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Goldikova in flying form on seasonal bow

The brilliant Goldikova got her 2011 season off to a winning start in yesterday's Prix d'Ispahan at Longchamp.

Freddie Head's wondermare was last seen claiming a third Breeders' Cup Mile and set herself up for another trip to Royal Ascot by scoring at the highest level for an astonishing 13th time.

Olivier Peslier had to work hard on the six-year-old has her stamina ebbed slightly over the nine-furlong trip but she still had just enough in reserve to hold off the determined challenge of Cirrus Des Aigles.

Goldikova can be expected to improve a good deal for the run, given her main aim this year is another trip to America in November.

"It was her seasonal reappearance over a trip that is really the end of the world for her, but she didn't disappoint us," Head said. "As to her next start, I want to see how she comes out of this race and will discuss it with her owners."

In Cologne, Marco Botti's Excelebration bolted up in the German 2,000 Guineas to pay yet another compliment to Frankel.

Second behind Henry Cecil's wonderhorse in the Greenham Stakes, the colt travelled sweetly for Adam Kirby and put the race to bed within a matter of strides when sprinting clear, with fellow raiders Casual Glimpse and The Paddyman well beaten down the field.

Irish Independent