Elusive Kate (left) and Sky Lantern clashing in Friday's FalmouthPICTURE: Martin Lynch (racingpost.com/photos)
Elusive Kate keeps Falmouth after stewards'
Report: Newmarket, Friday
Etihad Airways Falmouth Stakes (Group 1) 1m, 3yo+ fillies
ELUSIVE KATE upset Sky Lantern to win the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket on Friday, but connections had to endure a stewards' inquiry to keep the race after their filly hung left, forcing the odds-on favourite right across the track.
William Buick sent the John Gosden-trained Elusive Kate into an early lead, a move covered by Richard Hughes on Sky Lantern.
Last year's Falmouth winner Giofra sat third with Purr Along last under Frankie Dettori.
Little changed in the race until two furlongs out when Buick asked the 3-1 winner to quicken. Her response was to hang left, taking Sky Lantern with her into the centre and then to the far side of the July course.
They flashed by the winning post with Elusive Kate holding the advantage by a neck, but a stewards' inquiry was quickly called.
Gosden and Buick, interviewed before the inquiry, seemed optimistic they would keep the race.
Gosden said: "There was no contact and William did nothing wrong."
Buick pointed to Elusive Kate's previous when it came to hanging.
"She's done it all her life," he said. "When she won the Marcel Boussac as a two-year-old she ended up on the far rail, which is a long way at Longchamp."
In the stewards' inquiry, which was screened live on Channel 4, Hughes did his best to get the result changed, which would have given 1,000 Guineas and Coronation Stakes winner Sky Lantern her third Group 1 of the year.
"My filly's running straight as a gun-barrel," said the champion jockey.
"I've gone to join Mr Buick at the two pole and from the two pole to the winning line he's taken me right across the track."
Hughes, who acknowledged there was no contact between the two fillies, added: "He's hit my filly twice across the face. My filly is impeded and has to run away from Mr Buick."
Buick, who won the Prix Rothschild on the daughter of Elusive Quality last year, responded by saying: "As fas as the result is concerned there is no question Elusive Kate was the best horse in the race.
"She was always holding the second and I did my best to keep her straight. I tried to put my hand on the reins to the right and felt using my whip in my left hand was the best chance of keeping her straight."
Buick did pick up a three-day ban for careless riding and misses July 26, 28 and 29.
A return to Deauville for a defence of the Rothschild is on Elusive Kate's agenda.
Gosden, who trains the four-year-old for Teruya Yoshida, said: "The Prix Rothschild is the obvious race again next. After the Prix Rothschild there are races like the Matron and Prix Jacques le Marois and we might even want to go to the Breeders' Cup Mile."