Goldikova will bid to end her career on a high with a fourth Breeders’ Cup win after being beaten in her homeland farewell on Sunday.
The darling of French racing failed by the narrowest of margins to sign off her career at home in style when she was caught by Dream Ahead in the Prix de la Foret at Longchamp.
The Freddie Head-trained six-year-old mare was bidding for her 15th win at the highest level in what was her final race in France.
She is due to attempt an historic fourth Breeders’ Cup Mile success at Churchill Downs next month before being retired.
Goldikova won the Prix de la Floret (1400m) in 2010 and Olivier Peslier appeared to have done everything right once taking up the running a furlong (200m) out.
However, William Buick had still not asked for everything on the giant Dream Ahead and last year’s joint-champion two-year-old with Frankel won his third Group One of the season by a head.
Whether the David Simcock-trained Dream Ahead – winner of the July Cup and Haydock Sprint Cup in a tremendous season – races again having been sold to Ballylinch Stud in Ireland remains in the air.
Winning owner Khalifa Dasmal, who won the Derby with Shaamit in 1996, said he would have been happy with second place.
“To beat a horse like Goldikova is unbelievable and we’d have been happy to have finished second,” he said.
“He’s obviously a very good horse and he’s proved it over several distances and on different types of ground.
“I’ve sold part of him to Ballylinch Stud. I know it’s a shame to retire him, but what would he do next year apart from winning the same races that he’s already won.”
Stud owner John O’Connor said there was a possibility Dream Ahead could race at the Breeders’ Cup meeting or the Hong Kong International meeting in December before going to stud.
Head said he felt time was catching up with Goldikova.
“I think the mileage is starting to catch up with her maybe, we will have to see,” he said.
“It’s always disappointing to be beaten, especially with Goldikova. We may not have been fresh enough.
“She still has the Breeders’ Cup to look forward and after that, it will be time…”
It was a fantastic afternoon for young Buick who earlier claimed the Prix Marcel Broussac on the John Gosden-trained Elusive Kate.
It was also a big afternoon for Frankie Dettori who racked up his 500th Group win in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere on France’s best juvenile Dabirism.
“It’s unbelievable to ride 500 Group winners,” Dettori said.
“It’s an astonishing number so it’s a big, big moment for me, and I’ve been very lucky to ride some very good horses.”
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