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Goldikova on brink of perfect end

Horse racing may be known in British aristocracy as the Sport of Kings, but at the Breeders' Cup it is a French Queen who rules the turf.

The regal mare Goldikova has reigned supreme for three straight years in the $2m Breeders' Cup Mile race, a feat no horse in any division has been able to match in the 27 years the carnival has been running.

The six-year-old returns to Churchill Downs this year attempting to crown her dazzling career with an unprecedented fourth win in her final race before she retires to the breeding barn.

She is the overwhelming favourite, both with the bookmakers and an American racing public, which has embraced her as its own, an honour rarely afforded to most European gallopers that have plundered the richest meeting in the world.

A documentary about her life is in production and the event's organisers have changed the Breeders' Cup schedule so her race would lead into the prestigious $5m Classic.

Should she win, Goldikova would set a benchmark that would stand for generations and overshadow the result of a feature event lacking in quality.

Like Zenyatta last year, Goldikova's legacy is assured, she has already won 17 of her 26 careers starts, including 14 Group One wins.

Trainer Freddy Head said: "Goldikova is something special. To do that for four years and meeting every new generation of colts and fillies is something incredible."