Monday, May 23, 2011

Lucky 13 for outstanding Goldikova

The near legendary French mare Goldikova took her tally of Group 1 wins to a remarkable 13 when landing the Prix d'Isaphan at Longchamp for the second year running, making the perfect start to what has already been declared to be her final season on the track.

The Freddie Head-trained mare, last seen in action when getting the better of US star Gio Ponti to win the Breeders' Cup Mile at Churchill Downs for the third year in a row, was racing at the very outer limits of her stamina in tackling Sunday's nine furlong contest on home soil, and after hitting the front inside the final two furlongs she was pushed all the way to the line to beat the determined Cirrus Des Aigle, scoring by a neck, with Rajsaman finishing back in third. For the second race in succession Richard Hannon's Dick Turpin ran below-par and connections once again put the disappointing effort down to competing on ground that was too fast for him and those looking at the horse racing betting odds should remember this.

No firm decision has been made as to quite where Goldikova will appear next, although the European racing public would dearly love to see her try and defend her Queen Anne Stakes title at Royal Ascot next month where she would most likely go head-to-head in a mouth-watering clash with another outstanding miler, the Hannon-trained four-year-old Canford Cliffs.

Head wouldn't be pressured into making a decision on the spot at Longchamp and insisted he would have to discuss all options with the wondermare's owners, the Wertheimer brothers, before making any future plans. There was a mixed reaction though from betting firms with not all being impressed by Goldikova's victory, some now making Canford Cliffs an 11/8 favourite for the Ascot race (Goldikova 6/4), whilst others bet exactly the other way around.

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