By Mary Schweitzer, Blood-Horse
After a protracted battle through the final furlong, Moonlight Cloud got the better of Farhh by a determined head to capture the Qatar Prix du Moulin de Longchamp (Fr-I) Sept. 16.
The daughter of Invincible Spirit has now won eight of her 14 career starts, and has three group I victories to her credit.
With just four runners in the race, the Moulin set up as very much a tactical race. Frankie Dettori, piloting Farhh, sent his colt to the front to dictate the pace. Moonlight Cloud and Caspar Netscher sat just behind him in second and third early, as Sarkiyla trailed the field.
Farhh continued to show the way, setting a quick pace and leading by a length over Moonlight Cloud as the field entered the home straight. With two furlongs left to run, Dettori asked Farhh for more run and the colt responded, accelerating and increasing his lead slightly while still under mild urging.
Moonlight Cloud was hot on his heels and soon drew abreast of Farhh with a furlong left. The two talented runners battled head and head through the final furlong with Moonlight Cloud finally prevailing under jockey Thierry Jarnet.
It was six lengths back to Sarkiyla in third. Final time for the eight furlongs was 1:36.90.
Trainer Freddie Head is eager to try Moonlight Cloud in the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT), a race his star mare Goldikova made her own. Head told reporters, "She will miss the (Prix de la) Foret and go to Santa Anita. She could maybe stay in training at 5 but I'll have to talk to (owner) George Strawbridge about that."
Moonlight Cloud was bred in England by Strawbridge. She is out of the Spectrum mare, Ventura, and hails from the immediate family of champions Generous and Imagine.