Goldikova's 2011 racing campaign

We have another guest blogger here at Through the Lens.  John Gilmore is going to keep us updated on racing superstar Goldikova. A journalist and horse racing photographer based in France, John Gilmore attends major race meetings in the Parisian area and in Deauville during the summer. John looks forward to sharing his observations and images with us as he follows the great mare. Goldikova’s training plan includes a return to Churchill Downs where she will defend her Breeders’ Cup championship.

 From John Gilmore:

Sensing Deauville was her favourite track and she was the star of the show ready to perform, Goldie entered the parade ring on her toes, ears pricked and looking round as she prepared for the Prix Rothschild on July 31, 2011.
When Olivier Peslier mounted Goldie, the mare instantly nodded her head in approval realising it was a friend, though the handler had to straighten her up leading to the track. Excitement for the race was building up.. Once on the track the pair quickly got into an even stride down to the start, passing the stands to loud applause, including from around 100 "Goldie" fans waving banners.
Goldikova down stretch
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Never giving her fans an anxious moment in the race - Goldikova always looked the winner and it's a long time on a French race track since I heard such an applause. This went on for ages after she calmly entered the winners enclosure,  hardly blowing  at all  posing for a picture and probably wondering what all the fuss was about. 
Goldikova Winner's Circle
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Trainer Freddie Head and jockey Olivier Peslier were overjoyed, passing a very emotional moment with the  journalists, who crowded round listening intently to every word they said. The most telling thing  Olivier mentioned; “I never had to use the whip  and she won as she pleased,” while Freddie Head planned the same programme as last year with all roads leading to the Breeders’ Cup.
Goldie truly is a racing legend in our time. Thanks for visiting and thank you to Anne Eberhardt for letting me join in on the fun. If you’d like to see images of Goldikova training and at the barn with her lads let us know! We would also like to hear which race of Goldikova's was your favorite?

Read the full story on the Prix Rothschild.

View more Goldikova photos at The Blood-Horse Photo Store.


Leave a Comment:


I'd love to see images of Goldikova training and with her lads!

05 Aug 2011 6:09 PM
Needler in Virginia

Mr Gilmore,

Many thanks for the piece on Goldikova; while all her races swiftly become my favorites, the best always seems to be the Breeders Cup in 2010. The icing on the cake was the announcement that Mr Head was going to bring her back to the 2012 Breeders Cup. Now THAT'S incredibly special. She's an incredible talent, trained by one of the best and ridden by her good friend. Can it get any better??

Thank you again; I only wish we could see her more often.

Cheers and very safe trips.

05 Aug 2011 6:15 PM
Rachel NH

Thanks for doing this for us...she's phenominal!

05 Aug 2011 6:20 PM

My favorite race she won was the 2009 Breeders Cup, coming from way back and just zooming in the stretch. Goldikova always looks like the smallest horse in the field and yet she zips and ahead and leaves everybody else behind.

05 Aug 2011 8:15 PM

Yes, please, more images! The more on Goldikova, the better.

05 Aug 2011 9:24 PM

Thanks so much for the terrific photos and story.  I'd love to see images of "Goldie" training and at the barn!

I'm curious as to how much she weighs and how many hands she is; she looks under 16.  But she's a powerhouse and clearly one of the best mares ever and I'm so glad she came back to race this year.

Thanks again!

06 Aug 2011 3:46 AM

an amazing athlete and one for the ages,

06 Aug 2011 8:15 PM

Such an amazing mare. A champion on all continents!

07 Aug 2011 12:19 AM
Ida Lee

I am ashamed to say that at one time I did not like Goldie because she beat my beloved Kip Deville in the BC and I was quite annoyed (as was Kip I understand) plus she wasn't as beautiful as my Kip either. WHAT WAS I THINKING!!! Goldikova is a true Treasure and an incredible Champion. I love to see her race and I would love to see photos, videos whatever of this incredible Mare. I can't get enough of her.

07 Aug 2011 11:15 AM

She's a sweetheart for sure.  If she would have come along at a time different than Zenyatta and Rachel for sure those in N/A that don't appreciate her (myself at times) would be admiring her accomplishments and giving her the love she deserves.

07 Aug 2011 2:58 PM

Strange comment considering most that know of Goldikova enjoy her immensely. I am not sure what Rachel and Zenyatta have to do with her as they are retired and she is still running.  Maybe that was a back handed way of demeaning the mare. Sad and silly if you asked me.

09 Aug 2011 2:08 PM
Mike Relva


Funny  lecturing about horses not racing any longer when you spend a good part of your time slamming a horse that's no longer racing(Zenyatta).You shouldn't throw stones while living in glass houses,Wes!

16 Aug 2011 9:39 PM

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