Galikova Earns Her Stripes in Prix Vermeille

Galikova Earns Her Stripes in Prix Vermeille
Photo: John Gilmore
Galikova wins the Prix Vermeille

Galikova stepped out from big sister Goldikova’s shadow with an impressive victory in the $477,631 Qatar Prix Vermeille (Fr-I) (Video) at Longchamp Sept. 11.

The daughter of Galileo, who is a 3-year-old half sister to the multiple champion and Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. IT) winner, earned her first group I victory in the Prix Vermeille, after coming close on two other occasions. The Freddy Head trainee has now improved her career record to five wins from seven starts, with earnings of $958,768.

Galikova was sent off as the heavy 3-5 favorite by the bettors, based off her stylish win in the Prix Guillaume D’Ornano (Fr-II) Aug. 15. In that race, she defeated a field that included Prix de Diane-Longines (Fr-I) winner Golden Lilac and Waldpark, winner of the 2011 Deutsches Derby (Ger-I).

Breaking alertly under regular rider Olivier Peslier, Galikova dueled for the early lead along with Shareta, who was ridden by Christophe Lemaire. Galikova raced a bit keenly for the first furlong or so, as Peslier struggled to get his charge settled off of the pace. Galikova finally dropped the bit and relaxed, and Peslier was able to settle the filly in fourth, as Shareta set a somewhat easy pace up front.

Shareta continued to lead the way through the early stages of the race. Wonder Of Wonders and Testosterone sat about a length off of her in second and third, with Galikova racing comfortably for Peslier in fourth. She was followed by Wavering in fifth, as Sarah Lynx trailed the field.

As the field swept through the turn and entered the home straight, Shareta tenaciously held onto the lead as the rest of the field began to close in. Wonder Of Wonders was the first to challenge the longtime leader, pulling to within Shareta’s flank while under a drive by Christophe Soumillon.

Peslier had angled Galikova to the outside as they came around the turn, and they now had a clear aim on the leader. Under strong urging from Peslier, Galikova showed a quick turn of foot as she stormed past the front runners to take the lead.

Galikova continued to pull away in the final furlong, crossing the wire 2 1/2 lengths in front. Testosterone made a late move to snatch second by a neck over a stubborn Shareta, who held on for third. Sarah Lynx was fourth, as Wonder Of Wonders faded late to finish fifth.

The final time for the 12 furlongs was 2:34.38 over the very soft going.

The victory more than likely earned Galikova a spot in the starting gate for the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I). Head told reporters after the race, “What pleased me was that she stayed and the way she finished. Like her sister, she has won a group I and they didn’t go that quick but she really ran on well.

“It would be a great surprise if the owners (Alain and Gerard Wertheimer) didn’t want to go for the Arc,” Head continued. “Olivier Peslier said she won in better fashion than she did at Deauville, and she will stay in training next year.”

Galikova was bred in France by her owners and is out of the Blushing Groom mare Born Gold.

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