by Thomas Hedlund
Sébastien Guarato’s champion trotter Face Time Bourbon (Ready Cash) showed no mercy in Sunday’s (Dec. 13) $115,000 Prix du Bourbonnais at Vincennes in Paris. The big favorite could even afford a short break in the race’s opening, when driver Björn Goop tried to move up three wide in hunt for a position in front of the 15-horse field.
Face Time Bourbon regained his gait pretty quickly and Goop once again aimed for the front position, which was found with approximately 2,000 meters to go. The pace was ridiculously slow in the Prix du Bourbonnais. The first mile was passed in 2:04, so it’s understood that the pace during the last kilometer was quick since the mile rate over 1.7 miles landed at the 1:58.4 mark.
Behind the heavy favorite, Victor Ferm and Moni Viking both finished strongly in second and third, respectively, which makes all three horses ready for Prix d’Amérique on Jan. 31.
An accident happened in connection to a start attempt and Fakir du Lorault had to be scratched from the race. The recall made Face Time Bourbon a little anxious and that could be the reason why the horse made a break after 100 meters into the race.
“Face Time Bourbon is not used to recalls and he became a bit stressed. When we were on our move to accelerate, he lost his gait, but found it quickly again and it was well done. When we came to the front, I didn’t want to get Chica de Joudes on our outside too early and the last kilometer went really fast,” said Goop.
Face Time Bourbon will not race in the $105,000 Prix Tenor de Baune for 5-year-olds on Dec. 27. Instead, the horse’s entourage will aim for $115,000 Prix de Bourgogne a week later.
Prix d’Amérique horse Bahia Quesnot (Scipion du Goutier) went to Naples, Italy on Sunday afternoon and impressed a lot in the $134,000 Gran Premio Royal Mares over the mile. Junior Guelpa’s horse had to do the heavy job three wide during the last kilometer and had enough courage to disarm horses on the inside at the home stretch in 1:54.4.
Horses already qualified for Prix d’Amérique 2021:
Prix de Bretagne (Nov. 22):
Diable de Vauvert (1), Feliciano (2), Bahia Quesnot (3)
Prix du Bourbonnais (Dec. 13):
Face Time Bourbon (1), Victor Ferm (2), Moni Viking (3)
Sophomores leave USA for Sweden
Marcus Melander-trained trio Rome Pays Off (Muscle Hill, $454,778), Fifty Cent Piece (Muscle Hill, $141,698) and Maesteraemon (Andover Hall, $119,189) will leave America for Sweden and owner SRF Stable has opted for Robert Bergh and Stefan Melander as new trainers for his horses.
Rome Pays Off and Fifty Cent Piece will both arrive in Bergh’s barn, while Masteraemon will go to Marcus Melander’s uncle Stefan.
Green Grass in $105,000 Prix Ariste Hemard
Sébastien Guarato-trained Green Grass (Bold Eagle) came to the lead after three quarters of a mile when the $105,000 Prix Ariste Hemard for 4-year-old mares was held at Vincennes on Sunday afternoon. From that position, the Bold Eagle mare was outstanding in a mile rate of 1:58.3 over 1.6 miles.
The day before, 4-year-old colts battled in the $105,000 Prix Octave Douesnel and winner Gu d’Heripre (Coktail Jet) noted a new stakes record. Frank Nivard placed Philippe Billard’s horse behind leader Galius and found room to sprint in mid home stretch, which was enough to claim the victory in mile rate 1:57 over 1.6 miles.