01/08/2014 12:45PM

Moonlight Cloud retired, booked to Galileo

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Tom Keyser
Six-time Group 1 winner Moonlight Cloud has been retired by owner-breeder George Strawbridge and will be booked to Galileo for her first mating.

Multiple Group 1 winner Moonlight Cloud has been retired and will be bred to Coolmore’s international titan Galileo this season, Racing Post reports.

The 6-year-old Invincible Spirit mare, bred and raced by George Strawbridge, finished sixth in the Group 1 Hong Kong Mile on Dec. 8, her final start. She concludes her career with 12 wins from 20 career starts for earnings of $2,250,214.

"[Strawbridge] thought that would be it in Hong Kong but he took some time to reflect back in America,” trainer Freddy Head said. "He always favored sending her to stud at this stage and I think he was a little worried that, as she was already 6, she might not be able to perform quite so brilliantly in the future.

"She's a great mare with a lot of class and is also very gentle and kind. She is really a sweetheart of a horse."

As a 3-year-old, Moonlight Cloud won three group stakes in France, including her first Group 1, the Prix Maurice de Gheest. She added a pair of top-level events the following season, capturing the Qatar Prix du Moulin de Longchamp and Prix Maurice de Gheest. Moonlight Cloud also traveled to England to compete at the famed Royal Ascot meeting that summer, and gained notoriety when she finished second, beaten by a head, to undefeated two-time Australian Horse of the Year Black Caviar in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes.

In her final season of racing in France, Moonlight Cloud completed a Group 1 hat trick, winning the Prix du Haras de Fresnay-le-Buffard-Jacques Le Marois, the Prix Maurice de Gheest, and the Qatar Prix de la Foret.

Out of the stakes-placed winning Spectrum mare Ventura, Moonlight Cloud is a half-sister to stakes winner Cedar Mountain, by Galileo. It is the family of Irish Horse of the Year Generous and Epsom Oaks winner Imagine.