Goldikova lights up Longchamp

FREDDIE HEAD labelled Goldikova a “freak” after the wonder mare notched up her eighth Group One success in the Prix D’Ispahan at Longchamp yesterday.

Head used the nine-furlong race as a starting point last year but was left downcast on that occasion when she could only trail home in seventh on soft ground.

However, the five-year-old firmly put memories of that performance to rest with an imperious display that saw her record the fastest winning time the race has ever seen.

Ridden with confidence by her usual partner Olivier Peslier, she hit the front fully two furlongs out and despite racing over further than her optimum trip, she had enough in reserve to hold off Byword.

Staceilta was a major disappointment and never figured.

Head says all roads now lead to the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot and a mouthwatering clash with Paco Boy.

“She is extraordinary. She broke the record for the race and it was a tough race,” said Head.

“She was never far away and was the first to go for home and to keep on going is something else.

“That was over nine furlongs today too. A mile is her distance, definitely, she is a miler.

“She can go early or wait at the back – she is a freak.

“She never surprises me, but I must say I was a bit worried during the race because I thought they had gone too quick, that was my only worry but she showed she could do it.”

Godolphin’s Kite Wood got his four-year-old campaign off to the best possible start with an all-the-way win in the Prix Vicomtesse Vigier.

Second in the St Leger to stablemate Mastery last season, the Ascot Gold Cup could now be high on his agenda after he benefited from a fantastic front-running ride from Frankie Dettori.

Kasbah Bliss came from the clouds late but never looked like catching Kite Wood.

“I’m happy. He’s a horse with class, he showed that last year when finishing second in the St Leger,” said trainer Saeed bin Suroor.

“Physically he looks much better than last year and he is certainly more relaxed this year, which is a good sign.”

Godolphin were also pleased with the performance of Hibaayeb in the Prix Saint-Alary as she finished third behind the Alain de Royer-Dupre-trained Sarafina.

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