by Thomas Hedlund
In the Jubileumspokalen for the five-year-old trotters on Wednesday night at Solvalla Racetrack in Stockholm, spectators saw a crackling performance from the best horse in the Swedish crop born in 2012.
Timo Nurmos is the trainer behind Readly Express (Ready Cash—Caddie Dream) and so far, the five-year-old son of French champion stallion Ready Cash has won almost everything there is to win in his home country. As a three-year-old Ready Cash won Kriteriet ($495.000) and seven out of nine starts that year.
Last year was an even better season for Readly Express. After a spring where the trotter worked as a stallion (with full book of 150 mares) Nurmos aimed at the two biggest races for the four-year-olds: The Derby ($495,000) and the European Derby ($480,000). Really Express won them both and ended the season at Vincennes, Paris, France in October by winning the Derby open for all European horses.
Nurmos is a trainer who knows how to get horses in shape for the big races and in the case of Readly Express he has hit the target every time when there has been something extra to race for.
The horse’s 2017 debut was July 10 (due to stud work during the spring) and with just two races to look back on this year, Readly Express was the favorite to win the $240,000 Jubileumspokalen.
From post two, driver Jorma Kontio sent the Ready Cash son to the front and when Twister Bi was parked on the outside, the speed was high in the race. Two 5/8ths of a mile with an approximate mile time of 1:52.2 is new world record and Readly Express fought strongly head to head with Twister Bi on the home stretch.
“We were a little bit worried before the race today. The horse did not warm up well. He was not as fresh as he used to be and he also sweated a lot more than usual. But we could all see what kind of horse this is and it’s a fantastic story from the beginning,” Nurmos said.
“The horse had a great time, but was not at his best today. The thing about him is that he now knows how to open quickly behind the gate and that is necessary in the elite races,” Kontio said.
Really Express is a horse that probably will be aimed for the French winter meeting in Paris and Prix d’Amérique is for sure the biggest objective.
In European championship for mares, World Cup contender Björn Goop saw his Norwegian bred I Love Paris (Steinlager—Marie Dulcinea) win for Johnny Takter. Fourth over was the winning position as the front horses Your Highness and Ranch Kelly kept the speed up the first 5/8ths of a mile. I Love Paris won easily in 1:54.2 as approximate mile time and the seven-year-old Steinlager mare earned almost $100,000.
In other parts of Europe
At Enghien in Paris, two of the best French horses showed their good sides on Wednesday afternoon. Jean-Michel Bazire trained Aubrion du Gers (Memphis du Rib) was one of the favourites in Oslo Grand Prix earlier this summer and now the seven-year-old gelding was untouchable from the lead in the $140,000 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere.
Four-year-old Django Riff (Ready Cash) has been one of the best trotters in the crop, but after a down period the strong horse has shown that he is back and ready for bigger objectives later on in his career. At Enghien Django Riff won the $80,000 Prix de Geneve from the lead.
In Italy, Timone Ek (Mr Vic) won both elimination and final of the $100,000 Gran Premio Citta di Montecatini on Tuesday night. In front, the five-year-old Mr Vic son won in 1:55.3 for Enrico Bellei.