08/05/2012 6:16PM

France: Runner-up to Black Caviar returns to romp in Group 1 Prix de Gheest

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The undefeated Australian mare Black Caviar’s reputation was dinged when she squeaked out a win in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot, but that slim victory took on a rosier appearance when the Diamond Jubilee runner-up Moonlight Cloud crushed eight foes in the Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest on Sunday at Deauville.

Tracking the pace under Thierry Jarnet in the five-furlong sprint, Moonlight Cloud bid for the lead before coming into the final furlong and easily cruised to victory, winning off by five lengths over second-place Wizz Kid. Cheka finished third and American Devil fourth, while Restiadargent, just a neck behind Moonlight Cloud, regressed and came home fifth.

Trained by Freddie Head for owner-breeder George Strawbridge, Moonlight Cloud, a 4-year-old Invincible Spirit filly, won the de Gheest for the second year in a row, relishing the very soft going at Deauville. She has 7  wins –three in Group 1 competition – from 12 career starts.