Can Freddie Head break his Classic duck?

As a jockey, there was very little that Freddie Head did not achieve in racing. In his native country the Frenchman won the Prix de l'Arc and the Derby four times, won the 2000 Guineas and the Oaks six times each and added eight 1000 Guineas to a CV bordering on the encyclopaedic.

On his travels, he added an English 2000 Guineas, two Newmarket 1000 Guineas and two Breeders' Cup Miles, amongst other notable successes.

Since changing his focus to training he's added three more victories in the Breeders' Cup Mile all courtesy of that brilliant mare Goldikova, who has also given her trainer Group 1 success in the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket and the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot. Add Marchand D'Or's success in the July Cup of 2008 to three Maurice de Gheest victories in his homeland and you have the profile of a truly top class trainer.

But somehow Classic success, home and abroad, has thus far eluded the genial Gaul.

In Moonlight Cloud he has the favourite for tomorrow's 1000 Guineas at Newmarket and, he hopes, the right lady to break his Classic duck. A very easy winner of her first two starts as a juvenile, she lost her unbeaten status when taking on the colts in the Group 1 Grand Criterium at Longchamp but there was no disgrace in that.

She returned in superb form this season as she readily saw off Helleborine in the Prix Imprudence. That victory came on good ground and her trainer believes fast conditions play to her strengths.

Although questions about her stamina have been raised, she certainly wasn't stopping on her seasonal debut and ought to get the extra furlong here. Of the runners who have had an outing this season, she appears to hold strongest claims and that might give her the upper-hand over rivals such as Havant, Misty For Me and Memory.

Head's most enduring successes came courtesy of some of the finest fillies to grace the sport and, if this is to be his Classic breakthrough as a trainer, it would be most fitting that it came in this race courtesy of another lady with true star potential.

More in this section


Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox