Moonlight shines light on Oaks with Newmarket success

With The Moonlight was a decisive winner of the Betfair Pretty Polly Stakes for Charlie Appleby and William Buick.

Making her seasonal return, the Frankel filly continued Godolphin’s rich vein of form at Newmarket when seizing the Listed contest from the front as a 3-1 chance.

Now cut from 40-1 to 8-1 for the Oaks with Betfair, With The Moonlight came home four and three-quarter lengths ahead of Henry Spiller’s 50-1 shot Mashaaer, with John and Thady Gosden’s Crenelle another five lengths back in third.

Appleby said: “I’m delighted with her. She’s a filly who had a nice profile as a two-year-old, but she was a bit raw.

“She finished up running a nice race in the Montrose on soft ground and her work at home has been good. The one thing she was going to do today was stay, so I told William to ride her positively.

“Once I could see from three down everything else was under the pump I was pretty confident she wasn’t going to stop.

“She travelled so well, but the race did fall apart a bit. What pleased William was when it fell apart and she went through the gears she kept going right to the line.”

He added: “She’s in the Oaks and we’ll see what happens in the other trials. Looking at her pedigree she’s out of a quick mare but the Frankel factor will add the stamina.

“We have Life Of Dreams who won at Newbury for the Musidora and after the trials we’ll formulate a plan.

“In her work she’s been getting quicker, in the spring we thought a mile and a half would be her thing. Obviously she stays 10 furlongs well and ticks a nice few boxes.

“France might be an option after we’ve seen how things develop in the next week. They only get one chance to run in an Oaks or a Derby.”

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