by Thomas Hedlund
Swedish top trainer and driver Olle Goop announced earlier this week that he has driven his last race.
Goop, 75, who had the Swedish record for driver wins until just recently when his son Björn passed him in that column, ended his racing career with 6,744 victories and among them many big international titles are included. In America, Olle Goop won Breeders Crown with Grades Singing in 1987 and 1988.
Grades Singing, Nordin Hanover and Giant Force are three horses among others that took him to winner’s circles all around the world and over several decades, Olle has been among the top trainers and drivers in Europe.
Björn is now one of the best drivers – and trainers – on the continent and when Björn won the Prix d’Amérique with Readly Express in January, Olle was the first to enter the track to celebrate the victory with his son.
Big day for Ohlsson
Ulf Ohlsson is the leading driver in Sweden, according to his number of victories on the year and when Solvalla arranged the last two big races on the card 2018, the $110,000 Solvalla Grand Prix and $882,00 Silverhästen, Ohlsson made a double trip to the winner’s circle.
The Solvalla Grand Prix, the final of Solvallaserien for 4-year-olds, had collected a field of six American-bred horses, five Swedish and one Norwegian and it was the Norwegian Kriteriet winner from 2017, Hard Times (Coktail Jet) who put his nose first at the wire after a cover trip behind leader Eldorado B.
Ohlsson drove Ola Åsebö’s trotter and found space to challenge the leader when High Glider ran out of gas in the last turn. Eldorado B. fought bravely in front, but Hard Times really showed that he wanted the laurel-crown and won in mile rate 1:57 over 1.3 miles.
“It has practically been an unsuccessful season for Hard Times, due to some problems with his gait from time to time,” said Ohlsson.
Trainer Ola Åsebö announced that he would like to race the Criterium Continental for 4-year-olds at Vincennes in Paris in late December. That particular race offers a ticket to Prix d’Amérique for the winning horse.
Nadal Broline (Yankee Glide) finished third in Elitloppet and second in Årjängs Stora Sprinterlopp earlier this season. Reijo Liljendahl’s 8-year-old trotter has had his best year on the track so far and the wire to wire victory in Silverhästen delighted Liljendahl a lot.
“I’m relieved. This might have been the last start this year and I’ve been satisfied with the horse for a long period. The fact that he has stayed sound plays a great part in this success,” said Liljendahl.
“This was a really good afternoon and it’s nice to drive horses like this. Nadal Broline had his chance to win a big race today and I wanted to try to get the lead. Of course, the possibility to win increased when we didn’t get Propulsion on the outside,” said Ohlsson after the race.
Zenit Brick finished second after a trip without cover outside leader Nadal Broline and Propulsion, who was unbeaten since June, in Boden, finished strongly to third place after a trip in sixth over.
Mile rate for Nadal Broline was 1:55,3 over 1.3 miles.
Ohlsson has 334 wins in 1,995 starts this year and is unthreatened for the champion title among the drivers in Sweden in 2018 since Jorma Kontio has 214 victories as runner up.
Nadal Broline pushed his life earnings to $641,536 when he was noted for his 21st victory in 50 starts. The victory in Silverhästen was his second in 2018.
Allaire dominated in Paris
Philippe Allaire knows how to put his young horses in the right shape for big races in France. On Saturday afternoon, his trotters were first and second in the Vincennes card’s two biggest races.
3-year-old Feliciano (Ready Cash), driven by Eric Raffin, won the $136,000 Prix Jacques de Vauloge ahead of Feeling Cash (Ready Cash) in a mile rate 2:01 over 1.7 miles and Allaire had earlier on the day collected a victory with 3-year-old mare Fly With Us (Ready Cash) in the $148,000 Prix Annick Dreux. Yoann Lebourgeois drove Fly With Us in the lead and it seemed like the victory should be easy to reach for the Ready Cash mare. But stablemate Fashion Queen (Ready Cash) challenged seriously in Vincennes home stretch and Fly With Us had to put in all her gears to get her ninth victory in 16 starts.
Allaire and Ready Cash was the names that heavy dominated the races in Paris this Saturday and the build-up before the $273,000 Criterium des 3 ans at Vincennes on Dec. 16 indicates that we probably will see the names Allaire and Ready Cash in the result lists soon again.
Lexus Dream in Finland’s Breeders Crown
Four-year-old Lexus Dream (Lexus Font) and driver Ari Moilanen won the Finnish Breeders Crown ($68,000) in Jyväskylä on Sunday afternoon (Nov. 18).
The race became pretty undramatic when Lexus Dream hit the lead and easily sprinted away from his opponents in the home stretch. The mile rate of 1:59.3 over 1.3 miles was enough to reach the Breeders Crown trophy ahead of Hotshot Luca and Jack Vader.
Rose’s Tara (S.J.’s Photo) won the edition for 4-year-old mares in 2:00,2 over 1.3 miles.