08/16/2009 12:00AM

Goldikova cruises by six in Marois


"I think she is better than Miesque," said Freddy Head of his superb filly Goldikova after last year's Breeders' Cup Mile winner romped to a six-length victory in the $852,000 Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville on Sunday. And Head should know, as he rode Miesque to all eight of her Group or Grade 1 triumphs and has now trained Goldikova to six of the same, with the strong possibility of more to follow.

The Wertheimer brothers' homebred 4-year-old daughter of Anabaa looked better than ever in the Marois, a race that has been won in the past by five subsequent Breeders' Cup winners, including Miesque twice in the Mile. Although reluctant to enter the gate - she had to be blinfolded and forced into position for the start - the 7-10 Goldikova was soon tracking her pacesetter Only Green in third. Olivier Peslier pushed the button approaching the quarter pole and the response was instantaneous. She swept to the lead and was quickly clear, extending her advantage to the line with the aid of a couple of slaps to keep her straight inside the final furlong.

Group 2 Summer Mile Stakes winner Aqlaam was left in her wake in second and it was another five lengths back to the third-place Virtual. Group 1 winners Silver Frost, Never on Sunday, and Gladiatorus were far behind in sixth, seventh and eighth. The time for the straight mile, over which Goldikova had won the Group 1 Prix Rothschild just two weeks ago, was 1:33.50 on good ground, or 0.8 of a second off the track record.

Head reiterated that a second Breeders' Cup Mile crown on Nov. 7 at Santa Anita remains Goldikova's ultimate goal, but said that the Sept. 6 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp, the race she had won last year prior to her Mile heroics, was an unlikely prep. In something of a surprise, the trainer announced that her final start before leaving for Santa Anita would come in the seven-furlong Prix de la Foret at Longchamp on Oct. 3, when she will most likely run into defending champ Paco Boy, the two-time Group 1 winner who sidestepped the Marois to prepare especially for his Foret title defense.

Casual Conquest takes Royal Whip

Casual Conquest began serious preparations for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe with a victory in the Group 2, $163,000 Royal Whip Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday, defeating Curtain Call by 1 1/4 lengths in the 1 1/4-mile contest. Trained by Dermot Weld and ridden by Pat Smullen for Moyglare Stud, the 4-year-old son of Hernando slogged his way through soft to heavy ground to record a time of 2:15.74 as the 8-13 favorite.

Weld said that Casual Conquest, who had won the Group 1 Tatersalls Gold Cup in May but was upset by She's Our Mark in the Group 3 Meld Stakes last time, would have his final Arc trial in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on Sept. 5.