by Thomas Hedlund
Richard Westerink’s Elitloppet winner Etonnant (Timoko) went to Belgium and the $153,000 Grand Prix de Wallonie on Sunday (July 31) afternoon and the trip north was successful.
Etonnant, driven by Anthony Barrier, hit the lead at an early stage of the 1.4 miles long race in Mons and behind the leader Vivid Wise As was looking for racing room as locked in. Vivid Wise As never got his chance to challenge Etonnant, who easily sprinted to safe win in mile rate 1:56.4.
Vivid Wise As followed as runner up and Cicero Noa was third.
Etonnant and his trainer Richard Westerink can look back at a very successful season, containing wins in Criterium de Vitesse, Elitloppet and Prix des Ducs de Normandie.
TOUGH PACE DIDN’T STOP HOHNECK
Five-year-old Hohneck (Royal Dream) continues to impress on French soil and in Saturday’s (July 30) $123,000 Prix de Washington mile race at Enghien in Paris, the Philippe Allaire trained trotter cruised to another success for driver Francois Lagadeuc. Hohneck opened quickly for the lead, but Lagadeuc opted to let challenger Galius hit the lead during the first quarter. Hohneck attacked for the lead halfway into the race and in front, he was unstoppable in 1:52.
Hohneck possesses qualities that will push his earnings to higher levels than where he’s at today and this was his second mile race win in a row in France.
Galius held to second place ahead of Italian bre Bleff Dipa.
ANOTHER BIG WIN FOR GOCCIADORO
Alessandro Gocciadoro is outstanding as a trainer in his home country Italy, at least when it comes to races with group-status. On Sunday (July 31) night in Taranto, Gocciadoro-trained Vaprio (Adrian Chip) was served a perfect second over trip by Rene Legati and the driver played it cool when attacks were made from behind at the back stretch. Legati waited with his attack until the last turn and at that point, the horses in front was running out of power, so Vaprio could easily disarm his opponents as Legati sent his drive three wide in the turn. Usain Töll finished strongly as runner up behind the winner Vaprio and mile rate over 1,600 meter was 1:56.