Head confident Moonlight can steal the scene in Cup Mile
In the half light of a foggy dawn here yesterday, customers at the Clockers' Corner kitchen seemed decidedly unnerved by the automated Halloween manikins snarling around the serving hatch. But it was a blithe spirit who haunted the scene most convincingly, as Freddy Head returned to the scene of two of Goldikova's three Breeders' Cup Mile wins with another filly, Moonlight Cloud – and, seemingly, fairly similar expectations.
Moonlight Cloud must reverse the form of their meeting at Deauville in August with Excelebration, the hottest favourite of the entire European raiding party. But her trainer seems confident she can do so, having been hampered before finishing best that day. Either side of that defeat, she has won Group One prizes over six and a half furlongs, and then a mile.
"It's very hard to compare her with Goldikova, and not fair," Head said. "You can only get one Goldikova. But this filly is very good – very good. She could be that same class. She was very unlucky against Excele-bration. I think we should have won. I think the course will favour us, and we are the ones to beat."
A fascinating tactical race beckons, with a local tearaway in Obviously setting the riders of Moonlight Cloud, Excelebration and Wise Dan a test of nerve. "I think it will suit her," Head said. "She's an easy filly to settle. The faster they go, the better."
Aidan O'Brien, supervising another elite squad this year, admitted that just two weeks gives Excelebration limited time to absorb his dazzling effort at Ascot in The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. But the Ballydoyle trainer's greatest concern was Starspangledbanner, who tackles the Turf Sprint after a failed stint at stud. "Since he arrived, all four of his legs have been a bit 'humid', because he didn't do much walking," O'Brien said. "But we're treating it and hope it disappears quickly."
Chris McGrath's Nap
Norfolk Sky (5.40 Kempton) Has built up a solid profile in handicaps and will surely take plenty of beating now she drops to a seller.
Aragorn Rouge (6.10 Kempton) Has plunged down the weights and showed a lot more when heavily backed last time.
Where the money's going
Moonlight Cloud is 9-2 from 5-1 with Coral for the Breeders' Cup Mile on Saturday.
Latest in Sport
Arturo Vidal to Manchester United: Midfielder set to force through move to Louis van Gaal's Red Devils - reports
Manchester United transfer news: Mats Hummels, Daley Blind and Thomas Vermaelen on radar as Louis van Gaal reveals he still wants to sign defender
Liverpool transfer news: Brendan Rodgers plans more Anfield signings this summer
Chelsea transfer news: Jose Mourinho confirms Fernando Torres is staying at Stamford Bridge
Sami Khedira latest: Real Madrid desperate to sell midfielder to Arsenal rather than lose him for free to Bayern Munich next summer
- 1 Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 5 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
competitive: Progressive Recruitment: I recruit for contract mechanical design...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Working with an exciting ...
competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client based in the Midlands is looki...
£20000 - £24000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Ecommerce Executive Working with an...