by Thomas Hedlund
Two divisions of $230,000 E3 finals were held at Färjestad racetrack in Sweden on Saturday afternoon (July 3) and with 83 degrees under a burning sun, the conditions couldn’t be better when the first stake races for 3-year-olds were on the schedule.
Twelve fillies fought in the first out of two divisions and with trainer names such as Svante Båth, Reijo Liljendahl, Timo Nurmos and Björn Goop, an amateur trainer stole the show with his Readly Express filly Red Lady Express.
Christian Persson, a former golf pro, has found the excitement among horses, but his results as a trainer are limited to 2021, the year his first horse, Red Lady Express, raced.
In Red Lady Express’ first 11 starts, Persson drove the races himself.
But when it was time for eliminations for E3, the amateur used Björn Goop as driver and Goop solved the mission and won.
Persson had the luck on his side when the draw for the final was held. Red Lady Express started the Saturday’s final from post 1 and Carl Johan Jepson, who replaced Goop behind the filly in the final, hit the lead and stayed there all the way to the wire. It was an enormous success for all the ”small” trainers that train horses every day, everywhere in the world. It is possible to beat the more merited trainers with a horse that is good enough for these kind of battles.
Red Lady Express made her sixth entry on the racetrack on Saturday afternoon and became the first 3-year-old stake winner in Sweden in a mile rate of 1:56.4 over 1.3 miles (replay here).
Good Vibes (Django Riff) and Per Nordström finished second after a first over trip and Black Magic Eyes (Magic Tonight) finished third.
E3 is Båth’s special stake race and it’s common that he qualifies more than one horse to each of the four finals that are held during the summer. In the $230,000 division for colts and geldings, Båth had three weapons and among them, Ready Cash son Mellby Jinx became the bettors’ first choice. Erik Adielsson found a perfect spot in second over after a half mile and had Robert Bergh trained Mustang Racer ahead of him with a lap to go.
Per Nordström had controlled the race in the lead with his quick opening trotter Felix Orlando (Orlando Vici) and when Mellby Jinx attacked three wide in the last turn, Nordström did all he could to put in the extra gear in Felix Orlando. Mellby Jinx seemed to close the gap to the leader but at mid-stretch, Båth’s trotter lost his gait for a moment and most probably he also lost the race at the same time. Because Mellby Jinx got closer to the leader once again shortly before the wire and when the top duo reached the line, it didn’t seem completely certain that Felix Orlando held on from the lead.
The photo showed that Nordström claimed his first E3 title since Felix Orlando held Mellby Jinx behind him by a nose. The mile rate was 1:56 over 1.3 miles. Mustang Racer held strongly as third. (replay here).
August 21 is the next date for E3 finals in two divisions. The distance is 1,640 meters when Gävle plays host.
The $70,000 final of gold division in V75 Saturday saw another wire to wire winner at Färjestad racetrack. Click Bait (Cantab Hall), bred by Russell Williams in Pennsylvania, sprinted to the lead from post 1 and driver Per Lennartsson held high pace throughout the race, which made it hard for the rivals further back in the field. Click Bait held all the way and came home in an impressive mile rate of 1:53.2 over 1.3 miles (replay here).
Face Time Bourbon outstanding in Paris
Sébastien Guarato-trained Face Time Bourbon highlights his position as the best trotter in the world basically every time he enters a racetrack and his Sunday (June 27) performance in $203,000 Prix Rene Balliere over 2,100 meters was astonishing from the 6-year-old Ready Cash son.
The Prix Rene Balliere became a fast-paced story where front horses Express Jet, Davidson du Pont and Etonnant made sure that the race kept high pace. When Davidson du Pont went off stride with a half-mile remaining of the race, Face Time Bourbon and Eric Raffin could continue the chase towards new leader Etonnant and when Raffin put in the extra gear in the last turn, Face Time Bourbon exploded and left his opponents several lengths behind him.
Eric Raffin started his arm-waving to the audience mid-stretch and when Face Time Bourbon hit the wire at Vincennes, the clock showed an impressive mile rate of 1:51.1 over 1.3 miles, a new track record at Vincennes.
Detroit Castelets finished strongly as runner up ahead of Violetto Jet.
Next target for Face Time Bourbon will be S:t Michel-Ajo in Mikkeli, Finland on July 18.
The Sunday race card at Vincennes contained more prestigious races than Prix Rene Balliere and in the $203,000 Prix d’Essai monté race for 3-year-olds, Alexandre Abrivard rode Ibra du Loisir (Booster Winner) to an outstanding win in a track- and stakes record mile rate of 1:55.3 over 1.3 miles.
In the $235,000 Prix du President de la Republique monté for 4-year-olds, Joel Hallais-trained Hirondelle du Rib (Rolling d’Heripre) and jockey Jean Loic Claude Dersoir flew to victory in track record 1:56 over 1.7 miles.
The 3-year-olds battled in the sulky race $203,000 Prix Albert Viel and Philippe Allaire trained Italiano Vero (Ready Cash) held his opponents behind him after a trip in front. Italiano Vero was challenged by strong finisher Impressionist over the stretch and held on to a safe win in mile rate 1:58.4 over 1.6 miles.
Italiano Vero has battled among the best trotters in the French ‘I-crop” and after the Sunday victory the 3-year-old has 8 wins in 13 starts and a banking of $392,000.
Undefeated talent best in Denmark
Steen Juul-trained Festival Of Speed (Cantab Hall) played with his antagonists in 4-year-old race $93,000 Jydsk Grand Prix in Århus, Denmark on Sunday (June 27) afternoon.
Festival Of Speed was undefeated after eight attempts ahead of the Sunday race and when Steen Juul hit the lead at an early stage, the race was over. Festival Of Speed seems to be the horse to beat in the more prestigious races for 4-year-olds later on this season. In Jydsk Grand Prix he hit the wire in mile rate 2:01 over 1.4 miles.
High stakes races were on the menu at Rome’s race card on Tuesday (June 29) night.
The $183,000 Gran Premio Tino Triossi for 4-year-olds over 1.3 miles was one of the highlights during the evening and Alessandro Gocciadoro presented an outstanding winner in Bengurion Jet (Maharajah), who cruised to safe victory after a first over trip with the trainer in the bike.
Bengurion Jet controlled the race from the outside and landed in a mile rate of 1:57.1.
In the $183,000 Gran Premio Gaetano Turilli eyes were spotted on top trotter Zacon Gio, who belongs in the top among older horses in Europe, but the International Trot winner, who controlled the field in front, couldn’t defend himself when Love You son Amon You Sm attacked from third over in the last turn. Amon You Sm came home in mile rate 1:57.2 over 1.3 miles and Zacon Gio finished second ahead of first over trotter Alrajah One.