Cloud storms to Gheest victory as Dream fades

 

Every shuffle of this season's sprinting pack has produced a different hand and the latest was no exception.

The division is still in search of a definitive king but the latest ace to be dealt was a queen as the filly Moonlight Cloud returned to her best to run right away from her male rivals in yesterday's Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville.

The daughter of Invincible Spirit scorched home by four lengths under Thierry Jarnet. Her victims included the winners of the two previous European Group One dashes; Society Rock, who had taken the Golden Jubilee Stakes, was an honourable second, but Dream Ahead, made favourite on the strength of his July Cup victory, finished a lacklustre seventh.

Moonlight Cloud, a Freddy Head-trained stablemate of another top-class amazon in Goldikova, started favourite for the 1,000 Guineas but flopped behind Blue Bunting, with a long delay at the start put forward as one reason. Another is very likely lack of stamina for a mile in elite company and yesterday's drop back to six and a half furlongs brought her first success at the top level.

It gave Head his fourth in the past six runnings of the contest and very nearly a one-two after his veteran triple winner Marchard D'Or failed by a neck to catch the James Fanshawe-trained Society Rock. Genki was a nose behind in fourth, in front of another British raider, the early trailblazer Wootton Bassett.

"She was disappointing in the Guineas," said Head, "but she has always had class and this sort of distance is much better. They went a good pace and she settled well."

A slight step up in trip, to the seven furlongs of the Prix de La Forêt is planned for George Strawbridge's colourbearer, with Society Rock, Genki and Dream Ahead due to regroup in the Sprint Cup at Haydock over six. The last-named's trainer, David Simcock, was as mystified as any at the display by the three-year-old, who was never galloping with any elan under William Buick. "The gap was there for him, he just couldn't go through it," he said.

Some dreams are, however, still running. At the Curragh, Maybe consolidated her place at the head of the market for next year's 1,000 Guineas with a comfortable and thoroughly professional success in the Debutante Stakes. The Galileo filly made it four from four under her trainer Aidan O'Brien's son Joseph as she passed the line two and a half lengths clear of Yellow Rosebud and is now as short as 7-2 for the mile Classic.

Her next outing will be Ireland's top juvenile filly contest, the Moyglare Stud Stakes, back at the Co Kildare track later in the month. "We've gone gently with her since her last race at Leopardstown," said the trainer, "and she's done that well today. She's a very nice filly and very smart."

After winning easily at Royal Ascot, Maybe won only narrowly next time as she idled in front, hence her rider's insistence yesterday that she stretched clear. But the value of her neck success at Leopardstown could not have been better or more instantly demonstrated when her immediate victim, La Collina, followed her into the Curragh winner's enclosure after winning the season's first top-level juvenile race, the Phoenix Stakes. The Kevin Prendergast-trained 33-1 shot wove through her field from last to first to mug Maybe's stablemate Power, the 7-4 favourite, in the final strides and win by a neck.

She has leapfrogged up the Guineas betting to 7-1 and will take Maybe on again in the Moyglare Stud Stakes. "The boss said he thought the young fillies might be better than the colts this year," said rider Declan McDonagh "and he could be right. This one was outpaced early and then I had to switch a couple of times but she's all heart."

Power's defeat lost him the 2,000 Guineas favouritism to Harbour Watch.

In the Royal Whip Stakes at the Curragh, the ultra-tough Banimpire put Dunboyne Express in his place as she gained compensation for her short-head defeat by Blue Bunting in the Irish Oaks. And in Düsseldorf the Epsom heroine Dancing Rain, only fifth in that Curragh Classic, stamped her class, making every yard of the running to take the German Oaks.

Turf Account

Chris McGrath's Nap

Backtrade (5.40 Windsor)

There was much to like about his debut fourth behind and in front of subsequent winners, before finding soft ground against him next time.

Next Best

Dutch Heritage (6.00 Thirsk)

Is related to top sprinters and, though qualified for nurseries after three progressive runs, sticks to maidens with his stable jockey on for the first time.

One To Watch

La Zamora (David Barron) missed the break at Haydock and ran into traffic problems before finishing strongly.

Where the money's going

Ile De Re (Ian Williams) was cut across the board (most dramatically by Coral, 16-1 from 33s) for the Ebor after winning at Ascot on Saturday.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Data Specialist

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

Recruitment Genius: Search Marketing Specialist - PPC / SEO

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test