Dream Ahead got up in the final strides to nip Goldikova by a head to win the $407,904 Qatar Prix de la Foret (Fr-I) at Longchamp Oct. 2.
It was the third group I victory of the season for the 3-year-old son of Diktat, who charged down the center of the course under William Buick to claim the victory. The David Simcock-trained colt, who was co-champion juvenile in England last season with Frankel, now has won five group I races in his career.
A field of eight went to the post in the Foret, with Goldikova going off as the heavy 3-5 favorite. The 6-year-old mare was seeking her second consecutive win in this race, with the hopes of using it as a successful springboard to a defense of her TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. IT) title.
Goldikova broke alertly and was settled into third by Olivier Peslier, just behind her pacemaker Flash Dance and the Italian raider Worthadd. Buick had Dream Ahead just to her outside in fourth, as Dever Dream, Bewitched, Surfrider and Marchand d'Or followed.
Flash Dance continued to roll along on the front end through the early stages of the race. As the field hit the two furlong marker, Flash Dance edged off the rail slightly, opening up a path for Goldikova, who shot through the opening to take the lead.
Buick now had Dream Ahead in full flight on the outside and the duo quickly pulled alongside Goldikova and looked like they were going to draw off and win decisively. Goldikova still had more left in the tank, however, and came driving back under a strong Peslier ride.
The two champions hit the wire together, with a photo needed to separate the two. In the end it was Dream Ahead who got his head in front, completing the seven furlongs in 1:18.10 over the good turf course.
It was another six lengths further back to longshot Surfrider, who closed late to take third.
Immediate plans are somewhat up in the air for Dream Ahead, who will be retired to stud in 2012. Original owner Khalifa Dasmal recently sold a part of the colt to SF Bloodstock and Ballylinch Stud, where the colt will eventually stand stud. Farm manager John O’Connor told reporters after the race, “We’ll now have a discussion. It’s likely that was his final race, but nothing is certain as the horse is fairly fresh, sound and at the peak of his form.”
“He won’t race next season, but he does have options this year like the Breeders’ Cup and Hong Kong, so we’ll see,” O’Connor added.
Trainer Freddy Head was honest when discussing Goldikova after the race. “Maybe she does not have the same turn of foot that she used to, and maybe the mileage is starting to catch up. If she recovers well I think we’ll probably go to the Breeders’ Cup.”
Dream Ahead was bred in Kentucky by Darley, and is out of the Cadeaux Genereux mare, Land of Dreams. The bay colt was consigned by Bluewater Sales, agent, to the 2009 Keeneland September yearling sale, where he sold for $11,000 to Federico Barberini, agent.