Sport Horse Racing

Monday 27 February 2017

Goldikova makes history

Nick Robson

BRILLIANT French mare Goldikova took her winning tally at the highest level to 14 when landing yesterday's Prix Rothschild at Deauville for the fourth successive year.

Olivier Peslier had the cheek to ease down the Freddie Head-trained six-year-old in the dying strides after putting the race to bed a furlong out.

Sahpresa stayed on well to be beaten a neck for second, but was flattered by her proximity to the winner. Timepiece, trained by Henry Cecil and ridden by Tom Queally, was third.

Flash Dance did her job perfectly in the hands of Mickael Barzalona as the pacemaker for her illustrious stablemate. Goldikova sat in behind her until she was asked to make her effort.

The response was immediate, and she quickly put daylight between her and the opposition with the other six-year-old in the field, Sahpresa. Timepiece could not live with the first two but was a clear third, with David Simcock's First City putting up a solid display in fourth.

Goldikova was creating history, as no horse had won four consecutive Group Ones in France since the inception of the European Pattern in 1971. The win provided Peslier with his own personal milestone as it was his 100th Group One win.

"There is nothing more to say. It's amazing. I didn't have to touch her because I knew she had plenty to give, and I already had the upper hand," he said.

Head is now looking forward to bringing her back for the Prix Jacques le Marois in two weeks' time.

"She is metronomic, in a class of her own. She is six years old and she understands that when she has the advantage, it is over," he declared. "August is her season. I didn't want too fast a race and that was a perfect (prep) race for the Jacques le Marois."

In Munich, Dermot Weld's Famous Name missed out on lifting a Group One prize as he finished second to Durban Thunder in the Grosser Dallmayr-Preis. On paper, Pat Smullen's mount appeared to have unearthed a fine opportunity in which to land an elusive top-flight prize.

But it was not to be as, despite arriving with a characteristic late charge, Famous Name could not claw back the front-running Durban Thunder.

Meanwhile, Ryan Moore will have surgery tomorrow on his broken thumb and humerus, following a nasty fall at Glorious Goodwood on Saturday that could put him out for the rest of the season.

He was brought down when riding the Michael Stoute-trained Verdant in the Toyo Tires Summer Handicap.

Irish Independent

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