by Thomas Hedlund
The best trotter in the world? The answer is clearer after Sunday’s $165,000 Prix Réné Balliere at Vincennes racetrack in Paris, France.
Sébastien Guarato’s top trotter and Prix d’Amérique winner Face Time Bourbon hadn’t started since late February this year, but was still in shape enough to perform at his very best over 1.3 miles.
Björn Goop sent the 5-year-old star to the front three wide after the first quarter and spent another quarter-mile outside the leading duo, meaning the first half of Face Time Bourbon’s return race was ultra-tough. That didn’t stop Face Time Bourbon from leaving his opponents in the stretch and the Ready Cash son came home in a mile rate of 1:51.3 over 1.3 miles, which is a new world record performance.
Pierre Vercruysse’s Drole de Jet made a strong effort as runner up, while Feliciano finished strongly for third place.
Face Time Bourbon has banked $1,918,815 so far in his career and has won 21 of his 25 starts. His next big objective is the $192,000 Criterium des 5 ans at Vincennes on Aug. 29 where the distance is solid 3,000 meters.
Driver Goop had his own horses racing in Sweden during the Sunday, but it’s hard to say no to a drive on Face Time Bourbon.
“It’s magic. The horse is truly impressive. It’s a great job done by all of Sébastien Guarato’s team. Face Time Bourbon’s acceleration is exceptional and he was very calm during the race and I found him superb today,” Goop said on TV channel Equidia after the race.
This was Face Time Bourbon’s fifth victory in a Group 1 race, and the champion trotter is still only five years old.
There were several stakes races on the card at Vincennes and 3-year-old Helgafell (Charly du Noyer) continues to consolidate his position as number one in the “H-crop” in France. Philippe Allaire’s star dominated the $164,000 Prix Albert Viel in a safe win from the lead in mile rate 1:58.3 over 1.6 miles.
Allaire also hoped to collect the trophy in the monté race $164,000 Prix d’Essai for 3-year-olds, but his weapon Hudson Vedaquais (Thorens Vedaquais) finished several lengths behind Hope On Victory, who made a break shortly before the wire which resulted in disqualification.
Set for E3 finals
E3, the circuit for European-bred 3-year-olds, is on the schedule at Saturday’s race card at Bergsåker racetrack in Sweden. As usual, the first of the two finals is held over 1.3 miles.
The $202,105 E3 for colts and geldings is an open edition where fresh trainer Daniel Wäjersten’s Global Badman (Yield Boko) was the most impressive winner in the eliminations.
In the division for 3-year-old mares, Trixton daughter Loaded Maria, undefeated after five starts so far, looks to be the first choice, but the race is, like the other division, a very open story and new stars will be born on Saturday afternoon.
$202,105 E3 Colts and geldings
Horse – Driver (Trainer)
Global Bookmaker – Mattias Djuse
Global Badman – Daniel Wäjersten
Despot Power – Kim Eriksson (Thomas Madsen)
Maestro Zon – Örjan Kihlström (Michael Larsson)
Vici Volantes – Ulf Ohlsson (Fredrik Wallin)
Jeppas Unplugged – Kaj Widell (Lena Norin)
Selected News – Torbjörn Jansson (Hans-Owe Sundberg)
Zack Bris – Oskar Kylin Blom
Revelation – Per Nordström
Fire Piston – Rikard N Skoglund (Admir Zukanovic)
Furies Rain – Johan Untersteiner (Peter Untersteiner)
Natorp Bo – Erik Adielsson (Patricia Van Der Meer)
$202,105 E3 Mares
Horse – Driver (Trainer)
Florist – Kevin Oscarsson (Jim Oscarsson)
Chablis Ribb – Leif Witasp
Loaded Maria – Markus B Svedberg
Finland – Janne Korpi (Riina Rekilä)
Barbro Kronos – Erik Adielsson (Svante Båth)
Bank Wise As – Ulf Ohlsson (Reijo Liljendahl)
Joy Alissa – Fredrik Linder
Diones Smaragd – Daniel Wäjersten
M.T.Perette – Mattias Djuse
Globalizer – Stefan Persson (Jerry Riordan)
Honey Mearas – Johan Untersteiner (Peter Untersteiner)
Malvha Ha – Örjan Kihlström (Markus B Svedberg)
$192,000 Kymi GP in Finland has gathered top trotters
World record trotter Moni Viking, Oslo Grand Prix winner Ble du Gers and Elitloppet elimination winner and final runner up, Cokstile are just some of the horses that makes this year’s edition of Kymi Grand Prix in Kouvola, Finland, a spicy race with several top contenders fighting to claim the prestigious trophy.
Top horses such as Makethemark, Handsome Brad (winner of Jämtalands Stora Pris earlier this month), Antonio Tabac (winner of Norrbottens Stora Pris earlier this month) and Vitruvio are all chasing glory in Finland on Saturday afternoon and the distance in Kymi GP is 2.140 meters, approximately 1.3 miles.
Kymi GP 2020
Horse – Driver
Moni Viking – Pierre Vercruysse
Ble du Gers – Jos Verbeeck
Vitruvio – Björn Goop
Makethemark – Santtu Raitala
Handsome Brad – Carl Johan Jepson
Whole Lotta Love – Philippe Daugeard
Antonio Tabac – Olli Koivunen
Racing Mange (Scratched)
Cokstile – Christoffer Eriksson
Chief Orlando – Antti Teivanen