jockey

"You have to believe in yourself and what you do."

Just The Judge, who lost to Sky Lantern in last month's 1,000 Guineas too, slipped back to place third, with French horse Kenhope coming second in the fillies-only race.

With Sky Lantern put way out in stall 16 of 17, Hughes had to judge the pace of his race and at one stage was in last place. But he accelerated as his rivals bunched and came through on the outside, pulling away as he crossed the line.

"She made them look slow, and they aren't bad, I can tell you," Hughes said.

After all the emotion of Thursday, when Queen Elizabeth II had a winning horse in the signature Gold Cup and the late Henry Cecil's wife also trained a winner, it was a low-key, next-to-last day at the famous flat-racing meeting.

Forgotten Voice, a 12-1 shot, won the Wolferton Handicap to give Johnny Murtagh a third victory of the week while trainer Hillstar reeled in evens favourite Battle of Marengo to win the King Edward VII Stakes.

That meant another triumph for jockey Ryan Moore and trainer Michael Stoute - who combined to land the Queen victory with Estimate in the Gold Cup.

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