Elusive Kate Claims Falmouth Stakes
1 Elusive Kate 3/1
Elusive Kate resisted the challenge of odds-on favourite Sky Lantern to claim Group One honours in the Etihad Airways Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket.
William Buick quickly steered last year's runner-up to the front for this clash of the generations, with Richard Hughes never too far away aboard the 1000 Guineas and Coronation Stakes heroine, who was sent off the 4-7 favourite.
Buick kicked for home well over a furlong out on John Gosden's filly (3-1) and though she hung left under pressure, gradually carrying Sky Lantern across the track, she was always doing enough and held on by a neck. Defending champion Giofra was ultimately well held in third.
The stewards held an inquiry into the result, but the placings remained unaltered despite Hughes appearing to make a good case for his filly in the televised hearing, where he said Buick's whip twice struck his mount in the face.
Gosden said: "She's a filly that often drifts left, she did it when she won as a two-year-old and she did the same thing in the Marcel Boussac at Longchamp, she drifted. William left the gate with the stick in his left hand and it never moved from his left hand.
"They went to go to the middle, she went to the rail and they're sitting on her. When horses come under pressure on fast ground it's going to happen, but William always had his stick in the correct hand. There's been no contact.
"She loves to bowl along. If there's pace she'll sit off it, otherwise she'd be prepared to do that (make the running). She's been racing a lot against the colts and it's nice to get back among the fillies. There's tons of talent there.
"The Prix Rothschild, which she won last year, is the obvious one to go for, and then after that there's races like the Matron and the Prix Jacques le Marois, although horses like Intello and Dawn Approach will be going there so we might wait for the Matron, and you might want to go for a Breeders' Cup Mile later on."
Buick said: "She hung to her left and I ended up taking Richard with me, but she beat her (Sky Lantern) fair and square and she's a very good filly.
"I wish she hadn't hung left, as she would have shown it was fair and square, but she's done it all her life. She costs herself a lot of ground by doing it, but she keeps winning and she's never run a bad race. She's an absolute joy for a jockey to ride. I'm very pleased for her and the team at home, who've done a very good job."
Etihad Airways Falmouth Stakes (British Champions Series)
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