Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed's Rainfall and Jaber Abdullah's Music Show will attempt to deny Goldikova an incredible 10th Group 1 success this afternoon when the three meet in a clash of generations in the Prix Rothschild at Deauville, France. Goldikova's racecourse exploits have dominated the fillies and mares division in Europe for the past two seasons, but success this afternoon would see her rank alongside Zenyatta, the US mare, who also boasts 10 victories at the highest level.
Bruce Raymond, Abdullah's racing manager, believes that the French mare's seven rivals are racing for second place. "We are up against the best miler in the world," Raymond said. "Goldikova will have to spread a plate or tread on a stone for us to beat her. You never know with fillies and mares at this stage of the season, though." If Goldikova were to run flat, for whatever reason, Music Show illustrated earlier this month that she has the ability, as well as the scope for improvement, to make a real race of it at the Normandy track.
Abdullah's three-year-old daughter of Noverre showed a devastating turn of foot when taking on her elders for the first time in the Group 1 Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket, a race that Goldikova took last year en route to her second Breeders' Cup triumph in the Mile at Santa Anita, in California, in November. "Music Show ran too bad to be true earlier in the season," Raymond said of Music Show's performance in the English 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket in May.
"She's improved, and in the Falmouth she got a really fast pace, which is the key to her. I'm not sure we can realistically beat Goldikova, but she's in good form and arrived there on Friday." Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum's unbeaten Khawatim runs in the earlier Prix de Cabourg, a Group 3 run over six furlongs. email@example.com