by Thomas Hedlund
The $70,500 Solvalla Grand Prix for 4-year-olds was held at Solvalla racetrack on Friday night (Nov. 27) and it was a well-merited field of nine trotters that gathered behind the car.
Robert Bergh’s Power opened quickly for the lead while quick starter Brother Bill got out of gait when Jorma Kontio aimed for front position shortly after start.
First choice Ecurie D. and Björn Goop challenged leader Power after a quarter of a mile, but Robert Bergh was determined and showed no intentions of letting the lead over to Ecurie D.
Ecurie D. had to do the heavy job outside of Power which gave a perfect cover trip to Jerry Riordan’s Bold Eagle son Aetos Kronos. When the field turned into the last turn, three horses had some lengths advantage on the rest of the gang and it was pretty clear that the winner would be Power, Ecurie D. or Aetos Kronos. Power capitulated 150 meters from the wire and the serious battle was between Ecurie D. and Aetos Kronos, a battle that ended with victory for Aetos Kronos in a mile rate of 1:55.1 over 1.3 miles.
Jerry Riordan will most likely aim for Paris and the Criterium Continental on Dec. 27 with Aetos Kronos.
“The Derby and Criterium Continental have been the big objectives for Aetos Kronos this year and if he should be successful in Paris, it’s obvious that we’ll go for the Prix d’Amérique,” Riordan said to sulkysport.se before the race on Friday night. “I know that there are trainers who reason differently, but for me it’s a no brainer. If you are in this business, it’s moments like the Prix d’Amérique that really matter.”
Another sparkling duel could be seen on Solvalla’s Saturday (Nov. 28) race card. The $70,500 Silverhästen open for elite horses qualified in the Gold division in the V75, saw several great trotters behind the gate and Johan Untersteiner’s 7-year-old Cyber Lane became the first choice. And Cyber Lane hit the lead at an early stage in the 1.3-miles race, but a spicy Very Kronos (Ready Cash) made contact on the outside after a half-mile. The two front runners offered the viewers a great duel over the home stretch and outside trotter Very Kronos once again showed what kind of capacity he possess.
Very Kronos battled down Cyber Lane just before the wire and came home in strong mile rate of 1:54.
Nine mares entered the $70,500 Stoeliten final at Solvalla and Björn Goop was successful as a trainer. Goop sat behind favorite Mellby Free, who controlled in the lead while stablemate I Love Paris, paired with Carl Johan Jepson, sat as third on the inside. I Love Paris snuck inside of horses throughout the last turn and on mid-home stretch, Jepson lifted his horse outside of leader Mellby Free. I Love Paris disarmed her stablemate and won in a mile rate of 1:54.3 over 1.3 miles.
Strong performances in Paris
Three-year-olds were in focus in Paris on Vincennes’ Saturday race card. The 3-year-old fillies fought in the $113,000 Criterium des Pouliches and Jean-Michel Baudouin trained Hirondelle Sibey (Gazouillis) proved to be the strongest. Eric Raffin used Hirondelle Sibey’s strength and opted position first over during the last 1,200 meters of the race. From that position, the filly was best and she came home in a mile rate of 2:00.1 over 1.6 miles.
The Baudouin trained filly claimed her third Group 2 victory for the season. She has earlier won the $100,000 Prix Uranie and the $100,000 Prix Reine du Corta.
Baudouin was the name of the winning trainer even in the boys’ showdown. The $100,000 Prix Jacques de Vauloge for 3-year-old colts was a quite sleepy affair when leader Heaven’s Pride passed the first mile in 2:04.2 and it seemed like it should be tough for the opponents to reach him in front.
But Jean-Michel Bazire had plenty of speed to use in his Hooker Berry (Booster Winner) over the home stretch. From position fourth over, Bazire followed behind horses three wide throughout the last turn and the full attack was set in at the top of the stretch. Hooker Berry finished rapidly and claimed the victory by a nose in mile rate 2:01.1.
Two-year-olds in Naples
German trainer and driver Thorsten Tietz went to Naples, Italy, on Saturday afternoon (Nov. 28) and his 2-year-old filly Cindy Truppo (Maharajah) took a safe win from the lead in $262,000 Mipaaf Allevamento. Caramel Club finished second after a pocket trip and Crystal Pan took bronze medal. The winner Cindy Truppo came home in 2:01.2 over 1.3 miles.
In the division for colts, Alessandro Gocciadoro had Callmethebreeze (Trixton) burst past leader Capital Mail 100 meters from the wire. Corazon Bar followed in third and the two front horses noted mile rates of 2:00.4 over 1.3 miles.
An-Dorra, Consalvo win Finnish Breeders Crowns
The $78,500 Breeders Crown for 3-year-olds was held in Seinäjoki, Finland on Saturday afternoon (Nov. 28) and Maharajah filly An-Dorra, driven by Jukka Torvinen, was outstanding in a mile rate of 1:57 over 1.3 miles.
Ari Moilanen drove Markku Nieminen’s Consalvo (Ready Cash) in the colts’ division and it ended with victory in 1:58.1 over 1.3 miles.