08/13/2010 11:27AM

Goldikova targets 11th win at top level in Prix Jacques Le Marois

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Benoit & Associates
Goldikova will be seeking a modern European record 11th Group 1 or Grade 1 victory in Sunday’s Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville.

Goldikova goes in search of what would be a modern European record of 11 Group or Grade 1 triumphs on Sunday, when she renews rivalry with Paco Boy in the $769,000 Prix Jacques Le Marois going a mile at Deauville. Victory would be her 11th at the highest level and would break the mark she currently shares with Miesque, who, like Goldikova, is a two-time winner of the Breeders’ Cup Mile.

The Jacques Le Marois is a Win and You’re In race, giving the winner a berth in the Breeders’ Cup Mile.

Very much at home on Deauville’s straight mile course over which she has won four Group 1 contests, among them a six-length cakewalk in last year’s Jacques Le Marois, Goldikova is coming off her third win in the Prix Rothschild over the same course and distance against her own sex. Trainer Freddy Head and rider Olivier Peslier have every reason to be supremely confident of her chances Sunday, but in Paco Boy they will be facing a very dangerous rival.

One of the most improved horses in training this year, Paco Boy emerged from handy scores in the Group 2 Sandown Mile and the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes to throw a bit of a scare into Goldikova in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot. Goldikova got first run that day, going three lengths clear approaching the eighth pole as Paco Boy, as is his wont, lagged behind early while awaiting room. When the gap came, the Richard Hannon trainee shot through it and was pressuring Goldikova from the sixteenth pole. Goldikova, however, did find something more near the line to hold Paco Boy safe by a neck. Some wonder whether Richard Hughes should try to keep Paco Boy closer to the pace this time, but that is not his style of running.

In Fuisse, Criquette Head-Maarek saddles a 4-year-old son of Green Tune who is capable of an upset, should the big two suffer off days. Second in last year’s French Derby, Fuisse has run off three straight victories at a mile, taking the Group 3 Prix Messidor on the straight course at Maisons-Laffitte last time by four lengths. He will be ridden by Stephane Pasquier.

Makfi scored a 33-1 surprise winning the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 1, but the Mikel Delzangles-trained son of Dubawi was not the same horse when he had his unbeaten record ended when finishing seventh behind Canford Cliffs and Dick Turpin in the St. James’s Palace Stakes. In the Guineas, Makfi had Dick Turpin and Canford Cliffs back in second and third, and a return to that form would make him a factor with Christophe Soumillon at the controls.