09/30/2009 11:00PM

Distance and post shouldn't be problems for Goldikova

Barbara D. Livingston
Goldikova is prepping for a defense of her Breeders' Cup Mile title, although at a shorter distance here.

PARIS - Goldikova faces 13 opponents who will try to add luster to their modest records by finishing second to the world's best miler in the Group 1, $364,000 Prix de la Foret on Saturday, the first day of Longchamp's prestigious Arc Weekend.

Although Goldikova, a 4-year-old daughter of Anabaa, is cutting back to seven furlongs and has drawn wide in post 14, she should succeed in this preparation for a defense of her Breeders' Cup Mile title.

The regal six-length winner against males on Aug. 16 in the one-mile Prix Jacques le Marois, Goldikova possesses a scintillating turn of foot that can always get her out of trouble. Jockey Olivier Peslier should be able to find her a spot wide in mid-pack from where she can control affairs through the three-furlong stretch.

Trainer Freddie Head is not worried. Recognizing that "there are no invincible horses," he is unfazed by Goldikova's draw. "It is not good, but it should not be a problem," he said. "She has plenty of speed for seven furlongs."

This would be a highly competitive event were it not for the filly Head has called "maybe better than Miesque," the great filly he rode to a pair of Breeders' Cup Mile victories in 1987 and 1988. The Roger Charlton-trained Border Patrol has won his last four starts, most recently a Group 3 mile at the Curragh. The 3-year-old filly Soneva is fresh from a win in the one-mile, Group 3 Prix de Lieurey at Deauville, while German raider Smooth Operator is a course-and-distance winner in the Group 3 Prix de la Porte Maillot and was recently second in Germany's championship sprint, the six-furlong Group 2 Goldene Peitsche.

Veteran British sprinter Balthazaar's Gift landed the seven-furlong, Group 2 Hungerford Stakes at Newbury two back but was only fourth in the one-mile, Group 1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp on Sept. 6. Oiseau de Feu was a close second to Lord Shanakill in the a subpar version of the one-mile Group 3 Prix Jean Prat for 3-year-olds on July 5 at Chantilly, while Brazilian tourist Opera Comica is in deep.

The biggest threat to Goldikova may come from Mariol. Trained by Robert Collet, he was second in the 6 1/2-furlong, Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest on Aug. 7 and more recently was the 2 1/2-length winner of the six-furlong, Group 3 Prix de Meautry.

The first three furlongs of the Foret are all downhill, making it an excellent trial for a rapidly run American mile, exactly the type of contest in which Goldikova has proved herself adept.

In the Group 2, $189,000 Prix Dollar, Stotsfold will make his first start since his game 1 1/2-length third to Gio Ponti in the Arlington Million. The 1 1/8 miles and 155 yards of the Dollar should perfectly suit this Walter Swinburn trainee, who will again be ridden by Adam Kirby.

Famous Name has had a tall reputation since finishing a neck second to Vision d'Etat in last year's French Derby. Kept largely to listed and Group 3 events by trainer Dermot Weld since then, he was second last time in the Prix du Moulin, but to an Aqlaam who was a dull fourth last Saturday in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. The Godolphin-owned Balius has done well in Hong Kong and Singapore of late and even won the 1 1/4-mile, Group 2 Anatolia Trophy last month in Istanbul, but this French Group 2 is tougher.

The Group 2, $189,000 Prix Daniel Wildenstein at a mile has produced an occasional Breeders' Cup Mile runner. This renewal could be decided between a pair of 3-year-old fillies.

The Jean-Claude Rouget-trained Tamazirte, second in the French 1000 Guineas, returns to her favorite distance after going longer against the likes of Stacelita and Alpine Rose. Reggane, trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre to win the Group 2 Prix de Sandringham and finish second in Royal Ascot's Group 1 Coronation Stakes, still has room for improvement. Freddie Head will saddle the 2007 runner-up Racinger, who won five weeks ago in the one-mile, Group 3 Prix Quincey at Deauville.P

Rainbow View going to Opera

Rainbow View has been withdrawn by John Gosden from Saturday's Group 1, $320,000 Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket in favor of a tilt at the Prix de l'Opera on Sunday. In her absence, owner George Strawbridge will still have Fantasia in this filly-and-mare mile. A Sadler's Wells

3-year-old, Fantasia looked as sharp as ever when cruising in the listed, seven-furlong Sceptre Stakes at Doncaster but is stepping back up to company in which she has never before succeeded.

Alnadana returns off her second-place finish in the Beverly D., but the favorite will be the 1000 Guineas and Coronation Stakes winner Ghanaati. Although only third last time in the Sussex Stakes behind Breeders' Cup Classic-bound Rip Van Winkle, she probably has a class edge on her rivals.

* Stacelita, who was awarded the Prix Vermeille in what many people feel was an unjust decision, and the Godolphin-owned Cavalryman, were supplemented to Sunday's $5.4 million Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe for $145,000, but the English and Irish Oaks winner Sariska was removed from consideration because of the prevailing good ground at Longchamp. Dar Re Mi, however, the filly who was demoted from first to fifth in the Vermeille, will line up for the Arc in an effort to take revenge on both Stacelita and the French stewards.