Horses To Follow » Flying Cloud

Flying Cloud

Flying Cloud was a really impressive winner of the Ribblesdale Stakes on Thursday. In fairness, the Godolphin filly did have the run of the race, insofar as there was a run of the race going. She jumped well from stall two, and settled nicely into a rhythm just on the outside of the field, moving into second of the main pack just outside the leader Uvinza as they raced out of Swinley Bottom. From there, it was a case of when Dettori would ask her to go past Uvinza, which he did as soon as they straightened up for home, and his filly showed a really impressive turn of foot. A half a length up at the two-furlong pole, she was three lengths clear at the furlong pole. Henry Cecil’s filly Flame Of Gibraltar moved through nicely to get out after Flying Cloud, but she couldn’t match the leader for pace or for stamina, and teh Godolphin filly powered home to win by four lengths.

This was just the third race of Flying Cloud’s life, her first for Godolphin. She didn’t make her racecourse debut for Andre Fabre in Sheikh Mohammed’s own colours until April this year, when she was impressive in winning a race for debutantes, and followed up by battling on well to beat Excellent Girl in a Group 3 race over 11 furlongs on easy ground at Saint-Cloud. She was well supported for the Ribblesdale, so the Godolphin team obviously felt that she could step up on that performance, and she did, quite markedly. She obviously handles cut in the ground, and Frankie Dettori said afterwards that she wouldn’t want the ground any faster than it was on Thursday, so it was a fine performance.

It looks like the Irish Oaks is next for Flying Cloud. Ribblesdale winners do not have a good record in the Irish Oaks, but this filly could be an exception. She is hugely progressive and is an exciting prospect for the remainder of the season.

18th June 2009