by Thomas Hedlund
Jean-Michel Bazire-trained Aubrion du Gers (Memphis du Rib) won the Grand Prix Angers Loire Matropole at Angers racetrack, France, on Thursday afternoon. The 9-year-old gelding who is ready for a journey to Scandinavia and a berth in the Elitloppet at Solvalla in May, won for the 13th consecutive time and clocked a mile rate of 1:57.1 over 1.9 miles.
Aubrion du Gers has been one of the most interesting trotters in Europe during the last three seasons, but since he is a gelding, the horse has not been allowed to race in the big Grand Prix-races in France and trainer Bazire is not always so keen on traveling with his horses.
Now everything seems set for a start in Elitloppet and Aubrion du Gers is, for the moment, the third choice in the race.
Bazire’s horses dominated in Paris during the winter meeting and it looks like the top trainer has managed to conserve his horses’ great condition even throughout the spring.
Galilea Money wins Prix de Saintes
At Vincennes, 3-year-old Galilea Money (Bold Eagle) won the $78,500 Prix de Saintes. It was her third straight victory 2019.
Coach Franbleu wins Prix du Treport
In the $84,100 Prix du Treport, Prix d’Amérique runner up Looking Superb was first choice for Bazire, but even though the Norwegian-bred trotter finished strongly, he was never really close enough to reach leader Coach Franbleu (Prince d’Espace) and Yoann Lebourgeois. The duo put in the highest gear early in the race and sprinted away to a many-length lead before the gas started to run out in the end of the home stretch. At that point, the challengers were too far behind and the victory was safe in a mile of rate 1:56.1 over 1.6 miles.
Nancy America wins Prix d’Aubusson
Nancy America (Revenue), trained by Philippe Billard, impressed in a first-over victory in the $60,000 Prix d’Aubusson in mile rate of 1:54 over 1.3 miles.
The next race on the card was the $110,000 Prix Phaeton for 4-year-olds. Sébastien Guarato’s Face Time Bourbon, who is considered the best horse in his crop in France, was the heavy favorite for new driver Eric Raffin and Face Time Bourbon (Ready Cash) had no problem along the way in the chase for his 12th victory in his career.
Raffin got the lead at an early stage and let his horse jog to easy win in mile rate 1:54.1 over 1.3 miles.
Bazire won the $110,000 Prix Paul Leguerney for the 4-year-old mares and his weapon this time was Freyja du Pont (Quinoa du Gers), who sprinted to safe victory in 1:54.2 over 1.3 miles.
Untersteiner to Olympiatravet
At Jägersro in Sweden, Johan Untersteiner sat behind Cyber Lane in the second qualification race for Olympiatravet, but stablemate Day Or Night In (Muscle Hill) was first over the wire for driver, and father, Peter Untersteiner.
Day Or Night In was served a pocket trip behind leader Racing Mange, while Cyber Lane was placed in third over. Cyber Lane tried three wide in the last turn, but had too many length to pick when Day Or Night In got free space in the beginning of home stretch.
Day Or Night In join last week’s winner Milligan’s School at Åby on April 27 and next week, the qualification is scheduled at Umåker in the north of Sweden, where Propulsion is supposed to make his comeback at the track.
No Elitloppet for Hambletonian winner
Daniel Redén announced that his 5-year-old Andover Hall son Perfect Spirit will race in the Oslo Grand Prix in Norway in June and therefore he will stay out of this year’s edition of the Elitloppet.
Perfect Spirit races at Örebro racetrack next Thursday.