Brilliant mare Moonlight Cloud retired

Freddy Head has paid handsome tribute to Moonlight Cloud, who on Wednesday left his yard in Chantilly to begin her career as a broodmare for owner George Strawbridge.

The six-time Group 1-winning daughter of Invincible Spirit will visit Galileo after connections confirmed their original decision to retire her from racing following a disappointing sixth in the Hong Kong Mile last December.

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

Moonlight Cloud won a record-equalling three straight editions of Deauville's Prix Maurice de Gheest over an extended six furlongs and proved her versatility by scoring at the highest level over a mile.

Head added: “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."