by Thomas Hedlund
The $170,000 final of the French trotting series Grand National du Trot was held at Vincennes racetrack on Sunday afternoon and, as expected, Jean-Michel Bazire trained the winner.
Bazire has won the king’s title in Paris and France for many years and when the final of Grand National du Trot had gathered 18 trotters over distance 1.8 miles, Bazire had two of the best horses in the field.
Cleangame was the first choice for both the bettors and Bazire, while the top trainer let Alexandre Abrivard steer stablemate Ble du Gers (Quinoa du Gers). Ble du Gers got an offensive trip three wide shortly after the start and Alexandre Abrivard aimed for the lead, a position he hit with 1,300 meters to go.
Cleangame tried to make contact with the stablemate in the last turn, but Ble du Gers was too good this day. Despite the tough pace throughout the race, the 8-year-old sprinted home a safe victory in a splendid mile rate of 1:56.1.
It was Bazire’s third consecutive win in the Grand National du Trot. In 2016, Aubrion du Gers was his weapon in the race and last year Bazire won with Bel Avis.
And speaking of Bel Avis (Ganymede), the 8-year-old gelding was outstanding in the $107,000 Prix de Blois at Vincennes on Thursday afternoon for Bazire, who sent his trotter to the lead midway through the 1.3-mile long race. Well in front, Bel Avis just cruised home to victory in mile rate 1:55.
Day Or Night finished strongly for second place while Cliff du Pommereux took third place.
New chance to reach Prix d’Amérique
On Sunday, Dec. 9, the second B-race in relation to Prix d’Amérique is scheduled at Vincennes in Paris and Bold Eagle will make another attempt to find his level as the biggest French races are getting close.
Bold Eagle, Bird Parker, Belina Josselyn, Traders and Carat Williams are some of the trotters that will enter the $136,000 Prix du Bourbonnais over 1.8 miles and, as usual, the first three horses receive their tickets for Prix d’Amérique in January.
When the field was set on Thursday morning, only 12 horses were seen in the list and such a low numbers of participant in a race like this is rare. In year 2000, 10 horses entered the Prix du
Bourbonnais, but at that time, the particular race was not a direct qualifier for the Prix d’Amérique.
Lotteria winner is back!
Do you remember Urlo dei Venti? The Italian bred trotter who started 2018 by winning Prix du Luxembourg in Paris and followed up with victory in Gran Premio Lotteria in Naples in May before he was outstanding as a winner in Oslo Grand Prix in Norway.
In Oslo, it was discovered that Urlo dei Venti (Mago d’Amore) competed with too high levels of cortisone in his body, whereon he was disqualified from that race.
Last Sunday the 5-year-old was back as a winner, in the $175,000 Gran Premio Duomo in Florens, Italy.
Driver Antonio Greppi sent Urlo dei Venti to the front in the first turn and kept the pace up the whole way, which ended in a solid win in 1:55. The impression was that the horse most certainly will take his chances in Paris during the winter and he will probably be seen in one of the remaining B-races at Vincennes.