by Thomas Hedlund
Four-year-old races the $118,000 Prix Readly Express and the $79,000 Prix Diana Zet were held at Solvalla on Wednesday night (June 22) and as it turned out, the whole show became a total dominance by trainer Daniel Redén and driver Örjan Kihlström.
Francesco Zet has dominated among the Swedish bred 4-year-olds and he entered the 1.3 miles long race as heavy favorite. And Francesco Zet made an impressive performance from the lead as he crossed the wire in mile rate 1:54.4. The dominant Father Patrick son continues to determine his position as number one in the crop and the main goal for him this season is The Derby at Jägersro later this year.
Four-year-old mare Glamorous Rain (Muscle Hill) controlled the newly established Prix Diana Zet from the lead, and when she hit the finish line as winner in mile rate 1:55.4, the night was complete for Redén and Kihlström.
FRENCH ROBBERY IN FINLAND
Jarmo Niskanen-trained Earl Simon (Prodigious) has made a strong comeback after his injury, which he sustained in connection to Elitloppet at Solvalla in 2020, and when the horse entered the $165,000 Kymi Grand Prix in Kouvola, Finland on Saturday (June 18) afternoon, he did so as the favorite from post 1 behind the gate.
Driver Franck Ouvrie couldn’t defend the front position as the car accelerated from the field and Earl Simon found his spot as third on the inside while Calle Crown controlled the race in the lead.
Calle Crown seemed strong in front with title defender Ce Bello Romain on the outside. From position second over, Oscar L.A. made his move at the back stretch and behind him, Önas Prince followed three wide.
That’s when Ouvrie took his chance. From an inside position, Earl Simon was all of a sudden following Oscar L.A. in the attack and Önas Prince’s driver Per Nordström had to move his horse four wide. Oscar L.A. and Earl Simon battled over the home stretch and the French bred Prodigious son proved to be strongest as he hit the wire in mile rate 1:56.3 over 1.3 miles.
The result might have been okay in Earl Simon’s home country France, where the judges allow tighter situations when horses change positions, but with objective eyes, Earl Simon should have been disqualified, alternatively finished second or third after the judges’ decision. But there weren’t any decisions made in that direction by Kouvola’s judges and Earl Simon claimed his fifth consecutive win in 2022.
BARONCINI HAS A NEW STAR IN ITALY
Mauro Baroncini-trained Dimitri Ferm (Nad Al Sheba) claimed his second Group 1 victory as a 3-year-old when he won the $162,000 Gran Premio Nazionale in Turin on Saturday (June 18) night.
In May, Dimitri Ferm won $162,000 Gran Premio Tito Giovanardi in Modena and it seems like Mauro Baroncini’s trotter has climbed towards the top among Italian-bred 3-year-olds this summer.
Driver Andrea Farolfi sent Dimitri Ferm to the front after 500 meters and when Farolfi stepped on the gas pedal in the last turn, the duo flew away from the opponents and the mile rate was 1:59 over 1.3 miles.
Mauro Baroncini and Andrea Farolfi had a great day at work on this Saturday in Turin. Earlier on the card, the $70,000 Gran Premio Nazionale Filly was held and even then, Farolfi used the front position for his drive Due Italia (Adrian Chip). Due Italia was quite outstanding and she left her opponents several lengths behind over the stretch and came home in 1:55.4.
DON FANUCCI ZET BEST IN BODEN
Daniel Redén’s 6-year-old Don Fanucci Zet (Hard Livin) went off stride as the favorite when the car left the field in the final of Elitloppet at Solvalla in the end of May and on Saturday (June 18) night the Hard Livin son got a little bit of revenge.
One must be honest and say that this year’s edition of $190,000 Norrbottens Stora Pris didn’t attract the highest level, especially since two of the best horses (Who’s Who and Esprit Sisu) was scratched from the race.
That left Don Fanucci Zet pretty alone holding star quality and the 6-year-old did not disappoint. Örjan Kihlström let Don Fanucci Zet open quickly, aiming for the lead, but Vitruvio’s driver Mika Forss wasn’t too eager to make the race too easy for the heavy favorite, so when Don Fanucci Zet and Vitruvio hit the first 500 meters, the pace was set very high. But then, when Kihlström placed the favorite in front, the excitement was over, at least for a while. The field almost jogged in 700-800 meters, before the last turn and Don Fanucci Zet had everything under safe control, even if stablemate Born Unicorn finished quickly three wide the last 100 meters.
Don Fanucci Zet came home in moderate mile rate 1:58.3 over 1.3 miles.