With the year winding down and not a whole of action on the track to discuss, I thought I'd take a look at some of the big moments from the past year in the world of horse racing. Up first, Goldikova's victory in the Group 1 Prix de la Foret at Longchamp on the Arc Day under card.
There are several things to take note of with this race: first, the video replay has a timer in the upper left, something we usually don't see with European races (at least those broadcast in the U.S.). The race was at 1,400 meters, or approximately seven furlongs; notice the clocking with 200 meters to go, or after six furlongs - 1:09.1. That's a fast time by any standard, even here in the U.S. with our much more speed-based running style. Combine that split with a turf course labeled Soft to Very Soft in places and that is some serious early pace.
Second, Goldikova is a big part of the pace in this race (unlike many of her other races); she's not sitting back and letting the leaders do the dirty work, she's doing the dirty work herself.
Third, in Goldikova's race prior to the Prix de la Foret, she lost to 2000 Guineras winner Makfi (GB) at Deauville over another course that was rated very soft. Ground with a lot of give is clearly not Goldikova's preferred surface (nor seven furlongs her preferred distance), yet she was still able to come up with a huge effort in this race.
Finally, just before the field hits the 1,000 meters mark Regal Parade swings by her and grabs the lead, at which point the announcer suggests that she looks beaten. If you look closely at the video, Regal Parade's jockey is asking his mount for everything he's got while the jocks on Dick Turpin and Paco Boy are also calling on their rides to put forth more effort. Then look at the hands of Goldikova's jockey, Olivier Peslier - hardly any motion at all. Peslier gradually begins to ask her for more as they run inside the final 400 meters but doesn't put her into an all out drive until just outside the final marker.
Goldikova's victory in the Prix de la Foret was a tremendous display of versatility from a mare that had little left to prove.
Video below the jump.