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Goldikova winning the 2010 Queen Anne Stakes (Gr1)
(Photo and Footage : Euro Sport)
QUEEN ANNE STAKES (Gr1)
Royal Ascot, 15 June 2010
After two years in the limelight, it is hard to believe that Goldikova could have been in any rival’s shadow. But in Zarkava, she had a formidable foe during her three-year-old campaign. Following two defeats by Zarkava in the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (G1) and the Prix de Diane (G1), Goldikova was to emerge as a force in her own right with the two going their separate ways thereafter. Wins in the Prix Rothschild (G1) at Deauville and Prix du Moulin de Longchamp (G1) presaged a first Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) triumph that year and at four she annexed the Rothschild and BC Mile again and added the Falmouth Stakes (G1) and the Prix Jacques le Marois (G1) to her tally for good measure. Going an extended nine furlongs in the Prix d’Ispahan (G1) at Longchamp last time on 23 May, Goldikova showed the same magic and achieved the same result when warding off Byword as the pair pulled a country mile clear of the remainder.
Always traveling with gusto behind the positively ridden Calming Influence and Rip Van Winkle throughout the early stages of the 2010 Queen Anne Stakes today, the bay quickly had the measure of the latter as she glided to the fore at the quarter pole.
It looked as if she would turn the contest into a cakewalk with Paco Boy and Richard Hughes still hemmed in at the rear, but that impression was short-lived when her chief rival was eventually freed with a furlong to race and her margin was being eroded late as Paco Boy found wings wide of the rail.
Despite the runner-up’s huge chasing effort, Goldikova was able to stick her head out against the fence and hold her lead without Olivier Peslier being overly hard on her.
“I felt she was at her best today and she showed it,” trainer Freddy Head added. “We had a perfect run. Now we are going to go to Deauville and run in the Prix Rothschild (G1) and Prix Jacques le Marois (G1) on 1 August and 15 August.”
This win leaves Goldikova one short of the record of 10 victories at the highest level by Miesque, whom Freddie Head partnered, and while comparisons are inevitable, the trainer of the new French sensation was not showing any favoritism.
“It is unfair to compare the two, as they are quite different,” he added. “Miesque was a brilliant two-year-old and three-year-old, whereas Goldikova took a bit more time in coming, but I think she is tougher and stays better than Miesque, and is easier to ride.”
Trainer Richard Hannon was far from dejected after the effort of Paco Boy. “He lost absolutely nothing in defeat - he has that one kick and one burst of speed and has to be ridden like that,” said Hannon. “Richard (Hughes) has given him a super ride, and Goldikova is probably the best racemare we’ve ever seen. It was probably the best race of the meeting, and he’s been beaten a head, so we’re very proud of him. Richard said he thought he had her, but she kept finding a little bit, and that will be proven in the next race when we take her on again.”
Sir Michael Stoute
RIP VAN WINKLE
Mahmood Al Zarooni
Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News