by Thomas Hedlund
Paris track Enghien offered a nice race card on a sloppy surface on Saturday (Apr. 23) afternoon and in the $130,000 Prix de Tonnac-Villeneuve for 4-year-olds, dominant trotters Idao de Tillard and Izoard Vedaquais impressed.
Thierry Duvaldestin-trained Idao de Tillard (Severino) disarmed leader Izoard Vedaquais after a pocket trip and it seemed like Idao de Tillard would sprint to safe win, but the leader fought well and approached the winner shortly ahead of the wire.
Idao de Tillard won in a mile rate of 1:56.3 over 1.7 miles and this was the horse’s 11th win in his career.
In the $215,000 Prix de l’Atlantique for older trotters, Vivid Wise As (Yankee Glide) showed that he has found a high form. Driver Matthieu Abrivard had to face a tough first half mile three wide before the duo landed outside of leader Etonnant. Etonnant still had control of the race when the field turned out of the last turn, when he suddenly made a break and lost several lengths. Vivid Wise As took over the lead, but Etonnant fought back on the inside and the two trotters impressed, as Vivid Wise As held on by a length in mile rate 1:55.2 over 1.3 miles.
Etonnant was second and Delia du Pommereux finished strongly as third.
DRAMA IN FINLAND
The $150,000 Seinäjoki Race was on the race card in Seinäjoki, Finland on Saturday (Apr. 23) afternoon and a devastating break spoiled the day for Adrian Kolgjini and his Kali Smart.
Kali Smart left second over at the back stretch and seemed to have the race under control, challenging leader Esprit Sisu throughout the last turn, bit with 150 meters to go, Kali Smart went off stride and Esprit Sisu once again was in advantage position.
From the pocket, Finnish 8-year-old mare Willow Pride (Love You) had a lot of power to use and driver Santtu Raitala noted that Willow Pride hit the wire with length advantage to Esprit Sisu.
Kali Smart would most probably have been the winner of the race without the break with 150 meters to go, but Willow Pride’s win was a nice triumph for Finland in one of the country’s biggest races for older trotters.
The mile rate for the winner was 1:55.3 over 1.3 miles.
NIGHT BRODDE TOWARDS PARALYMPIATRAVET
Conrad Lugauer-trained Night Brodde claimed a spot in the final of Paralympiatravet when he took a safe wire-to-wire win in Halmstad’s elimination race on Saturday (Apr. 23) afternoon.
Nigh Brodde held first choice Extreme on his outside when the car left the field and Extreme, who already is ready for Paralympiatravet final on May 7, couldn’t challenge the leader over the home stretch.
GOCCIADORO WITH TWO HORSES IN ELITLOPPET
Italian trainer Alessandro Gocciadoro now has two horses invited to the 2022 Elitloppet. Vivid Wise As was invited earlier for the big mile race at Solvalla and on Saturday afternoon, Vernissage Grif (Varenne) got his ticket for Elitloppet.
Eight-year-old Vernissage Grif had a tremendous season 2021 when he won several high staked races in Europe and the charismatic chestnut will be an attraction at Solvalla in late May.
HORSES READY FOR ELITLOPPET 2022, SO FAR
Horse – Country
Don Fanucci Zet — Sweden
Etonnant — France
Vivid Wise As — Italy
Extreme — Denmark
Back Of The Neck — USA
Perfetto — Canada
Vernissage Grif — Italy