by Thomas Hedlund
Steen Juul, 71, sat behind the big favorite when the $181,000 Danish Derby for 4-year-olds at Charlottenlund racetrack on Sunday (Aug. 29) afternoon and his Festival Of Speed (Cantab Hall DE) was a confident friend in his hands.
Festival Of Speed came to the Derby with 11 consecutive wins since the debut and all pressure was on Juul’s shoulders. This was predicted to be a one man show from Festival Of Speed’s part and it pretty much became that way, too. Juul sent his 4-year-old to the lead 550 meters into the 3,000 meters long race and even if Festival Of Speed got a bit fired up in the lead, none of the opponents got really close to him and the only horse that followed strongly over the home stretch was stablemate Frodo Cash, who claimed the silver and strew more gold over Juul’s already big day.
Festival Of Speed came home in mile rate 1:58.4 over 1.9 miles and Juul was very relieved after his 10th victory as trainer in the Derby.
”It’s so nice. I was very focused and trusted my horse, but he got a little bit eager along the way. He’s a fantastic horse”, said Juul, who claimed his first win in the actual race already in 1983.
A great horse and a big sportsman won the Derby 2021 in Denmark.
Six out of 12 from Gocciadoro’s barn
The $181,000 heat race Campionato Europeo over 1,660 meters is on the Cesena’s race card on Saturday (Sept. 4) and dominant Italian trainer Alessandro Gocciadoro has six contenders in the 12-horse field.
Gocciadoro has dominated the Campionato Europeo the past three years. Arazi Boko won in 2018 and 2019 while Vernissage Grif claimed the trophy last year. Most indications are that Gocciadoro will win again this year and probably he has opted for the best shot himself as driver since he will sit behind Vernissage Grif.
Campionato Europeo is a heat race where the post positions are reversed in heat 2. If two different horses win, a race off between them will be a fact.
Campionato Europeo 2021
Horse – Post positions
Verdon WF — 1/12 (Gocciadoro)
Toscarella — 2/11
Deimos Racing — 3/10
Arnas Cam — 4/9
Generaal Bianco — 5/8 (Gocciadoro)
Virginia Grif — 6/7 (Gocciadoro)
Vesna — 7/6 (Gocciadoro)
Vernissage Grif — 8/5 (Gocciadoro)
Dumbo — 9/4 (Gocciadoro)
Night Brodde — 10/3
Usain Töll — 11/2
Atik DL — 12/1