05/01/2017 1:08PM

Cloth of Stars makes Prix Ganay third consecutive stakes win

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Cloth of Stars continued his dominance of the French older horse division this year with a third consecutive stakes win in Monday’s Group 1 Prix Ganay at Saint-Cloud Racecourse in Paris, the first top-level race of the year in the European flat season.

Ridden by Mickael Barzalona, Cloth of Stars, the 6-5 favorite, was third for much of the $326,790 race at 1 5/16 miles on turf. Cloth of Stars emerged between runners to take the lead with a little more than a furlong remaining.

Cloth of Stars was fully extended to hold off Zarak, who closed through traffic from the back of the field of seven to finish second by a head under Christophe Soumillon.

Silverwave finished third, beaten about a length. Erupt, the winner of the Grade 1 Canadian International at Woodbine last October, was fourth.

All of the runners were stakes winners; five were winners of Group 1 or Grade 1 races. Cloth of Stars won his first Group 1 race in the Prix Ganay. Earlier this year, Cloth of Stars won the Group 3 Prix Exbury at Saint-Cloud in March and the Group 2 Prix d’Harcourt at Chantilly on April 9.

Cloth of Stars, who was eighth in the 2016 English Derby, races for Godolphin Racing and trainer Andre Fabre.

The champion filly Minding launched her 4-year-old season with a galloping victory in the Group 2 Mooresbridge Stakes on Monday at Naas Racecourse in Ireland.

Always close to the front under Ryan Moore while facing three foes, Minding took the lead about halfway through the 1 1/4-mile Mooresbridge and was ridden out to a 3 1/2–length victory over Moonlight Magic.

Trainer Aidan O’Brien surely intended to shake any early-season rust from Minding in advance of a sterner upcoming test in the Group 1 J.T. Lockinge Stakes.

Minding, by Galileo, won the English 1000 Guineas, the Epsom Oaks, the Pretty Polly Stakes, the Nassau Stakes, and the Champion Stakes – all Group 1s – during a remarkable 2016 campaign.