The weekend was very much one for number crunching. On Saturday at Goodwood, the Richards Hannon and Hughes took their scores for a glorious record-breaking festival week to nine winners apiece.
The trainer had already seen off the previous best, the six by Sir Michael Stoute in 1989, but a double on the final day was needed to put the jockey into the quiz question category, one ahead of Lester Piggott, Kieren Fallon and Johnny Murtagh.
Then yesterday at Deauville the superb Goldikova stepped into her own place in turf history. Her insouciant third successive victory in the Prix Rothschild, the first Group One contest of the month-long summer season at the elegant seaside track, enabled her to match Miesque, who did her running during the Eighties, as the only European-trained horse with a tally of 10 victories at the highest level.
There are several links between the filly who became known as magnificent Miesque and the mare who alliteratively must now be gorgeous Goldikova: both based in France, both champions at a mile, both dual Breeders' Cup winners. And Freddy Head rode the former and trains the latter.
Head has made no secret of his admiration for Miesque, with whom he would join forces on the racetrack, nor his love for Goldikova, with whom he lives and works daily at his Chantilly stables and wore his heart on his sleeve at Deauville yesterday as he welcomed the five-year-old into the flower-decked winner's circle. "She has so much class," he said, "and was cruising all the way through the race. She pointed her ears when she was in front in the final furlong and I thought she was looking very beautiful."
Goldikova, the 1-3 favourite, faced six rivals yesterday, with Britain's best three-year-old filly in the division, Music Show, judged the most dangerous. Mick Channon's charge, who had taken the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket last month, was indeed second-best, though never a serious threat.
After her pacemaker Only Green towed the field along at a briskly sensible gallop, Goldikova eased to the front two furlongs from home and produced an irresistible burst of acceleration before easing down for a three-length victory back on the bridle. "We had it wrapped up fully 500 metres out," said rider Olivier Peslier of his favourite horse. "She is a real lady."
The daughter of Anabaa, who carries the colours of the Wertheimer brothers, will be in action again at Deauville later this month, in the Prix Jacques le Marois, before building up to her attempt at an unprecedented third Breeders' Cup win, in the Mile at Churchill Downs in November. Music Show's options include the Matron Stakes and Sun Chariot Stakes. "We were beaten by an exceptional mare," Channon said.
Though 10 Group or Grade One races is a record score, it is an expression only of quantity, not quality, and does not per se put Goldikova among the pantheon of superhorses. It is no coincidence that the two Group and Grade One record holders, and the next on the list, Triptych, are all females; fillies and mares have their own programme (including yesterday's race), where top-level pickings can come more easily.
Even the best equine amazon, the Edwardian star Pretty Polly, would barely scrape into an all-time top 60. But Goldikova certainly passes muster among her own sex; the most important test of greatness in a filly is that she is able to beat high-class colts, which she has done on six occasions. She is not only the best among the many talented distaffers currently competing (Saturday's Nassau Stakes heroine Midday, Sariska, Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra spring to mind) but also the miler whose crown the star colt Canford Cliffs must challenge.
Though Hughes could finish only second on Music Show in France, his work at home during the week was hardly a bad one. His Goodwood Group race tally of four was highlighted by Canford Cliffs in the top-level Sussex Stakes; he and Hannon earned £365,603 in win money for the Wiltshire stable's owners; his success on Eucharist, his last ride of the meeting, not only sealed the record but brought up his century for the season. He lies second in the jockeys' table, 12 behind Paul Hanagan.
Sue Montgomery's Nap
Chelsea Morning (4.45 Ripon)
The further she has gone, the better she has run and another step up in trip should enable her to get off the mark.
Heartbreak (6.55 Carlisle)
Speedily bred (out of a Queen Mary winner) and should be suited by the drop back to a stiff five furlongs after two decent efforts in this grade.
One to watch
There is surely more to come from the scopey Sakhee three-year-old Breakheart (A M Balding), particularly when he goes up to 12 furlongs.
Where the money's going
Tony McCoy is a drifting favourite (7-4 to 15-8) with William Hill for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award as European athletics champions Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis have entered the market at 10-1.
Chris McGrath's Nap
Sarrsar (3.15 Ripon)
10 Group One wins for Goldikova
Prix Rothschild (one mile, Deauville, Aug '08) Beat Darjina by half a length
Prix du Moulin (1m, Longchamp, Sept '08) Beat Darjina by half a length
Breeders' Cup Mile (1m, Santa Anita Oct '08) Beat Kip Deville by length and quarter
Falmouth Stakes (1m, Newmarket, July '09) Beat Heaven Sent by half a length
Prix Rothschild (1m, Deauville, Aug '09) Beat Elusive Wave by a length and a half
Prix Jacques le Marois (1m, Deauville, Aug '09) Beat Aqlaam by six lengths
Breeders' Cup Mile (1m, Santa Anita, Nov '09) Beat Courageous Cat by half a length
Prix d'Ispahan (1m 1f, Longchamp, May '10) Beat Byword by half a length
Queen Anne Stakes (1m, Royal Ascot, June '10) Beat Paco Boy by a neck
Prix Rothschild (1m, Deauville, Aug '10) Beat Music Show by three lengths
9 Glorious Goodwood wins for Richard Hughes and Richard Hannon
Molecomb Stakes (5f Group Three)
Summer Stakes (1m 6f handicap)
Vintage Stakes (7f Gr2)
King Torus 11-4
Sussex Stakes (1m Gr1)
Canford Cliffs 4-6f
New Ham Stakes (7f maiden)
Richmond Stakes (6f Gr2)
RSA Nursery (7f handicap)
Royal Exchange 3-1f
Bluesq.com Stakes (7f maiden)
Gcasino.com Nursery (6f handicap)