07/29/2011 3:36PM

Goldikova makes rare appearance vs. females in Prix Rothschild


The brilliant turf miler Goldikova will be heavily favored to win her second Group 1 race of 2011, and the 14th such race of her career, in Sunday’s Prix Rothschild at Deauville, France.

The winner of the last three runnings of the Breeders’ Cup Mile – twice at Santa Anita, once at Churchill Downs – Goldikova will be after her fourth consecutive win in the Prix Rothschild, a one-mile race for fillies and mares which has drawn a field of eight. The race has a purse of approximately $429,000.

Goldikova has started twice this year, winning the Group 1 Prix d’Ispahan at Longchamp in May for the second consecutive year.

She finished second to Canford Cliffs as the 5-4 favorite in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 14, losing by a length after leading with a furlong to go. The European press was critical of jockey Olivier Peslier for posting two pounds of overweight in that race.

For the Prix de Rothschild, Goldikova races against females for the first time since the 2010 running. Peslier has the mount for trainer Freddy Head, who has entered the 5-year-old mare Flash Dance as a pacesetter for her popular stablemate.

Goldikova’s main rivals are Timepiece, Sahpresa, and First City, the first three finishers of the Group 1 Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket, England, on July 8. Timepiece, trained by Henry Cecil, has won her last two starts. Jockey Tom Queally described Timepiece’s win in the Falmouth win as “the race of her life.”

There is one 3-year-old filly in the race. Nova Hawk was second in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot in June and was fourth in both the English and French 1000 Guineas in May. Rod Collet trains Sahpresa and Nova Hawk.

Harbour Watch remains perfect

Harbour Watch extended his unbeaten streak to three races when he won his stakes debut in the Group 2 Richmond Stakes at Goodwood racecourse in England on Friday.

Ridden by Richard Hughes for trainer Richard Hannon, Harbour Watch won the six-furlong race as the even-money favorite by 2 3/4 lengths over Bannock. Harbour Watch rallied from just off the pace and overcame trouble when he was carried out by the longshot Bogart with more than a quarter-mile remaining.

An Irish-bred, Harbour Watch won a maiden race and a conditions race before the Richmond.