Freddie Head has mixed emotions about the date with destiny that awaits his outstanding mare Goldikova on Saturday night at Churchill Downs, Kentucky, when the great French mare runs the final race of a truly glittering career that could well yield her a possibly never-to-be-equalled fourth successive victory in the Breeders’ Cup Mile, writes Elliot Slater.

The winner of an extraordinary 14 Group 1 successes around the globe, Goldikova will bow out with the eyes of the racing world firmly fixed upon her bid for a fourth straight Mile win, a feat that has prompted even the sometimes overly partisan US racing authorities to promote her race to be the penultimate on what is an outstanding card of top class races. The online Breeders Cup betting reflects this.

After supervising a light canter for the six-year-old daughter of Anabaa, Head spoke of his sadness that the horse that has been such a big part of his life for the past five years will retire to stud after Saturday’s race. He admitted that whilst she has won so many times at the highest level it is fair to say that there might have been a few better horses than her during her time at the top, but none has come close to her consistency and admirable battling spirit, a feature which has endeared her to racegoers across the globe.

Confirming that she has never been sick for even one day in her life, Head paid further tribute to the Wertheimer Brothers pride and joy in say that he has never heard of or seen a horse like her in all his long and distinguished career in the saddle and as a trainer. With the plum draw in stall 1, Goldikova is currently a solid 7/4 favourite to bring the house down at Churchill Downs and ride off into the sunset as truly one of the all-time greats.

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