by Thomas Hedlund
The $231,000 Jubileumspokalen for 5-year-olds is one of the summer’s highlights at Solvalla and despite the lack of audience around the racetrack on Wednesday night, the card produced one of Daniel Redén’s best days ever at the track.
Redén and driver Örjan Kihlström began their magical night in $210,000 European Championship for mares, where 5-year-old S.J.’s Caviar mare Conrads Rödluva was in the favorite’s spot. But Conrads Rödluva came into the race off a questionable performance and the bettors were not completely sure that the chestnut colored mare would claim the trophy in the prestigious race.
Kihlström hit the lead with Conrads Rödluva after a quarter of a mile and via a very quick last half mile, the victory became safe in mile rate 1:54.1 over 1.3 miles.
Tessy d’Ete finished second ahead of Mellby Free.
The night continued and the main act, the Jubileumspokalen with nine contenders (Tae Kwon Deo scratched) gathered some of the best 5-year-olds there are in northern Europe at the moment.
The race became a spectacular show where the pace the first 5/8th of a mile produced a mile rate of 1:50.3, with another kilometer remaining in the race. Leader Stoletheshow ought to have been out of all steam already in the last turn, but, instead, Stoletheshow found another gear for driver Rikard N Skoglund and the duo gained a two lengths advantage at the top of the home stretch. The hard pace naturally cost the leader and Muscle Hill son Missle Hill and Kihlström had saved the speed for the last quarter. The small-sized colt, trained by Redén, flew up the home stretch to win easily in a mile rate ofg 1:53 over 1.3 miles, ahead of a brave Stoletheshow and bronze medalist Classichap.
“He was just incredibly nice today. Missle Hill has had several great races since he came to Sweden, but today he was in extra great shape and he did it quite easily in 1:53,” said driver Kihlström after his second group 1-victory on the night.
In the consolation, Redén-Kihlström had one more shot. In the $70,000 Big Noon Pokalen, American-bred 4-year-old Golden Tricks (Trixton) started 20 meters behind the 3-year-old trotters and she was the only mare in the race. The race was contested over 1,640 meters (1,660 for 4-year-olds) and Golden Tricks was served a trip in fifth over, which meant she had at least 20 meters to pick up to the horses in front at the back stretch. Kihlström followed from third, three wide at that point, and the full attack was set in 250 meters from the wire. Golden Tricks’ home stretch was impressive and the Trixton mare came home in a world record mark of 1:53.4.
“I was so elated and full of joy after the Missle Hill race that I couldn’t even watch Golden Tricks’ race by the track. I sat in my little room above the stable and didn’t understand anything when she came flying far outside at the stretch. This night has been overwhelming for the whole team and our horses are just so incredibly good right now. And Golden Tricks…what a mare…I can’t imagine that any other mare has run faster over this conditions before and she gets better for every time she races”, said a very happy Redén after the third victory on the race card.
French stars won at Vincennes
The $102,000 Prix Guy le Gonidec for 4-year-old mares and $102,000 Prix Jules Thibault for colts were held at Vincennes racetrack on Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 19) and two of the “G-crop’s” best trotters showed that they are in right shape at the end of the summer.
Philippe Billard’s Coktail Jet son Gu d’Heripre and driver Franck Nivard came to the lead with 2,000 meters to go in Prix Jules Thibault and could won comfortably in mile rate 1:58 over 1.6 miles. Gu d’Heripre finished second to Gunilla d’Atout (Ready Cash) in last year’s $240,000 Criterium des 3 ans and has developed to be one of the best 4-year-olds in France since that day.
Gunilla d’Atout claimed her first win for the year in Prix Guy le Gonidec, paired with Eric Raffin. A perfect trip behind leader Green Grass was the winning formula and the Sébastien Guarato trained mare came home in mile rate 1:59 over 1.6 miles.