Breeders' draw pleases Hannon
Richard Hannon junior has expressed his delight after Sky Lantern was given stall three for Friday's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.
The Hannon team have not enjoyed much luck at the high-octane meeting in recent years, with Paco Boy and Strong Suit both failing to produce their A-game in the last two renewals of the Mile.
Sky Lantern certainly has the right credentials having been prepared for her American jaunt since winning the Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh in September and on this occasion, the draw has been kind.
"So much better than last year when Strong Suit drew 11 from 13," Richard Hannon junior, assistant to his father, told www.richardhannonracing.co.uk.
"You need to break well in America, otherwise you are history, and neither Paco Boy in the Mile in 2010 nor Strong Suit last year ever got into the race after a tardy start.
"However, Sky Lantern has a real chance of getting competitive from her inside draw, because even if she does not break as quickly as the local runners she still has the opportunity to hold her position as those drawn outside use up petrol in trying to get across.
"Obviously, we don't know how Sky Lantern will take to the track - Strong Suit never got hold of the surface at Churchill Downs last year, while Paco Boy just could not handle the very sharp bends - but Hughesie (Richard Hughes) should have a better idea after giving her a spin around the course later in the week.
"For once, the draw has been kind to us, and it is a case of so far, so good."
Ralph Beckett's Waterway Run is in stall 10 and will be ridden by Frankie Dettori, while the Jeremy Noseda-trained The Gold Cheongsam is even wider in stall 12.
Aidan O'Brien's Infanta Branca, the mount of Ryan Moore, has been drawn stall 15 but is currently first reserve.
The European challenge is completed by French raider Flotilla (stall four).
The opening event on Friday's card is the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint, in which Tom Dascombe's Ceiling Kitty (stall two) is the sole British hope.
She faces six rivals.
O'Brien's Fame And Glory (stall two) tackles the dirt and 13 opponents over a mile and three-quarters in the Breeders' Cup Marathon.
He is joined by fellow Irish runner Sense Of Purpose (stall 13) from Dermot Weld's yard.
There is unsurprisingly a strong European interest in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf, with John Gosden's The Fugue (stall four) taking top billing among a field of 12 runners.
Last year's runner-up Nahrain (stall eight) is back for more for Roger Varian and Richard Hughes has picked up the ride on David Simcock's I'm A Dreamer (stall 11).
Ridasiyna (stall 10) goes for French handler Mikel Delzangles and O'Brien saddles the Ryan Moore-ridden Up (stall seven).
The main American hope is Marketing Mix (stall nine), whose trainer Tom Proctor told ESPN: "The Filly & Mare Turf is always one of the better races on the Breeders' Cup card.
"It's always very contentious, and the European horses seem real spectacular. They always come running with a good turn of foot, but our filly is a very nice mare and she's doing good."