by Thomas Hedlund
Johan Untersteiner is the trainer and driver of Pastore Bob (From Above) and from post one the duo kept the lead in the $263,000 Finlandia-Ajo at Vermo racetrack in Helsinki, Finland on Saturday afternoon.
Pastore Bob controlled the pace from the front and via a whirling last quarter Johan Untersteiner can state that he now has a horse for the Elitlopp at Solvalla later in May. Heavy Sound challenged seriously in the home stretch, but made a break when driver Kenneth Haugstad pulled the earplugs 100 meters before the wire.
”It felt quite good even though Heavy Sound attacked three wide in the finish. Of course we’re going to say thank you and receive the ticket for the Elitlopp and I have a horse that can leave quickly behind the gate,” said Untersteiner, who also will race his star Cyber Lane (Raja Mirchi) in Copenhagen Cup next weekend.
“And that’s the only plan we’re having with him right now. We race in Copenhagen and decide what we’re going to do afterwards, but I can reveal that I got some plans on coming to USA with Cyber Lane and in that case The International Trot at Yonkers. Cyber Lane is gelding, which is one positive qualification. The fact that the horse race with shoes is another one and 2.011 meters suits him well. I can’t say for sure that we will cross the ocean, but my plans regarding his schedule this year contains The International Trot.”
Pastore Bob won in 1:54.1 over the mile.
Enino du Pommereux best among the 4-year-olds in France
The €108,000 Criterium des 4 ans for the 4-year-old trotters was held at Vincennes racetrack in Paris on Saturday afternoon and the spectacle became a notable scene where two strong horses fought for the victory.
Favourite Erminig d’Oliverie and Franck Nivard had gained a three lengths lead when the field turned for the home stretch, but Sylvain Roger-trained Enino du Pommereux (Coktail Jet), with champion driver Jean-Michel Bazire at the reins, used great speed and strength to narrow the gap. These two horses struggled side by side in the home stretch and it was Enino du Pommereux who put his nose first at the wire. The mile rate of 1:55.2 over 1.8 miles is a strong time for a 4-year-old trotter and the performance from Enino du Pommereux was impressive. The son of Coktail Jet sat in position sixth and seventh outside before the chase began.
Philippe Allaire trained Traders (Ready Cash) won Prix Kerjacques with driver Yoann Lebourgeois in an amazing mile rate 1:54 over 1.7 miles. A trip behind leader Viking Bleu resulted in several lengths lead with more than a quarter to go and chasing favourite Belina Josselyn never got close enough to challenge the winner.
Volstead in 1:52.3
Stefan Melander trained Volstead (Cantab Hall) was an impressive winner in Gold division at Örebro racetrack in Sweden on Saturday afternoon. A trip outside leader Shadow Woodland didn’t disturb the 7-year-old Cantab Hall son, who easily won in 1:52,3 over an approximate mile.
Last year, Volstead won Sweden Cup in two heats during the meeting of Elitloppet at Solvalla and the Saturday performance may have qualified the horse for the bigger race (the Elitloppet) this year.
“This is just an incredibly great horse, but I can assure you that he’s not in 100 per cent condition yet. My horses need a couple of races to get in shape and he will be so much better next time,” said Stefan Melander, who also drove Volstead to the victory worth $22,700 dollars.