by Thomas Hedlund
Italy’s Alessandro Gocciadoro, who delivers top trotters to several European stakes races every year, has recently collected his Swedish training license.
His 7-year-old Vernissage Grif (Varenne) came to Sweden with a good reputation earlier this season and trainer Gocciadoro aimed for a spot in Elitloppet with his chestnut trotter.
When the $169,500 Jämtlands Stora Pris was held in Östersund, Sweden on Saturday afternoon (June 12), Vernissage Grif was ready. From post 9 behind horses, Gocciadoro used an offensive tactic as he placed his horse outside leader Hail Mary with a lap (one kilometer) to go. Hail Mary seemed like a beaten horse with a quarter remaining of the race, while Gocciadoro had his hands full of power in Vernissage Grif. Vernissage Grif cruised to superior win in a mile rate of 1:54.4 over 1.3 miles and Wild Love (pocket trip) sprinted strongly as runner up ahead of strong finisher Click Bait (replay here).
“I was very pleased with my horse in the warm-up heat, but he almost lost the gait behind the car but solved it by himself and then he felt nice. When we came to position first over it felt very safe,” said Gocciadoro, who entered the winner’s circle with 500 spectators surrounding the Östersund track thanks to new restrictions allowing tracks to permit 500 people at some events in Sweden.
”It gets very emotional when spectators are here. It feels like a victory for the entire sport when we finally can see people at the tracks again,” Gocciadoro said.
Silver became gold for Violetto Jet
Both winner Dorgos de Guez and third-place finisher Diable de Vauvert were disqualified from the $121,500 Prix Chambon P at Vincennes in Paris on Saturday afternoon.
The critical moment came in the last turn when Dorgos de Guez interfered with inside horse Chica de Joudes at the same time as Diable de Vauvert did the same thing from an inside position. Chica de Joudes had no chance keeping on-stride and her race was over as Dorgos de Guez (Jean-Michel Bazire) got control. Bazire’s trotter lost his gait for a moment in the last turn and the judges at Vincennes disliked the way Dorgos de Guez came home, leading to his disqualification.
Violetto Jet (From Above), trained by Fabrice Souloy and driven by Franck Nivard, finished strongly after a trip in third over and after disqualifications, the 7-year-old Italian bred colt got the victory. The mile rate over 1.7 miles was 1:56.3.
Italian 7-year-olds dominated the big races in Europe on Saturday afternoon.
Bazire-trained Ganay de Banville (Jasmin de Flore) impressed a lot in $121,500 Prix L. Jariel for 5-year-olds at Vincennes. A first over trip didn’t stop Bazire’s trotter who sprinted home to a safe win in a mile rate of 1:53.4 over 1.3 miles.