08/07/2011 1:56PM

Europe: Fillies upset Maurice de Gheest, Phoenix


Fillies provided upset wins in Group 1 races in France and Ireland on Sunday.

Moonlight Cloud, one of two fillies in a field of 13, pulled an upset in Sunday’s Prix Maurice de Gheest for sprinters in Deauville, France. Dream Ahead, the joint champion 2-year-old of England last year, could only finish seventh after a troubled trip.

Ridden by Thierry Jarnet, Moonlight Cloud closed from the back of the field in the final three furlongs to win the race over 6 1/2 furlongs by four lengths over Society Rock, who was a neck clear of the 8-year-old Marchand d’Or, the winner of the Gheest from 2006-2008.

Dream Ahead, the 13-10 favorite, lacked room briefly in the final quarter-mile and was beaten six lengths.

Moonlight Cloud, a 3-year-old by Invincible Spirit, races for American breeder George Strawbridge and is trained by Freddy Head. The Gheest was the biggest win of Moonlight Cloud’s career; she was a Group 3 winner in France earlier this year.

* In the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes for 2-year-olds at the Curragh, La Collina, also one of two fillies in the field, rallied in the final sixteenth to catch 7-4 favorite Power in the seven-furlong race for colts and fillies.

La Collina was 33-1, the second longest shot in a field of nine. Ridden by Declan McDonogh for trainer Kevin Prendergast, La Collina was last in the first half of the race and weaved her way through traffic to win by a neck. Power was beaten for the first time in his four-race career. Tough as Nails finished third.

La Collina, owned by Joerg Vasicek, is an Irish-bred by Strategic Prince, who has won 2 of 3 starts. Her only loss was a second to Maybe in the Group 3 Silver Flash Stakes in Ireland in July. Maybe won the Group 2 Debutante Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at the Curragh on Sunday for trainer Aidan O’Brien.

Maybe is now the 5-1 favorite with the British bookmaking firm Corals to win the 2012 English 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, with La Collina listed as a 7-1 chance.

* Dancing Rain, the winner of the English Oaks in June, rebounded from a fifth in the Irish Oaks last month to win the Group 1 German Oaks at Dusseldorf on Sunday.

Sent off as the 8-5 favorite, Dancing Rain won by three lengths over Djumama in a hand ride under jockey Kieren Fallon in a field of 16.