Click above to watch Goldikova winning her third Breeders’ Cup Mile
(Photo : Betfair - Footage : Breeders Cup)
BREEDERS’ CUP MILE G1
Churchill Downs, 6 November 2010
Back in his riding days, Freddie Head piloted the great Miesque (Nureyev) when she made history as the first horse to double up victories in the Breeders’ Cup by virtue of her Mile wins in 1987 and 1988 at Hollywood and Churchill Downs, respectively.
Head turned to training when he hung his tack, and became the first person to ride and train a Breeders’ Cup winner when Goldikova (Anabaa) took her first Mile in 2008.
“It’s quite unreal,” exclaimed Head.
“She’s amazing, she can do anything. I’m very emotional. I was the first jockey to win this race twice with a mare, and now I’m the trainer of a mare winning this race three times. It’s unreal. We don’t know how good this filly is - she’s extraordinary. I don’t have the words.”
Goldikova secured her first Breeders’ Cup Mile as a three-year-old in 2008, when, sent postward as the 9-5 choice, she parlayed a stalking trip into a 1 1/4-length score over defending champion Kip Deville (Kipling).
After collecting three more Group 1 wins in Europe in 2009, the popular bay returned to Santa Anita and rallied from the back of the pack to justify 7-5 favoritism.
She was sportingly kept in training by her owner/breeders, Alain and Gerard Wertheimer, and rewarded that decision with another trio of top-level wins. Second in the G1 Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville August 15, Goldikova rebounded to take the G1 Prix de la Foret at Longchamp October 3, defeating Paco Boy (Desert Style) and, in the process, surpassed Miesque’s mark of Group 1 wins with her 11th such success.
Having drawn the 10 hole for this third trip to the States, the 6-5 favorite took the overland route while racing in seventh, and California-based Sidney’s Candy (Candy Ride) showed the way up front through splits of 0:24.02 and 0:47.49. Goldikova still had a ton of ground to make up on the far turn, but it really didn’t matter.
Given her cue by Olivier Peslier, the five-year-old quickened past her rivals in a matter of strides, and flashed under the wire safely in front of the valiant Gio Ponti. Paco Boy (Desert Style) came flying from the back of the pack, but was a whisker short of The Usual Q.T. at the line.
“I think she has everything an athlete can have,” Head offered. “I mean, she’s got tremendous nerves - she’s very cool. She’s got great speed. She’s very fast, and she can carry that speed for a long time. She has always another gear. She can always change gear, and finishes faster than the others.”
Goldikova is a great-granddaughter of Gold River (Riverman), who captured the 1981 G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe for father Jacques Wertheimer. The Wertheimer brothers didn’t rule out their star returning for another season.
“I think that it was important to try to make history to have a horse that can win the same race three times the same race,” said Alain Wertheimer. Gerard added, “At the moment, I think we’re enjoying the race and the win.”
Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News