08/02/2013 4:22PM

Deauville: Prix Maurice de Gheest features interesting matchup


Lethal Force, the dominant sprinter in England this summer, and Moonlight Cloud, a Group 1 winner last September, meet for the first time in Sunday’s $464,000 Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville, France.

Lethal Force, a 4-year-old Irish-bred colt by Dark Angel, has won two Group 1 races this year – the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot and the July Cup at Newmarket on July 13. Trained by Clive Cox, Lethal Force makes his first start outside of England in the Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest, run over 6 1/2 furlongs.

Moonlight Cloud, a 5-year-old mare by Invincible Spirit, is well-traveled in the last year. She won the Prix de Moulin de Longchamp last fall, and was later eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita. Trained by Freddie Head, Moonlight Cloud won her only start this year, the Group 3 Prix de la Porte Maillot over seven furlongs at Longchamp on July 6.

The Prix Maurice de Gheest drew a field of 14. Other top contenders are Gordon Lord Byron, who won the Group 1 Prix de la Foret at Longchamp last October; and Don Bosco, who won the Group 2 Prix du Muguet at Saint Cloud on May 1.

◗ Secret Gesture, second in the Group 1 English Oaks at Epsom on May 31, is expected to start favored in Sunday’s $531,000 Henkel Preis de Diana, the German Oaks, at Dusseldorf, Germany.

Secret Gesture will be ridden by Jamie Spencer in the Group 1 Henkel Preis de Diana, which is run over 1 1/2 miles.

◗ Moviesta, a 3-year-old Kentucky-bred colt by Hard Spun, won his group stakes debut in Friday’s $150,350 King George Stakes at Goodwood Racecourse in England.

Ridden by Paul Mulrennan, Moviesta overcame trouble at the start to win the Group 2 King George Stakes over five furlongs by 1 1/2 lengths over Swift Spirit. Justineo, a 40-1 shot, was third in the field of 17.