Heading for a second appearance in the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) this fall, the brilliant filly Goldikova showed that she is at the top of her game following a smashing repeat victory in the Prix Rothschild (Fr-I) on soft footing at Deauville Aug 2.
Under the guidance of jockey Olivier Peslier, the 2008 Breeders' Cup Mile winner was in command of Deauville's one-mile straight from the beginning, prompting trainer Freddie Head afterward to compare the 4-year-old filly to Miesque and Allez France. After a disappointing 2009 debut effort, the bay daughter of Anabaa has rattled off back-to-back group I successes, starting with the Etihad Airways Falmouth Stakes (Eng-I) at Newmarket July 8.
"She is an extraordinary filly and has improved a lot since her victory in the Falmouth, which was rather a phoney race. Today was a real one," Head told Racing Post.
Goldikova tracked her stablemate Only Green, who set a strong pace, for six furlongs in the Prix Rothschild before Peslier called upon her ever so slightly. Goldikova responded willingly to take the lead with two furlongs to run, extending her advantage to four lengths.
She coasted home by 1 1/2 lengths while eased in the final strides, an impressive performance for her fifth grade/group I victory for owners Wertheimer and Frere. The time, 1:35.07, matched exactly the clocking she turned in while winning the Rothschild last year, although the soft course made for a more difficult trip this time. Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (Fr-I) winner Elusive Wave checked in second by three lengths over Proviso.
"Goldikova will be back at Deauville in a fortnight's time for the Jacques Le Marois (Fr-I on Aug. 16) and her ultimate target will be another attempt to win the Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita," Head told Racing Post.
Head, who rode Miesque to win the Breeders' Cup Mile twice and Three Troikas to win an Arc, added: "Goldikova showed today that she is one of the best fillies ever and can be compared to champions like Miesque, Allez France, Zarkava and Three Troikas."
"Goldikova has such a big heart and we had the race wrapped up as we moved into the lead some 500 meters out," Peslier said. "We are now certain that she has trained on and I must thank the Wertheimer brothers for keeping her in training as a four-year-old."
Elusive Wave, ridden by Christophe Lemaire, turned in a strong effort when rallying from mid-pack for second, but she was no threat to the winner.
"I think that was the best performance in her career to date and the ground was softer than we had hoped," trainer Jean-Claude Rouget said. "Although she was second, some other very good fillies were behind her."