Point/Counterpoint - Goldikova vs Frankel

Point/Counterpoint - Who is the best Miler in the World - Goldikova or Frankel?
Horse Racing Nation blogger Mary Schweitzer, queen of the Euroblog Across The Pond, says Goldikova is the royal miler while Zipse At The Track's Brian Zipse votes Frankel!

Across The Pond

Mary Schweitzer:

Ahhh……the Golden Goldikova. What a tremendously talented mare she is. After four years of racing, we have almost run out of adjectives to use to describe her. I mean what more can we say?


To the casual observer, Goldikova may just be a ‘nice’ racehorse. She certainly wouldn’t win any beauty pageants. I’m not saying that ‘Goldi’ is homely or ugly. Not in the least bit! However, she certainly is not a flashy individual, either. Her packaging may be that of a ‘plain brown wrapper’, but it’s what’s inside that counts.


In a career that has spanned four years, Goldi has always been sound. She’s never had to end a year early or miss a race due to any strains, pulls, or even the sniffles. The daughter of Anabaa has made 24 career starts---and won 17 of them. She has finished in the money 23 times! The only time she has thrown in a complete clunker was when she finished 7th in the Prix d’Ispahan (Fr-I) in 2009. 

This leads into my next point in that Goldikova is the model of consistency. Overall soundness and good health of course lead to being able to compete at the highest level. This past Sunday, Goldi won the Prix Rothschild (Fr-I) for the fourth year in a row. As we all know, she will be shooting for her fourth straight Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. IT) later this season. Other races she has raced in at least twice, if not three times; she hasn’t won all of them, but she has been in the money (i.e., 2009 Jacques La Marois-1st; 2010 La Marois-2nd/2010 Queen Anne-1st; 2011 Queen Anne-2nd). She’s like a Swiss watch (or a Timex….she keeps on ticking…).

I’d like to briefly mention the amount of weight that Goldikova has toted over the years. In her first race back in 2007, as a wee lass of two, little Goldi was assigned 126 pounds. (I’ll try not to mention that for the most part, the only time any horses here stateside carry that weight is if they participate in any of the Triple Crown races. Although, yes, Zenyatta did carry 127 and 129 a couple of times. Oops, wait a minute….looks like I just mentioned that!) Anyway, on two occasions in her career, Goldikova has toted 131 pounds—once was in a neck loss to Azabara in a 3yo conditions race (the winner toted a feathery 123). The other race was the Etihad Airways Falmouth Stakes (Eng-I) in 2009, in which Goldi beat older fillies by a half-length.

Now let’s take a look at the type of competition our girl Goldi has been facing. The last time Goldikova competed in anything less than a group I was way back in June 2008, during her 3-year-old season. Two of her losses during her sophomore year came at the hands (at the hooves?) of the brilliant Zarkava, who was undefeated during her career.

So far in her career, Goldikova has defeated 29 grade I/group I winners on both sides of the Atlantic. Those she has left in her wake include the likes of Henrythenavigator, Paco Boy (three times), Proviso (three times), Darjina (twice), Zacinto (twice), Rip Van Winkle, Court Vision (twice), Gio Ponti, Kip Deville, Natagora (twice), Sahpresa (twice), Gladiatorus (twice), Dick Turpin, and Byword (twice). There’s more I could add, but I think you get the point..

In conclusion, if you are looking for the definition of a true miler, look no further than the little brown filly from France, and everyone’s sweetheart---Goldikova. Pure class and a true champion on both sides of the pond. I only hope that after she retires, regardless of the outcome of the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Mile, that the Breeders’ Cup officials add her name to the title of the race. Yes, keep the sponsor, obviously, but the race should always be known as the TVG/Goldikova Breeders’ Cup Mile. She deserves the honor.

Brian Zipse:

Goldikova is great, and has been great for years. There is no denying that, but excuse me … have you seen Frankel run? I haven’t seen a horse more spectacular in winning his first eight races since … since, I don’t know when.

They are both beautiful horses, but if we are going to talk looks, yes, I would say Frankel is the looker. The beautiful bay son of the champion, Galileo, certainly has all the right parts in the right places, and a motor in that engine that blow the doors off even the sleekest and prettiest of French sports cars.

Longevity is a quality to be admired, and Goldikova has been able to sustain her excellence, but sometimes it is time for the old guard to step down from their throne and recognize a new era. Frankel may have only been around for two short seasons so far, but look at his accomplishments. He already has eight wins (out of eight starts) including seven straight stakes, with four of them being of the Group I variety. Not a clunker to be found.

Can’t argue with you there. Goldikova has been consistent. What I will say, is this … Is there anything more consistent than the undefeated horse? While Goldikova has lost at least one race in each of the last four years, Frankel is perfect. His record is as consistent as you can get. If Goldikova is like a Swiss watch, then Frankel must be like death and taxes, because he just doesn’t lose. And the way he is dominating his group one competition, it does not look like the first loss is coming anytime soon.

While you are mentioning the weight that Goldikova has carried, I’d like to rundown Frankel’s margins of victory. In his maiden win he won by half a length over Nathaniel, probably the second best 3-year-old in the world. Next he won a minor stakes race by 13 lengths, that’s right 13! Then he won a Group 2 stakes at Ascot by 10 lengths, before closing out his juvenile season with a Group 1 win by an easy 2 ½ lengths. At three, Frankel opened with a 4 length win at Newbury. He then proceeded to take down an English classic, the 2000 Guineas, by 6 lengths. He opened an insurmountable lead in the St. James’s Palace Stakes before coasting to a ¾ length victory in his seventh start, before making the racing world gasp with a 5 length undressing of Canford Cliffs in the Sussex. Not only is Frankel perfect, he is winning these races by an average of more than 5 lengths!


I think you hit on something there Mary … Zarkava was undefeated and brilliant. Sound familiar? In fact, after this debate, I plan on calling the good folks at Webster to have them place a picture of Frankel next to their definition of both undefeated, and brilliant.


That list of competition is great, but I notice that Zarkava is not mentioned. You remember her, the filly that beat Goldikova in both of their races. You see, that is the difference between Goldikova and Frankel. One has proven to be an all-time great, but certainly beatable, while Frankel is well on his way to super stardom without ever having come close to losing a race. He has faced the best of his generation, and the best 4-year-old miler in the world, and he is still looking for someone … anyone, to challenge him.


Goldikova will get her honors, as we all know she so richly deserves, but let’s face it, when the two of them do eventually meet on the track, it will be Frankel that is favored by most to win. Frankel is a machine at a mile, and no one, including Goldikova can stop him. Look what he did to Canford Cliffs last week. The same horse that beat Goldikova last time, looked Frankel in the eye and had absolutely no response. Frankel is just too good. I applaud Goldikova on an amazing career, but if they raced tomorrow, Frankel would win. He is just too good.


See Goldikova go for her 4th Breeders' Cup Mile from the perfect spot at Churchill Downs - the HRN section! Click here for details - space is very limited!


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Older Comments about Point/Counterpoint - Goldikova vs Frankel...

BTW I love Goldi who for me is the ultimate consistent versatile miler. But I think Frankel is a little better at the moment. Unfortunately they won't meet. Frankel will run the QE2 on Champions Day which the BHA is trying to turn into a BC style championship event. Goldi will run the BC Mile, how can she miss the chance to try a 4th BC, but will not compromise that by running in the QE2. For those who will accuse Frankel of ducking, consider that Europeans do not consider the BC to be a world champ race. There is more than enough championship racing during the height of the Euro season to determine the best Euro horse. The BC is an after thought, it is seen as a bonus race to win some big money. Don't get me wrong, the BC races are strong and well-respected, but they are at the wrong time of year and in the wrong conditions to be considered championship races. The BC is not seen as any more important than any other European races and because of when and where it takes place, is not considered as solid a yardstick as the prestigious Euro races for comparing Euro form.
Let's look at the Sussex. Frankel beat CC 5L who beat Goldi 1L in QA. Frankel beat RDLP 7.5L who CC beat 5L and Goldi beat 4L in the Queen Anne. Frankel beat Rajsaman 10L who Goldi beat 1L in Ispahan. Rajsaman also beat Byword 1L in the Muguet who Goldi beat by 0.5L in 2010 Ispahan. This form is not concrete but strongly suggests CC ran below his best in the Sussex (but not by 5L). It also suggests that Frankel is better at the moment than both CC and Goldi.
tim- Sir Henry said he thinks Frankel can get 10 furlongs but he has never said he would try him at 12. I think next year would concentrate on maybe the World Cup and then 8-10 furlong races. No problem about the info. Sir Henry was very critical of the course at Churchill so I doubt he will recant and send him. The Marois might have been a possibility, but since they are giving Frankel a break it wont happen either probably. We will see how it pans out.
If Frankel comes back next year do you think they will shoot for a campaign more like Sea the Stars? mile and a quarter/half stuff? Id like to see how he would do in a route. I do like Frankel hes amazing but still feel he should track down Goldi and take the title from her. Thanks for the info on the Euros!
Tim- He may have been injured at the beginning of the race, but many horses have won races while injured. I am just saying looking at the video of the race, it looked like the injury bothered him late. He has hung left before, but of course not to that extent. He was about 5 lbs below his best according to the Racing Post, but his best rating would have still put him about 2.5-3 lengths shy of Frankel. I'm glad that you give him credit because it is hard to tell by some of your comments-lol. As far as who will run, they might just be hard pressed to find a field, but the QEII is a stamina test and those who believe he will have stamina problems might take a chance. Maybe they should run Planteur there instead of the Marois. For the record I wouldn't have minded seeing him in the Marois, but they are freshening him for the QEII. Maybe since Canfor Cliffs is out they will run in the Champion instead and stretch him out.
mrsmaryzinke-yes it was the Sidney's Candy Blog. I contribute there less often than I used to. I just started back here because I got so disgusted with the comments on the Zenyatta blogs. I just want people to give a horse it's due. I don't mind when people say things that are factual, but I do mind when they call horses bums when they aren't. Anyway, I have no problem with anybody on here and enjoy the back and forth with Tim actually. Where I didn't enjoy much of the Zenyatta animosity. Actually, commenting on your above post, Workforce is a much better 12 furlong horse than a 10 furlong horse. I made quite a bit of money on Nathaniel because he looked like a peaking horse. Workforce is being prepared for the Arc. If they wanted to go that route, So You Think probably could be competitive at the mile. Planteur might run in the Marois, which would be strange to me but his trainer said he has lots of speed and will be competitive there. It would be like dropping Sarafina back to a mile, imo, but I will hope he knows what he is doing. Stacelita is here in the US now, in Chris Brown's barn. She was a 10 furlong specialist in Europe and I am assuming that she was bleeding so the sent her here. Even though they say it was because of the great 10 furling stakes programs for fillies/mares here. Who knows. If she gets back to her Euro form she should be a terror. She is being pointed for the Beverly D, I believe.
ok Ill rephrase ..performer of the year.
I don't know Tim, because the better Euro horses like Workforce or So You Think race at 10f. usually and Nathaniel at 12f. The Q.E. II is at 1 mile.
I do give Frankel Credit he has proven to be an amazing horse but these comments are more of a plea for the connections to alter course .. Come get your title of Best horse of the year on either continent . Im not sure what I wrote on the other blog haha I rarely comment on anything but this. You can speculate all you want it is just as possible that he ran most of the race injured. If Goldikova doesnt go on in the QEII who will frankel face?
P.S. Tim will amswer for himself. It's not polite to talk behind his back. :) He's a very honest person you know.
The Sidney's Candy blog?Thanks, footlick. I hadn't seen that. I meant The Ehalt Haskell blog for the Frankel stats. I comment only rarely at bloodhorse. I just enjoy the regular characters there.
mrsmaryzinke- I doubt that Tim would give Frankel credit. And I saw your comment on Jason's Blog at Blood Horse. Welcome.
First Tim, if you watch the race, the most logical place that the injury took effect would be at the final quikening before Canford Cliffs drifted so wide. Even if he injured it out of the gate, he was moving just fine until he had to give it everything he had to try to keep up with Frankel. Second, once again stop being so simplistic about times. You are more intelligent than that. If you are doing it just to aggravate, then tell me and I will just ignore it instead of trying to educate. Thrid, they may retire Frankel, or they may not. It is always a 50/50 proposition with any sucessful horse whether here or over there. I can't imagine the way you talk about Frankel that you would be let down at all.........
So, You'd want to see them meet up even if that means Goldikova could lose? I really don't want to see her lose, although she has and always comes back, but if Frankel beat her, would you give him credit for the win, Tim?
yes it is.. And they never will Frankel will be retired and once again the fans of racing will be let down by the handlers.
I can't wait for Frankel's next "abysmal" win. Remember, he controlled the pace on the UPHILL part of the Sussex, and you saw how fast he came home in the final eighth. Don't lie to yourself.As much as I love the speed, don't al;ways go by time. Your Goldikova still reigns supreme. She and Frankel haven't hooked up yet, if that's what this is about.
I am very happy with myself.. Its true though Without knowing where or when C.C got injured one has to assume it was during the race ..causing an abysmal performance letting Frankel walk home in 137
TIM, Your fame has now spread to Bob Ehalt's Haskell Day blog at ntra.com, courtesy of dubby/Afleetalexforever. You and I have different opinions about Frankel and Goldikova, but I would never dis you at another website, or any, to make some point like dubby tried to. This is me telling on him. And i'm doing so knowing full well that his wrath will be evil.
leaving other arguments aside his 142 time form rating say's much about this horse. he's a freak!

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