by Thomas Hedlund
Conrad Lugauer raised his left hand to the sky with 50 meters to go on Saturday at Åby racetrack in Sweden in the $230,000 Kungapokalen. The German born top trainer celebrated a magnificent and very impressive performance with his 4-year-old Campo Bahia (Muscle Hill).
Kungapokalen became a tactical triumph for Lugauer. When Erik Adielsson’s Attraversiamo got stuck inside of Zephyr Kronos after a quarter of a mile, Lugauer saw his chance to advance in hunt for the lead, a tactic that figured. Campoi Bahia was in front after a half mile and when Attraversiamo connected and was parked outside before the last kilometer, it was big advantage Campo Bahia.
The last 500 meters of the race went really fast, especially for 4-year-old horses in Sweden.
Attraversiamo fought hard to try to reach the leader, but Campo Bahia showed no signs of stepping the brake and Conrad Lugauer was a happy trainer and driver when he understood that his mission was completed.
Campo Bahia won in mile rate 1:53.3 over 1.3 miles, Attraversiamo was second and Thrust Control third.
Campo Bahia has now six wins in nine attempts and by this victory he pushed his total earnings to $390,000.
Big upset in Drottningpokalen
One big favorite and nothing behind. That was the conditions when the $230,000 Drottningpokalen for the 4-year-old mares were held at Åby racetrack in Sweden on Saturday afternoon.
Conrads Rödluva got out on the track with, according to the bettors, three legs already over the wire, but all races must be driven before a winner can be chosen.
Drottningpokalen became a rough story where the fractions were to be compared with a race for the elite. The mile rate the first 5/8 of a mile was 1:52.4 and leader Zeta Kronos was beaten 500 meters to go. At that point, Conrads Rödluva got to the lead after a trip in second over and behind her, big upset Activated (Jocose) easily followed for driver Carl Johan Jepson.
And Activated got control of the race in the beginning of the home stretch and flew to safe victory with four lengths in mile rate 1:55.2 over 1.3 miles.
Trainer Fredrik Wallin collected his biggest triumph at the tracks with a horse that he has formed from the beginning and the emotions were all over the place for him after the race.
Conrads Rödluva finished second and Convivial Church third.
Bahia Quesnot wins Algot Scotts Minne
French-bred Bahia Quesnot (Scipion du Goutier) sprinted to tight win in Algot Scotts Minne ($41,500) at Åby on Saturday afternoon in 1:53.3 over the mile.
Driver Junior Guelpa got an invitation for the Elitlopp after the race and Solvalla will look forward to greet another French trained trotter in two weeks. Guelpa accepted the invitation.
At Vincennes, Looking Superb (Orlando Vici) showed great condition for trainer Jean-Michel Bazire on Saturday afternoon when the duo won in mile rate 1:55.4 over 1.8 miles.
Looking Superb will race under Norwegian flag in Elitloppet.