Goldikova creates history with third win in Mile

Report: USA Saturday

TVG Breeders` Cup Mile (Grade 1) 1m, 3yo+, turf

GOLDIKOVA the great became Goldikova the greatest when the superstar mare, admired and adored on both sides of the Atlantic, became the Breeders` Cup`s first three-time winner thanks to a victory that emphasised every fibre of her majesty and brilliance.

Kept in training in a bid to claim an historic and unprecedented third triumph in the Breeders` Cup Mile, Goldikova rewarded her connections for their bravery with a stunning display that gave Europe the first of what later became two wins at the meeting.

Successful in 2008 and 2009 at Santa Anita, the Freddie Head-trained champion proved every bit as effective at Churchill Downs, where, having been forced to race wide throughout, she exploded down the short straight under Olivier Peslier, moving from sixth to first in a matter of strides before crossing the wire one and three-quarter lengths clear of America`s top turf horse Gio Ponti.

The Usual Q T took third, one place in front of Britain`s Paco Boy, who finished with typical gusto but could manage onlyfourth.

"This is quite unreal," said Head, who, as a jockey, steered Miesque to two consecutive Mile successes, the second of which came at Churchill Downs in 1988.

"I think that she has everything an athlete can have. She has tremendous nerves, she is very cool, she has great speed, she is very fast and she can carry that speed for a long time. She could go from a mile to a mile and a quarter. That`s what makes her special.

"She can always change gear, she`s a real fighter. She is extraordinary and in my riding career I never rode a horse with such versatility. We don`t how good she is. She is amazing. She can do anything. She is extraordinary. I don`t have the words.

"This is all very emotional for me. I`ve been thinking about it for a long time, but it looked too good to be true. I must be a very lucky person."

Peslier, Goldikova`s jockey in all 21 of her races, said: "She was wide on the turn, but after that she relaxed behind the pace. On the last turn she was flying and she kept running. I don`t know the words to describe what it feels like to ride a champion like that."

Already the winner of more Group 1 races than any horse ever trained in Europe, Goldikova now has 12 top-flight triumphs to her name, four of them achieved this year.

However, there remains the possibility that more could come in the future after Goldikova`s owners, the Wertheimer brothers, refused to rule out the possibility of Goldikova going for a fourth Breeders` Cup victory as a six-year-old.

William Hill quote her at 7-2 to cause a further rewriting of the record books in 2011.

"For the moment, we are enjoying the race and the win," said Gerard Wertheimer, while sibling Alain added: "One of the dreams was to beat the record and win three times. It is important to try to make history. This is probably something that will be very difficult to beat."

Throughout both their careers, Paco Boy has found Goldikova impossible to beat. This time was no exception.

"I think he found the ground too quick and he didn`t corner very well," said jockey Ryan Moore, while Frankie Dettor said of eighth home Delegator: "He didn`t get the trip. He travels great but just doesn`t finish a mile."

Gio Ponti did, but not fast enough to stop Goldikova.

"I wish the filly had not been in the race," said Gio Ponti`s American-based French trainer Christophe Clement. "She is the best miler we`ve seen for a long, long time. She is a freak."

On a sunlit day in Kentucky, the most fabulous freak in racing history made us proud.

Posted on 7th November 2010 by Lee Mottershead in Kentucky