Freddie Head’s super filly Moonlight Cloud roared back into the winners’ enclosure after a brave display to see of the high-class Farhh in a pulsating renewal of the Group 1 Qatar Prix du Moulin de Longchamp on Sunday and now seems likely to be trained with a crack at the coveted Breeders’ Cup Mile in mind at Santa Anita in November, writes Elliot Slater.
The Freddie Head-trained four-year-old, a favourite of the Betfair racing community, was sent off even money joint-favourite in the four-runner field and after extricating herself from a pocket behind German 2000 Guineas winner Caspar Netscher, Thierry Jarnet’s mount quickened in the manner of a high-class performer to lead over a furlong from home and then proved her stamina at the trip by staying on bravely to deny Farhh by just a head, the pair pulling six-lengths clear of the third horse Sarkiyla.
Head was clearly thrilled by the victory of the daughter of Invincible Spirit, and having seen her prove her ability to stay the mile is keen for her to head to the Breeders’ Cup in less than two months time and try and emulate her now retired stable companion, the great Goldikova, who won the race on a remarkable three successive occasions.
Moonlight Cloud, landing her third Group 1 victory in a career that has seen her win eight of her 14 starts, had looked unlucky on her previous outing when denied a run at a crucial stage before finishing fast into fourth behind Excelebration in the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville in August. Earlier in the term she failed by just a head to spring one of the biggest ever shocks when only just losing out to the mighty unbeaten Australian sensation Black Caviar in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.