Jockey Sean Levey confident Snow Lantern can light up Newmarket’s Sun Chariot Stakes

SEAN Levey’s big race strike-rate at Newmarket is the envy of the weighing room.

Sean Levey has high hopes for Snow Lantern in today's Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket.

He won the 1000 Guineas in 2019 on Billesdon Brook – his first Classic – before partnering the filly to Group One success in the Sun Chariot Stakes on the Rowley Mile.

And, having won this summer’s Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket, one of the races of the year, on Snow Lantern, Levey has high hopes that they grey can land today’s renewal of the Sun Chariot.

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This is a particularly strong renewal of a Group One race – part of the Qipco British Champions Series – that is staged for fillies aged three and upwards.

Sean Levey and Snow Lantern (left) swoop late to win the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket.

But the Richard Hannon-trained Snow Lantern had six of her rivals here behind her when taking the Falmouth Stakes in a frantic finish.

And Levey, who was born in Swaziland, believes the nature of the Rowley Mile, which is not dissimilar to Newmarket’s July Course on which Snow Lantern won the Falmouth, will suit his filly ideally.

“It looks a very good race but on the Falmouth form she’s entitled to be favourite. She usually tends to travel in your hands a little more than ideal, but she was relatively settled that day and she travelled brilliantly,” he said.

“As a result she relished the track, and particularly the stiff incline up towards the line, which is where she was at her best. The Rowley Mile also has that stiff incline at the end, and that’s going to suit her again.

This was Sean Levey winning the 1000 Guineas in 2019 on Billesdon Brook.

“Newmarket is ultimately a very fair track, despite the undulations, and I always look forward to riding there. It’s racing’s headquarters, and we all want to be riding at the best meetings when we can.

“Also, they tend to go a gallop there, which you don’t always get on courses with a bend.”

Snow Lantern made rapid headway in the final furlong of the Falmouth and got up in the final strides to collar the Qipco 1000 Guineas winner Mother Earth and Alcohol Free, with Primo Bacio, Just Beautiful, Lavender’s Blue, Saffron Beach and Champers Elysees all further back.

She was not seen to quite such good advantage since behind Alcohol Free in the Sussex, where a six-day ban incurred in the Falmouth prevented Levey from maintaining the partnership, or in the Prix Du Moulin.

But Levey believes her fourth behind rising superstar Baaeed at Longchamp was better than the bare form indicates, besides which she subsequently scoped dirty.

“At the time I came away from Longchamp a bit disappointed, as she was second favourite, but I think the winner is very, very good and the track wasn’t ideal for her,” he reflected.

“She wasn’t beaten that far and there were plenty of positives to take out of it. It emerged after that she hadn’t scoped the best either, which you have to take into consideration, and this time her scopes have been really good.

“I did a little bit on her on Wednesday, and she went well. Like her mother Sky Lantern, she’s not one to light up the gallops, but I was very happy with her. She’s in great order.”

Alcohol Free’s absence has enabled Ed Walker to secure the services of champion jockey Oisin Murphy for Primo Bacio, who was a strong-finishing fifth in the Falmouth Stakes and ran better than her bare form suggests in the Deauville race.

Walker said: “Getting Oisin on a day like this is a fantastic result for us. I gave him the choice between the two fillies and he chose Primo Bacio, despite having won the Valiant at Ascot on Dreamloper.

“Primo obviously has some rock solid form until a slightly unexplained run at York last time. She’s been very unlucky not to be placed in the Falmouth or the Rothschild, and hopefully they won’t get too much rain before we put her away for next year.

“She ran great in the Falmouth, but the winner slightly hampered her at a crucial stage. At Deauville the ground could have been quicker and she just never got a fair crack at it.”

Meanwhile, in-form Malton trainer Richard Fahey saddles Fev Rover – named after Featherstone Rovers.