• The week’s significant milestones, facts and figures
France: The great Goldikova, the only horse to win the same Breeders’ Cup race three times, died on Tuesday [Jan 5] aged 16.
The Wertheimers’ homebred superstar miler holds the European record for most G1 victories with 14. Enable (11) is the only other horse to win more than ten since the introduction of the Pattern system in the early 1970s; Miesque won ten.
Trained by Freddy Head and ridden by Olivier Peslier in all her races, the daughter of Anabaa won the Breeders’ Cup Mile in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
16 Alexander Crispin
USA: Anyone scrutinising Equibase’s championship lists for the early 2021 skirmishes would have found an unlikely name at the top of the jockeys’ list in terms of races won in the shape of 5lb ‘bugboy’ Alexander Crispin.
As the weekend ended, Crispin led the way among all US-based riders with 16 victories already – one ahead of Irad Ortiz.
Puerto Rican native Crispin, 22, enjoyed successive four-win days at Laurel Park in Maryland last week [Jan 7-8]; he stands at 11th in prize-money terms, where Joel Rosario is No.1.
9 Summer Pudding
South Africa: The unbeaten run of star filly Summer Pudding came to an end at nine when she could finish only seventh on her tenth start in the G1 Paddock Stakes at Kenilworth on Saturday [Jan 9].
Sent off 21-20 favourite on her Cape Town debut, the three-time G1 winner nicknamed the ‘Reflection of Perfection’ came under pressure 400 metres out before being beaten about five lengths by Queen Supreme, who completed back-to-back victories for Mike de Kock.
There was an excuse, however, for the favourite’s below-par effort as the course vet reported she returned a dirty scope – mucus in the trachea. The Paddock Stakes is a part of the Breeders’ Cup ‘Win and You’re In’ Challenge offering a fees-paid berth in the Filly & Mare Turf.
89 Russian Emperor
Hong Kong: Royal Ascot winner Russian Emperor made his Hong Kong debut on Sunday [Jan 10] in a richly endowed 7f handicap for new trainer Douglas Whyte.
Given that he had won the Hampton Court Stakes for former trainer Aidan O’Brien, the four-year-old is certainly one of the more high-profile recruits to Hong Kong this winter.
However, the punters there are no mugs. Dismissed as an 89-1 longshot on his HK debut over such an inadequate trip, Russian Emperor was never seen with a chance before finishing tenth of 14 behind the winner Not Usual Talent.
40 Mark Johnston
GB: Britain’s record-breaking trainer has started the new year in prolific form. Nothing unusual there, you might suggest, but how’s about a 40% strike rate so far? That’s eight winners from just 20 runners for the Kingsley House maestro.
With that in mind, jockey Richard Kingscote had better pull his finger out. He’s only going 8-for-25 (32%) since the turn of the year. Figures correct as of Monday morning [Jan 11], by the way.