Moonlight Cloud Shines Brightly at Deauville

Moonlight Cloud Shines Brightly at Deauville
Photo: John Gilmore
Moonlight Cloud wins the Prix Maurice Gheest-Goldikova

Moonlight Cloud took command within the final furlong and drew off to an impressive four-length victory in the $356,940 Prix Maurice de Gheest-Goldikova (Fr-I) at Deauville Aug. 7.

The victory was the first in a group I for the 3-year-old daughter of Invincible Spirit, and it gave trainer Freddy Head his fourth win in the last six runnings of the race.

A field of 13, highlighted by six group I winners, went to the post in the 6 1/2-furlong sprint. Favoritism went to British invader Dream Ahead, who had captured the Darley July Cup (Eng-I) in his last start. Other strong contenders were Golden Jubilee Stakes (Eng-I) winner Society Rock and Zoffany, who had finished a fast-closing second to Frankel in the St. James’s Palace Stakes (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot.

Moonlight Cloud broke alertly and was settled toward the rear of the field by jockey Thierry Jarnet after Markab went to the front to set the pace. He was soon joined by Libranno and Wootton Bassett, and the three outsiders provided a swift tempo through the early stages of the race.

Jarnet and Moonlight Cloud began to make up ground on the leaders with three furlongs to run. As the field entered the final two furlongs, Moonlight Cloud was in a challenging position, in the clear on the outside.

With just over a furlong to run, Moonlight Cloud took command and began to draw off. The 3-year-old filly continued to widen her lead in the final yards, crossing the wire an easy winner.

Society Rock made up ground late but was no match for the winner and had to settle for second, finishing a neck in front of Marchand d'Or.

Final time for the race was 1:16.40 over the soft going.

Moonlight Cloud, who races as a homebred for owner George Strawbridge Jr., now boasts a record of five wins from eight starts with earnings of $408,479. The bay filly was bred in England and is out of the Spectrum mare, Ventura. She hails from the immediate family of champions Generous and Imagine.

 

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