Wins add up to magic numbers
The weekend was very much one for number crunching. On Saturday at Goodwood, the Richards Hannon and Hughes took their scores for a glorious record-breaking festival week to nine winners apiece.
The trainer had already seen off the previous best, the six by Sir Michael Stoute in 1989, but a double on the final day was needed to put the jockey into the quiz question category, one ahead of Lester Piggott, Kieren Fallon and Johnny Murtagh.
Then yesterday at Deauville the superb Goldikova stepped into her own place in turf history.
Her insouciant third successive victory in the Prix Rothschild, the first Group One contest of the month-long summer season at the elegant seaside track, enabled her to match Miesque, who did her running during the Eighties, as the only European-trained horse with a tally of 10 victories at the highest level.
There are several links between the filly who became known as magnificent Miesque and the mare who alliteratively must now be gorgeous Goldikova — both based in France, both champions at a mile, both dual Breeders' Cup winners. And Freddy Head rode the former and trains the latter.
Head has made no secret of his admiration for Miesque nor his love for Goldikova, with whom he lives and works daily at his Chantilly stables and wore his heart on his sleeve at Deauville yesterday as he welcomed the five-year-old into the winner's circle.
“She has so much class and was cruising all the way through the race. She pointed her ears when she was in front in the final furlong and I thought she was looking very beautiful,” he said.
Goldikova, the 1-3 favourite, faced six rivals yesterday, with Britain's best three-year-old filly in the division, Music Show, judged most dangerous. Mick Channon's charge was indeed second-best, though never a serious threat.
Goldikova will attempt an unprecedented third Breeders' Cup win, in the Mile at Churchill Downs, in November.