Goldikova chases 15th Group 1 Win in Marois
Posted by Brian Appleton on August 12, 2011
She may have hid in the shadow of the great Zarkava during most of 2008, but from the moment she exploded from behind a wall of horses to dismantle the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Mile field, it became clear that Goldikova was destined to become a star in her own right. Now, three years later Goldikova has cemented herself as one of the greatest female racehorses in history, and quite possibly, the greatest female miler of all time. Goldikova has raked in one of the highest Group 1 tally’s in history with a fantastic total of fourteen Group/Grade 1 wins on her resume.
After her effortless conquest of the Prix Rothschild two weeks ago at Deauville, her fourth consecutive win in the Group 1 event, Goldikova is aiming to score her second victory in the Prix du Haras de Fresnay-Le-Buffard-Jacques Le Marois (Fr-1) on Monday. After capturing the 2009 renewal of the Marois and finishing second in 2010, the Freddie Head trained super-star is back to reclaim her title. Winning the Marois will be no easy task as a strong field of 16 other runners has been entered in the Group 1 event. Freddie Head has three entries, aside from Goldikova, including her pacesetting stable mate, Flash Dance. Also running for Head is Rajsaman, who finished out of the money in the Sussex Stakes, and Polemique. Rajsaman is a dual Group 3 winner and became a Group 2 winner three starts back.
Dick Turpin enters the Marois off a victory in the Summer Mile Stakes, after finishing a well beaten ninth in the Prix d’Ispahan behind Goldikova on May 22nd. Trainer Richard Hannon stated that Dick Turpin turned in an excellent work on Tuesday in preparation for the Marois and could, “Ruffle Goldikova’s feathers” If he gets his [soft] ground. The four year old colt is also entered at Newberry for Saturday but is more likely to run in France as there is a greater chance of precipitation. Hannon has also entered Dubawi Gold in the Jacques le Marois but will most likely race only Dick Turpin.
Goldolphin has three runners set to face Goldikova on Monday, led by Duke of York winner, Delegator. Delegator has contested two Breeders’ Cup Mile’s, finishing 5th in 2009 and 8th in 2010, well behind Goldikova. He has shown flashes of talent and the ability to compete against the very best, but has failed to achieve a win in any of Europe’s Group races against classy competition.
Emerald Commander is also entered for Goldophin and has won 5 of 13 lifetime starts. Rio de la Plata is the third Goldolphin entry. Four starts back he became a Group 1 winner, but has since finished no better than third.
Dual Group 2 winner and Group 1 winner, Planteur, is the sole entrant for trainer Elie Lellouche and enters off a disappointing 4th place finish in the Group 1 Prince of Wales Stakes. He will be cutting back to the 1 mile distance for the first time since his juvenile season in 2009. Before the Prince of Wales, Planteur won two straight races including the Group 1 Prix Ganay.
While it’s a well experienced field Goldikova faces, it’s nothing she shouldn’t be able to handle with ease. In fact, she has defeated a great deal of this competition before so this should be a fairly simple task. The champion looks well situated to win the 15th Group 1 victory of her incredible career.
After Goldikova triumphed in the Prix Rothschild at the end of July, trainer Freddie Head stated his trainee would run two weeks later in the Jacques le Marois unless the ground came up soft. If the Marois comes up soft Head said his star would most likely prepare for the September 11th Prix du Moulin (Fr-1) at Longchamp. If that happens a meeting with Frankel in the October 15th Queen Elizabeth II is much more likely to happen, but still doubtful, as it will be run less than a month away from the Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr.1) on November 5th. [Originally posted on Horse Racing Nation: Distaff Runner]