/ Racing

Moonlight Cloud, Orfevre, Saonois and Shareta score at Longchamp

Updated: Monday, 17 Sep 2012 16:52

Freddie Head will aim Moonlight Cloud at the Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita
Freddie Head will aim Moonlight Cloud at the Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita

Moonlight Cloud booked herself a ticket to the Breeders' Cup after holding off Farhh in a thrilling renewal of the Prix du Moulin at Longchamp.

It was the fourth time in a row that the likeable Farhh had been forced to settle with the runner-up position in a top-flight race after shaking up Nathaniel in the Eclipse and failing to deal with the small matter of Frankel in both the Sussex Stakes and Juddmonte International.

A winner of the last two renewals of the Prix Maurice de Gheest, Moonlight Cloud came the closest of any to toppling the incredible Black Caviar over a mere six furlongs at Royal Ascot and could now attempt to emulate Goldikova in the Breeders' Cup Mile, an event the now retired superstar captured three times.

"She's wonderful, how tough she is, she's a fighter," said Head.

"Jarnet said the last 400 metres they galloped, that was a real mile.

"She's special. The six furlongs is too sharp for her, I think that's what got her beat at Ascot.

"She will miss the Foret and will go to Santa Anita (for the Breeders' Cup)."

Christophe Soumillon left Longchamp with the belief Orfevre had the potential to provide him with a third Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe after the Japanese Triple Crown star made a successful European debut.

"The pace was a bit slow and he was a bit fresh, but I was very happy," said Soumillon.

"I just wanted to keep in touch with the horse on his first experience at Longchamp, as it's not easy to win here.

"You can see in two strides, I felt exactly what you need for an Arc de Triomphe horse.

"Hopefully he will improve a bit as he needs to improve to win an Arc but the trainer has done a perfect job so far."

Orfevre is now disputing favouritism for the big race with last year's champion Danedream.

The Prix Niel, the trial for three-year-olds, saw a cluster of horses in with a chance with a furlong left, but Saonois eventually found the telling turn of foot when squeezing through Bayrir and Last Train.

An unconsidered 25-1 winner of the French Derby last time for Lyon trainer Jean-Pierre Gauvin, he also earned a chance at the big one.

"He is better over a mile and a half and was a bit free and fresh today but he gets better with every run," said Gauvin.

"He will be supplemented for the Arc."

Last season's Arc runner-up Shareta, who has become a more imposing individual as a four-year-old, took a strongly-run renewal of the Group One Prix Vermeille by two lengths.

Also the winner of the Yorkshire Oaks three weeks ago, Shareta never looked in much danger under a positive Christophe Lemaire.

Owner the Aga Khan said: "I think the ground would have to be very heavy for her not run in the Arc again.

"She is a far more mature filly than last year. We always thought she was good, but she has learned to accelerate."

Newmarket's sprint specialist Robert Cowell again took the Prix du Petit Couvert he won a year ago with Prohibit when Monsieur Joe edged out Dandy Nicholls' Inxile by three parts of a length.

"I expected him to be in the first two," Cowell said.

"He'd be 50-50 to come back for the Prix de l'Abbaye. I think this might be is level rather than a Group One, and he'll definitely go back to Dubai."