Goldikova: the Legendary Champion Mare
Among all the praises heaped on the champion Thoroughbred Goldikova, the most unforgettable is perhaps the one that came from the legendary jockey and horse trainer Freddy Head. Head likened her to a car, that "has the speed" and "can do anything and at any distance."
Foaled in March 2005 in Ireland, Goldikova raced mainly in Europe and North America. Her record is among one of the best of her generation. She won 14 Group I races, and remains the only horse trained in continental Europe to win more than 10 Group I races. That alone would be impressive for any racehorse, but on top of that, Goldikova won three consecutive Breeders' Cup Mile races, in 2008, 2009 and 2010 (she finished third in the 2011 race).
This champion Thoroughbred was bred by wealthy French brothers Alain and Gerard Wertheimer, owners of the House of Chanel, and was trained by Freddy Head. Her sire was Anabaa, and her dam was Born Gold, both American horses. Olivier Peslier rode her in all her starts.
Her impressive championship run started in 2008, when she won her first Breeders' Cup Mile title. She also won three consecutive races that year, namely the Prix Chloe, the Prix Rothschild (by beating Darjina, the French Classic winner, and Natagora, the British Classic winner), and the Prix du Moulin (by beating Darjina and Natagora again).
In 2009, she was off to a rocky start by finishing at the seventh place in the Prix d'Ispahan. Her winning streak continued, however, with wins at the Falmouth Stakes, the Prix Rothschild and the Prix Jacques Le Marois. Goldikova won her second Breeders' Cup Mile, despite a change in her racing style from the previous year.
In 2010, which is her best year, Goldikova won several top races. She started off the year by training with Freddy Head at Chantilly Racecourse, after a period of rest at her owners' estate in Normandy. Goldikova became the champion at the Queen Anne Stakes, winning the race in a record-breaking time. This was her ninth Group I win, and it was made sweeter by having beaten an all-male field.
During the Prix Rothschild race in August, Goldikova showed the world what she is made of. Towards the end of the race, she got away from the rest of the competitors and rocketed forward, after being in the third position throughout the race. The jubilant mood didn't last long, though. She was defeated by Makfi at the Prix Jacques le Marois two weeks later. Observers opined that this defeat was caused by her discomfiture at racing on soft grounds.
However, she picked up quickly, and two months later, she dominated the field of 16 males at the Prix de la ForÍt at Longchamp. Her sweetest success, however, was in the prestigious Breeders' Cup Mile, which took place at Churchill Downs, which she won for the third time. For her phenomenal performance, Goldikova was awarded the Cartier Racing Award, along with Horse of the Year Award. She remained the only horse so far to win the Champion Older Horse award two times.
In 2011, she won the Prix d'Ispahan in her six year old debut, which is the second time she won the race. However, it was in July that Goldikova made her mark; she won her 14th Group I race at the Prix Jacques le Marois, France, securing her place among one of the greats in history.
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2008 Goldikova's Breeders Cup Mile Race Video
2009 Goldikova's Breeders Cup Mile Race Video
2010 Goldikova's Breeders Cup Mile Race Video