Thursday, October 13, 2011

Moonlight set to shine in Ascot sprint

Freddie Head’s high-class three-year-old filly Moonlight Cloud has been confirmed an intended runner on Champions Day at Ascot on October 15 and will target the six furlong Group 2 Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes, writes Elliot Slater.

There had been plenty of speculation in Horse racing betting circles that the daughter of Invincible Spirit might take on her legendary stable companion Goldikova in the Prix de la Foret at Longchamp on Arc day, but in the end Head decided to keep the two apart and will run Moonlight Cloud over six furlongs for the first time in her career having seen the recent Prix Maurice de Gheest winner show a devastating turn of foot at Deauville to beat Golden Jubilee Stakes winner Society Rock by an easy four-lengths in the Group 1 event.

Clearly believing that his filly is getting faster and will act well on the stiff six furlong track at Ascot, Head is confident that Thierry Jarnet’s mount will run a very big race indeed, and her presence in the contest will add another dimension to the puzzle in which Wokingham Handicap winner Deacon Blues, (a very impressive winner recently a Newbury in much higher grade), heads the market with best racing odds of 11/4, with Moonlight Cloud available at 4/1.

Prior to her success at Deauville over seven furlongs, Moonlight Cloud had won a Group 3 at Longchamp, whilst on her previous outing she found only Sahpresa to good in the Group 3 Prix du Palais Royal, also at the central Paris venue. That form received another massive boost when Sahpresa went on to easily land the Group 1 Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket for the third year in succession at the end of September, so assuming that Head is right and his filly has the necessary pace for the drop back in trip, she could very easily turn out to be a massive danger to the established six-furlong performers.

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