Head: Goldikova Better Than Ever
Photo: Rick Samuels

If anyone feels Goldikova has slowed down a step at age 6, her trainer Freddy Head is more than willing to convince you otherwise.

As the three-time winner of the Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. IT) prepares to embark on her historic journey and her quest for victory No. 4, Head is confident the daughter of Anabaa is sitting on another big effort and is amazed how well she is doing for her return to the United States.

 

“She should be in her stall at Churchill Downs around 6 o’clock Saturday evening and I’m dying to be there,” he said. “I’m very happy with the mare and I believe she’s in as good a shape as in previous years. It seems unreal that she’s trying to win a fourth Breeders’ Cup.

 

"I’m very happy with her since her last run. She was only beaten a head (In the group I, seven-furlong Qatar Prix de la Foret) and earlier in the year, she was second (to Canford Cliffs in the group I Queen Anne Stakes) at Ascot. I knew that would be a tough test, because Ascot is a very testing course. She was unlucky at Deauville (in the group I Prix de Fresnay-le-Buffard-Le Jacques le Marois).

 

“If all goes well I think she has a big chance. She’s very special and she loves the two turns and left-handed tracks. She loves the way races are run in America and wants fast ground, not too soft. I think she’ll take a lot of beating. She looks the same, she works the same at home, and he form is as good or even better than last year. I’m coming with a lot of confidence.”

 

As long as he’s been riding and training, Head admits he can’t recall ever seeing a horse like Goldikova, and that includes Head’s dual Mile winner, the great Miesque.

 

“I try to remember ever seeing a horse like her, but I can’t,” Head said. “In France, we’ve never had a horse who has lasted for so long. It’s very special to train a 6-year-old mare. I never did, so all this is new territory for me. I’ve been very happy with her all year. As I said, she’s as good as she’s ever been.”

 

In five starts this year, Goldikova, owned by Wertheimer & Frere, has won twice, with three seconds--her victories coming in the group I Prix d’Ispahan and Prix Rothschild. She not only won both those stakes last year, she has won the Prix Rothschild the past four years.

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