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Dream Aheadbeats Goldikova in the Prix de la Foret

Dream Ahead (pink) edges out Goldikova (white cap) to win the Foret

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)  

Dream Ahead downs Goldikova in Foret

Report: France, Sunday

Longchamp: Prix de la Foret (Group 1) 7f, turf, 3yo+

FRENCH racegoers were denied the fond farewell they were hoping for in the Prix de la Foret as the great Goldikova was touched off by Dream Ahead (David Simcock/William Buick), who landed the fifth Group 1 of his career after a thrilling finish.

The son of Diktat will not race next season and may haverun his last race.

Owner Khalifa Dasmal has sold part of him to American investment group SF Bloodstock and Ballylinch Stud, whose manager John O'Connor said: "We'll now have a discussion. It's likely that was his final race, but nothing is certain as the horse is fairly fresh, sound and at the peak of his form.

"He won't race next season, but he does have options this year like the Breeders' Cup and Hong Kong so we'll see."

Goldikova very much had the run of the race, slipping neatly up the rail in the straight as her pacemaker Flash Dance gave way.

Italian challenger Worthadd also dropped back under Frankie Dettori, but July Cup winner Dream Ahead was travelling extremely well before being pulled out by William Buick, who had already struck in Group 1 company when Elusive Kate took the Prix Marcel Boussac.

Trainer David Simcock - 2008

David Simcock: trains Dream Ahead

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham  

The giant-striding Dream Ahead powered alongside Goldikova and looked likely to win decisively, but it was to be a ding-dong struggle as not only did the David Simcock-trained three-year-old hang a bit over the track, but his formidable rival fought back in determined fashion.

After a fierce final-furlong battle, they passed the line in unison, only for a photo to reveal that 7-2 shot Dream Ahead had nailed the odds-on favourite.

Given the exploits of Frankel, it is easy to overlook the fact that Dream Ahead was joint-champion two-year-old last term after winning both the Prix Morny and the Middle Park.

Now he has taken the biggest scalp of his career as he added Sunday's race to victories the July Cup and Haydock Sprint Cup.

"David's trained this horse to perfection," said Buick. "He's not been the easiest the whole way through, but David's done a fantastic job and Jenny [Simcock's wife] as well and the whole team back in Newmarket.

"Everything panned out today," he added. "I just wish Goldikova hadn't been second because she's the people's favourite and I'm a big fan of her myself. But he's a worthy winner and the best horse won.

"I always said he'd be better in a good race because when he gets to the front he does nothing. Today he went up and hung left, thinking he'd done enough."

Jenny Simcock added: "He's [Dream Ahead] been very good to us. It was a slow start to the season with Dream Ahead, but David's always had immense faith in him - it's very special."

Freddie Head Trainer

Freddy Head: no excuses

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker  

Longchamp's 7f track has sometimes not seen Goldikova in her best light and she was beaten in the Foret two seasons ago before making amends in 2010.

On both occasions, of course, she went on to win the Breeders' Cup Mile, and it is doubtful a narrow defeat on Sunday puts any dent in her claims as she bids for a wonderful four-timer in the States at Churchill Downs next month.

"There are no excuses," said her trainer Freddy Head.

"Maybe she does not havethe same turn of foot that she used to and maybe the mileage is starting to catch up. If she recovers well I think we'll probably go to the Breeders' Cup."

 
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