Goldikova lights up Royal Ascot

Anabaa mare Goldikova is within striking distance of Miesque’s Group 1 record after a memorable win in the G1 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot on Tuesday.

Goldikova (5m Anabaa — Born Gold by Blushing Groom)) landed a thrilling opener to the carnival when she quickened clear of her rivals and then held off the late challenge of Paco Boy by a neck.  “When she goes to the front she’s never beaten, she always finds more,” trainer Freddie Head said.  “She was relaxed and I was never worried.”

The Anabaa superstar will be set for the G1 Prix Jacques le Marois or the G1 Prix de la Foret at Deauville in August.  Another victory in either event would see her join Miesque with 10 Group 1 victories.

Head rode all-time great Miesque (Nureyev) to 8 G1 wins in France plus the English 1000 Guineas and US Breeders’ Cup Mile.  

Apart from yesterday’s Queen Anne Stakes, Goldikova has won the last two editions of the Breeders’ Cup Mile and Prix Rothschild, the 2008 Prix du Moulin, 2009 Prix Jacques le Marois, 2009 Falmouth Stakes and 2010 Prix D’Ispahan.

After the Deauville carnival, she will head to Churchill Downs for an unprecedented third Breeders’ Cup Mile.  Bookmakers already have her as short as 7/4 for the three-peat.

Goldikova is by former Widden shuttler Anabaa who died in July 2009.  The son of Danzig was given to Freddie Head’s father Alec by Sheikh Mohammed as a yearling after being diagnosed as a wobbler.  Despite that setback, he developed into Europe’s champion sprinter of 1996 winning the July Cup (G1) and Prix Maurice de Gheest (G1) before retiring to the Head family’s Haras du Quesnay.  

Anabaa had shuttled between France and Australia since 1997.  His southern hemisphere bred Group 1 winners included Yell (MRC C F Orr Stakes, Futurity Stakes & MVRC Australia Stakes), Virage De Fortune (QTC Sires’ Produce Stakes & MVRC Australia Stakes), Headturner (AJC Australian Derby), Imananabaa (NZ Railway Handicap) and Teranaba (AJC Spring Champion Stakes).

Anabaa’s G1 French Derby winner Anabaa Blue is his leading sire son in Europe.  In Australia, the sireline is represented by proven Greta West Stud winner-getter King Of Prussia and Larneuk Stud’s USA stakes winner Tsigane.

Goldikova’s immediate family includes last Sunday’s Prix du Lys winner Goldwaki.  The Chantilly G3 winning colt is by Dalakhani out of the mare’s half-sister Gold Round.

Their dam Born Gold is a sister to the 1993 Coronation Stakes winner Gold Splash.  The family traces back to 1981 Arc de Triomphe winneer Gold River.  Born Gold has a two-year-old filly by Galileo named Galikova and a filly foal by Anabaa.