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Freddy Head - Newmarket 2009

Freddy Head: bids to add to three Mile wins as trainer and two as jockey

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

Head believes Cloud is the one to beat in Mile

FREDDY HEAD on Wednesday declared Moonlight Cloud to be the one to beat in Saturday's Breeders' Cup Mile as the ultra-confident trainer talked up his prospects of winning the championship prize for an astonishing sixth time.

On a foggy Santa Anita morning during which a host of European raiders cantered for the first time, Moonlight Cloud stretched her legs on the dirt track in advance of her bid to continue Head's remarkable association with a contest he plundered three times with Goldikova and twice as a jockey on Miesque.

The triple Group 1 winner suffered serious interference when fourth to Mile favourite Excelebration in this summer's Prix Jacques le Marois and Head believes that George Strawbridge's filly - cut to 9-2 from 5-1 by Coral - can exact revenge in California.

"I think she is the one to beat," said Head. "She ran a very good race last time to win the Moulin against Farhh, who is not a bad horse.

"It was a tough race and she showed she could fight. I'm pretty confident."

Also present at Santa Anita for the first time this week were Richard Hannon junior, John Gosden and Excelebration's trainer Aidan O'Brien, who revealed that Turf Sprint candidate Starspangledbanner is being treated for swelling in all four legs. However, the former top-class speedster is expected to be in Saturday's line-up.

O'Brien said: "It could be due to the long journey here and then not having been able to do much apart from walking because he was in quarantine.

"It shouldn't be a problem and we're hoping it will disappear quickly."

Santa Anita was also expecting the arrival on Wednesday of those horses based in the USA's east coast whose journeys had been delayed due to the extreme weather that battered the nation earlier in the week.

The plane carrying the animals was reported to have stopped off in Kentucky to pick up America's top Mile hope Wise Dan.

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