First For Puissance de Lune
Mark Smith - Friday June 14

Making her career debut, the Mitchell Freedman-trained filly Moonlight Maid made light of a heavy track and a three-wide trip to dominate a 2-Y-O Fillies Maiden Plate (1250m) at Geelong on Friday and credit Swettenham Stud's Puissance de Lune (IRL) with his first winner.

Carrying the colours of her breeder Gerry Ryan, Moonlight Maid was caught three wide without cover at the rear of the field before Jye McNiel circled the field to have the leggy chestnut in a challenging position on the home turn.

She kept up a strong gallop in the straight to defeat the favourite Commando Miss (Zebedee) by two and a quarter lengths with Trevi Dreams (Savabeel) three-quarters of a length back in third.


Despite her starting price of $14, Freedman said the daughter of Puissance de Lune (IRL) had impressed the stable in her trackwork.

"I expected her to run very well, she's a pretty classy filly this one," Freedman told racing.com.

"I had a lot to do with dad (Puissance de Lune) and I also had a lot to do with mum (Manhattan Maid) so I am showing my age a bit. We weren't 100 percent sure of the wet ground but Jye kept her on an even keel the whole way, he didn't stop and start her momentum.

"She was very strong threw the line. She wanted a to duck in a little bit at the top of the straight. She has had only one very soft jumpout this time in. We galloped her with yesterday's maiden winner (Dee Jay Artie) last Saturday and she blew him out of the water so we were pretty confident after seeing that yesterday.

"It's good to get a winner for Gerry Ryan and John Sutcliffe who have been with me throughout my career.

"Gerry has raced a lot of the family on the dam's side and obviously raced the father so it's great to get the first winner for Puissance De Lune (IRE) and this is a filly with a bright future."

Freedman said the filly may target the Gibson Carmichael over 1600 metres at Flemington on July 8 or will be given a short spell and come back for the spring.

Moonlight Maid is the second foal and second winner out of the Listed SAJC Dequetteville Stakes winner Manhattan Maid (Choisir).

A son of the top-class Shamardal (USA), Puissance de Lune (IRL) was an outstanding performer who was at his best in the spring in 2012 winning the Listed Bendigo Cup (by 8L), Group III Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Flemington (by 5L) and the Group II Blamey Stakes and was edged out in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes and Group 1 Turnbull Stakes.

The pedigree received an update recently through the win of Puissance de Lune's Royal Ascot Bound three-quarter brother Zabeel Prince in Group 1 Prix d'Ispahan at Longchamp.

Puissance de Lune (IRE) stands at Swettenham Stud in 2019 at a fee of $8,800.