Pacy Moonlight Cloud earns her Ennis moment and routs rivals

 

The showcasing of female athletic talent is not confined to events with an Olympic tag, it seems. Charisma on the racetrack is currently largely the province of fillies and mares – with the honourable exception of the colts Frankel and Camelot – and yesterday Moonlight Cloud, who gave Australia's heroine Black Caviar such a fright at Royal Ascot, confirmed herself pretty much Europe's best sprinter with a with a rout of her rivals in the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville.

It was a repeat victory for the four-year-old in the Group One speedsters' highlight of the Normandy season, and in a faster time and by a greater margin than last year, despite softer ground. Twelve months ago, George Strawbridge's homebred had four lengths to spare over Society Rock; this time Wizz Kid, another of "Les Girls", was five lengths adrift.

The result was never in doubt from the moment Thierry Jarnet asked Moonlight Cloud to quicken before the final furlong, and was rewarded with such a response that he was able to ease down the 7-10 favourite before the line. A daughter of Invincible Spirit, she has not yet, nor is likely to, replace the mighty and now-retired miler Goldikova in their Chantilly-based trainer Freddy Head's affections, but she is much appreciated.

She was only a head behind Black Caviar in the Golden Jubilee Stakes in June, on a track that Head considers does not play to her strengths. "She adores the track here at Deauville, which is very flat," he said. "I think Ascot, which climbs at the finish, isn't so much to her advantage. She doesn't quite have the same burst of acceleration uphill. Today she was amazing, winning a Group One race within herself. There will never be another Goldikova for me, but this is still an exceptional filly."

Bloke pride was slightly salvaged by the sole challenger from Britain, The Cheka, who finished a close fourth but was promoted to third after being hampered close home by the horse inches in front of him, American Devil. "Not quite a gold," was his trainer Eve Johnson Houghton's reaction, "but he's on the podium with a bronze."

A colt for whom there were medal hopes early in the season, Akeed Mofeed, put his campaign back on track with an easy, confidence-boosting success at Cork. The son of Dubawi had been fancied during the winter for Classic glory, but assorted physical niggles kept him off the track until the Irish Derby, where he was a distant but creditable fourth to Camelot.

Trainer John Oxx will continue to keep the three-year-old's assignments low-key for the moment. "In a sense we're starting him off again," he said. "He's in the Irish Champion Stakes, but that might be a bit too much."

The Dermot Weld-trained Sapphire, who outclassed her rivals in the 12-furlong Group Three distaff contest on the same card, has the Irish St Leger inked in on her programme, and the Melbourne Cup in pencil.

Turf account

Chris McGrath's Nap: Royal Aspiration (2.15 Ripon)

His unplaced effort on heavy ground at Newbury last time was better than his two runner-up maiden efforts and there should be further progress to come on the step up to six furlongs in a less hectic contest.

Next Best: Catflap (6.50 Wolverhampton)

Was in front at today's distance in a furlong longer and better contest at the track last week, and races off the same mark for her first try at the minimum trip.

One To Watch: Mister Music (Richard Hannon) was patently very unlucky when third behind Fulbright at Glorious Goodwood on Friday, undone by his draw and traffic problems, and will surely pick up a good prize before the season's end.

Where The Money's Going: Motivado's odds for the Ebor Handicap at York have tumbled across the board. A 20-1 shot before his handicap romp at Goodwood on Saturday, Sir Mark Prescott's charge is now favourite, as short as 4-1.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Powdered colors are displayed for sale at a market ahead of the Holi festival in Bhopal, India
techHere's what you need to know about the riotous occasion
Arts and Entertainment
Larry David and Rosie Perez in ‘Fish in the Dark’
theatreReview: Had Fish in the Dark been penned by a civilian it would have barely got a reading, let alone £10m advance sales
News
Details of the self-cleaning coating were published last night in the journal Science
science
News
Approved Food sell products past their sell-by dates at discounted prices
i100
News
Life-changing: Simone de Beauvoir in 1947, two years before she wrote 'The Second Sex', credited as the starting point of second wave feminism
peopleHer seminal feminist polemic, The Second Sex, has been published in short-form to mark International Women's Day
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: Finance Assistant / Credit Controller

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are an award-winning digit...

Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform Engineer - VMware / SAN / Tier3 DC

£45000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform En...

Recruitment Genius: Purchasing Assistant

£10000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Ledger Assistant

£17000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable