Goldikova leads the way in the Qatar Prix de la Foret.
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Goldikova leads the way in the Qatar Prix de la Foret.
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Trevor Jones

Golden Goldikova Takes Prix de la Foret

Champion to defend her title in the TVG Breeders Cup Mile after defeating Paco Boy.

Goldikova is set to defend her TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. IT) title once again after she secured her record 11th grade/group I win with a determined half-length victory in the Qatar Prix de la Foret (Fr-I) Oct. 3 at Longchamp.

The 5-year-old mare was forwardly placed by Olivier Peslier, who kept her on the rail as they led through the early stages of the race. They were tracked closely by Siyouni and Regal Parade with Dick Turpin racing in mid-pack. Paco Boy, who captured this race two years ago, trailed the field but only five or six lengths separated the front and back markers.

With two furlongs left to run, Regal Parade took over the lead and was poised to spring an upset. Peslier continued to sit chilly aboard Goldikova in second as Paco Boy and Dick Turpin both moved up to challenge on the outside.

Goldikova quickened with just under a furlong left, driving past Regal Parade to retake the lead. Paco Boy was flying on the outside under Richard Hughes, but could not get past Goldikova.

Dick Turpin finished well to be third, a half-length behind his stablemate. Regal Parade had to settle for fourth, with Joanna fifth. The final time for the seven furlongs was 1:22.10 over the soft going.

Trainer Freddy Head told reporters after the race: “She’s great, she’s extraordinary. What can I say? I was very scared about the going; it was really touch and go whether to run.

“Olivier rode a great race," he added. "She’s fantastic. We’ll go to the Breeders’ Cup now.”

Peslier said: “She’s wonderful, there are no words for that. She’s made it 11 group Is today; Paco Boy has been there all season and it’s been a nice fight. Today was very hard for her to win like that.”

Plans are undecided for Paco Boy and Dick Turpin, both of whom are trained by Richard Hannon. Richard Hannon, Jr., his son and assistant trainer, told reporters, “We’ll sleep on the Breeders’ Cup Mile for Paco, while Dick Turpin stays in training and gives us a lot to look forward to next year.”

Goldikova was bred in Ireland by her owners, Alain and Gerard Wertheimer. 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.