Goldikova winning the Prix Rothschild.

Goldikova winning the Prix Rothschild.

John Gilmore

Goldikova Makes History in Prix Rothschild

Mare takes race for an unprecedented fourth time; now has 14 grade or group I wins.

Goldikova made history when she held off the late charge of Sahpresa to claim victory in the $431,730 Prix Rothschild (Fr-I) at Deauville July 31.

The daughter of Anabaa has now tallied 14 group I or grade I victories in her career. She won the Prix Rothschild for an unprecedented fourth consecutive year, becoming the first in France to accomplish that feat since the European Pattern system was introduced in 1971.

The win also provided a personal milestone for jockey Olivier Peslier, who recorded the 100th group I victory of his career.

A field of eight fillies and mares went to the post in the Rothschild, with Goldikova sent off the heavy 2-5 favorite. Other contenders in the field included Juddmonte Farms’ Timepiece, winner of the Etihad Airways Falmouth Stakes (Eng-I) in her last start, and Sahpresa, a dual group I winner who was second to Timepiece in the Falmouth.

Goldikova broke alertly and was settled into second by Peslier. The duo tracked the early lead set by their stablemate, Flash Dance. Timepiece, ridden by Tom Queally, sat just behind them in third, with Christophe Lemaire content to let Sahpresa race toward the rear of the tightly bunched field through the early stages.

Flash Dance led for the first few furlongs, opening up a two-length lead over Goldikova, who was traveling along easily in second. Timepiece sat right off her flank in third, with Sahpresa still tracking them from seventh.

As the field hit the two-furlong marker, Peslier asked Goldikova for more run. The response was immediate as Goldikova accelerated past Flash Dance and took command, quickly opening up a two-length lead while still under a hand ride.

Sahpresa rallied strongly from the back of the pack and came charging down the center of the course as she zeroed in on the leader. She was joined by Timepiece, and the duo ran in tandem for several strides as they cut into Goldikova’s lead.

At the wire, Goldikova held off Sahpresa by a neck, while having been geared down in the final yards by Peslier. Timepiece had to settle for third, another two lengths further back.

The final time for the eight furlongs was 1:34.30 over the good Deauville turf course.

Freddie Head, who conditions the 6-year-old mare for owners Alain and Gerard Wertheimer, told reporters after the race, “She is metronomic, in a class of her own. She is 6-years-old and she understands that when she has the advantage, it is over.”

Peslier added, “It was just a nice piece of work and I never touched her with my whip. She just needed pushing out and there was still plenty of gas left in the tank at the end of the race. She is an exceptional horse and just loves the ambiance when racing at Deauville.”

Head indicated that Goldikova’s next start would probably come in the Prix Jacques Le Marois (Fr-I) on Aug. 15 if the ground doesn’t come up heavy. Should that happen she would instead be pointed toward the Prix du Moulin (Fr-I) at Longchamp Sept. 11.

Goldikova was bred in Ireland by her owners. She is by the deceased French stallion Anabaa, out of Born Gold, by Blushing Groom. She hails from the immediate female family of French champion Gold River.