Updated on 10/04/2011 2:55PM

Goldikova comes up short in Prix de la Foret


Dream Ahead won the Group 1 Prix de la Foret on Sunday at Longchamp, but all eyes were on the horse a head behind him at the finish, as Goldikova wrapped up the European portion of her storied career with a narrow loss in Paris.

The 6-year-old Goldikova probably has one dance left, with her fourth trip to the United States likely still in the works next month. Goldikova’s first three trans-Atlantic trips produced wins in the Breeders’ Cup Mile, and she appeared to run well enough in defeat Sunday to justify another start in the race.

“If she recovers well, I think we'll probably go to the Breeders' Cup," trainer Freddie Head said afterward while offering no excuses for Goldikova’s defeat.

Goldikova won the 2010 Foret and finished third in the race’s 2009 edition, but where the 2009 Foret was contested over the sort of wet course that traditionally has limited Goldikova, Sunday’s race was run under quick, firm conditions that she relishes. Goldikova’s pacemaker, Flash Dance, was slow into stride, and jockey Olivier Peslier on Goldikova had to take a firm hold of his mount while the rabbit slowly made her way to the front. Flash Dance led to early in the stretch, when Goldikova slipped through along the inside and found herself in front. Worthadd came up to challenge, and though Goldikova shrugged him off with mid-range acceleration, Dream Ahead quickly emerged on the outside under William Buick to mount a fresh challenge. Dream Ahead and Goldikova ran stride for stride over the last furlong, but the bigger, stronger, younger English sprinter narrowly took Goldikova’s measure while drifting slightly to the left. Winning time for about seven furlongs was a swift 1:18.10.

The 3-year-old Dream Ahead, a Diktak colt, was among the highest-rated European 2-year-olds of 2010. Coming into Sunday’s race he had won a pair of English Group ‘1s over six furlongs this year, and proved equally capable at Sunday’s longer distance. Co-owner Khalifa Dasmal, who recently sold part of Dream Ahead to SF Bloodstock and Ballylinch Farm, said shortly after the Foret that Dream Ahead was finished racing. But Ballylinch manager John O’Connor was quoted in The Racing Post saying that Dream Ahead “does have options this year like the Breeders’ Cup and Hong Kong, so we’ll see.”