Platon Face wins the Harper Hanovers race.
by Thomas Hedlund
In Saturday’s $137,000 Sweden Cup, a warm up race the day before the Elitloppet at Solvalla, the victory went to Italy and Alessandro Gocciadoro trained Arazi Boko (Varenne). Arazi Boko won one of the three eliminations with his trainer in the sulky and Gocciadoro was lucky when it was time for draw for the final. Arazi Boko got post position 1, Charrua Forlan 2 and Sorbet 3. The three elimination winners, plus runner up behind Charrua Forlan, Love Matters, were favorites for the victory in Sweden Cup.
Arazi Boko left quickly behind the gate, but Love Matters opened even faster and Örjan Kihlström put the Daniel Redén trained trotter in front after 250 meters. Love Matters couldn’t keep the pace and made a break soon after he got to the front, whereon Arazi Boko once again was in command.
Gocciadoro was allowed to keep the tempo slow, so horses from behind had to struggle a lot to try to challenge the leader in the home stretch.
Arazi Boko won in 1:53 and Sorbet and Nappa Scar followed behind the winner.
“We had a little bit of luck that Love Matters made a break in the first turn. Arazi Boko is a fantastic horse that can win in this way when he has the age of 11,” said Gocciadoro after the victory.
In the $57,500 Lady Snärts race for mares, American-bred Double Exposure (Donato Hanover), driven by Örjan Kihlström, had an extraordinary performance from position outside the leader. Double Exposure won in 1:52 despite the heavy trip in second line and the 5-year-old mare, bred by J&T Silva Stables, showed that she belongs among the best mares in Europe for the moment.
Platon Face wins Harper Hanovers race
The $103,000 Harper Hanovers race is one of the biggest races during the meeting of Elitloppet at Solvalla, Sweden. Over 3,140 meters (approximately 1.95 miles) 13 horses chased fame.
Unfortunately, French star Carat Williams had to stay at home in France due to problems with the flight to Sweden.
The race was, as usual, spectacular with six horses leaving at distance, four horses 20 meters behind and an additional three horses 40 meters behind the first ”volt”.
Voltstart is used in Harper Hanovers race and it was Lutfi Kolgjini-trained Platon Face (Raja Mirchi) who showed most strength on Saturday afternoon. The 6-year-old son of Raja Mirchi made an early break, but somehow found a great position in second line and Kolgjini used his horse’s power during the last remaining kilometer.
Platon Face won easily in a mile rate of 1:57.3 and Call Me Keeper, who started from distance 3.180 meters, had to post a 1:56.1 mile rate without winning.
”I had a good feeling when I drove Platon Face in his last training job and I think he showed that he was the best horse today,” said Kolgjini in the winner’s circle after the prestigious race.
An excited crowd at Solvalla now looks forward to today’s races, where the Elitloppet is the main event.