|French Gr 1 Win for Star Broodmare Sire Spectrum|
Spectrum adds yet another Gr 1 win to his long list of accolades as a broodmare sire of note – his grey grand-daughter Moonlight Cloud stormed to a record-producing fast finish in the 1300m Gr 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest, her third victory in this race to date and her fourth Group 1 win. She won by one and three-quarter lengths.
Moonlight Cloud, who came close to shattering Black Caviar’s prestine win record at Ascot, could attempt to complete a Group One double on successive weekends following her comfortable success in the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville on Sunday. Freddy Head’s mare, the winner of the race in 2011 and 2012, crossed the line nearly two lengths ahead of Lethal Force, a dual Group One winner in Britain this summer, and remains on course to take on Intello, the French Derby winner, in the Prix Jacques Le Marois at the same course in seven days’ time.
As expected, Adam Kirby set out to make all the running on Lethal Force, as he had when successful in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot and the July Cup at Newmarket, but Moonlight Cloud was always travelling smoothly a couple of lengths from the pace.
Thierry Jarnet, her jockey, made his move approaching the final furlong and Lethal Force could not respond as Moonlight Cloud swept into a decisive lead. Gordon Lord Byron, from Tom Hogan’s stable in Ireland, finished third, but Gale Force Ten, the Jersey Stakes winner at Royal Ascot, faded from a prominent position to finish 11th of the 14 runners.
The victory was the fourth Group One success of Moonlight Cloud’s career and her third in the Prix Maurice de Gheest in as many years, while her winning time of 1m 14.33sec was a course record.
“She’s a very special filly and that was one of her best performances,” Head said. “There were four Group One winners, it was a tough race but she broke the course record.
“She gave her everything. She’s not a horse you can hit much, she gives her all without the whip so that is maybe why it looked like she won easier than maybe she did. The plan remains the same, to run in the Marois next week but as she has given everything I’ll just see how she is over the next two or three days.”
Spectrum (pictured above at Yellow Star earlier this year with a group touring from Gold Circle) is also the broodmare sire of Gr 1 winning and producing sire Dutch Art (England), and in South Africa more recently the talented Tellina. Other Gr 1 successes include Winchester (in America), Prince Kaapstad (Ireland), Alma Mater (India), and Australian winners Sangster, Ethiopia, and Cedarberg.
Last year Spectrum at 22 years of age, covered mares such as America’s Cup, a half-sister to Gr 1 J&B Met winner Martial Eagle, as well as Backworth Stud’s Miss Unimac, dam of five-time winning Stakes winner Private Collection and more recently Gr 3 placed Varlet.
Spectrum stands at Yellow Star Stud in Mooi River, KZN for just R10 000.
– Extract from theguardian.com