by Thomas Hedlund
Trainer and driver Bo Westergaard experienced a great moment at the track of Charlottenlund when his 4-year-old Get A Wish (Wishing Stone) was outstanding in the $162,000 Danish Derby on Sunday (Aug. 28) afternoon.
Westergaard trained Get A Wish’s sire Wishing Stone during a period and in 2012, they won the Copenhagen Cup together with driver Jeppe Juel. It was Juel who sat behind the favorite in the Derby this year. He drove Garfield and was optimistic about the chances before the race, but when Westergaard hit the lead with Get A Wish, Garfield had to do the heavy job on the outside over the majestic distance of 3,000 meters.
Get A Wish got full gas in the end of the last turn and Garfield couldn’t challenge the flying leader, who was outstanding in mile rate 1:59.3.
“I felt that I managed to peak the form on my horse and I knew that he loves to run in the lead, so it all turned out perfectly for us,” said an emotional Westergaard after the race.
”All the staff works so hard every day and we really had this objective as one of the big goals this year. It feels extra good when things go your way. I’m relieved and very happy right now. This is very big. I’ve won some big races before, but this is the biggest so far.”
Garfield held strongly as runner up ahead of Gasolin, who had a perfect second over trip for Steen Juul.
The $95,000 Derby for mares was on Charlottenlund’s Saturday (Aug. 27) race card and on a sloppy track, Flemming Jensen had Golden C N (Wishing Stone) in perfect condition. Golden C N left fourth over with a kilometer to go and at the back stretch, just before the last turn, Flemming Jensen could take control of the race as Golden C N flew away from her opponents and the six lengths win was impressive in mile rate 2:02.3 over 1.3 miles.
MONI VIKING FROM THE LEAD
The $188,000 Sundsvall Open Trot over 1.3 miles was held at Bergsåker racetrack in Sundsvall, Sweden on Saturday (Aug. 27) afternoon and quite unexpectedly, Björn Goo- trained Moni Viking (Maharajah) kept the lead from an inside post behind the gate.
There were some speculations regarding Don Fanucci Zet’s chances to reach the lead from post 6 as Moni Viking was not the horse that fans mentioned as the leader of the race, but that became reality when Goop held front position quite easily with his chestnut colored Maharajah son.
With Moni Viking in the lead and Don Fanucci Zet on the outside, the race was locked and when two of the toughest horses (Best Ofdream Trio and Brother Bill) disappeared and went off stride in the start. That left victory to be decided by the two front runners. But the tough battle never occurred as Moni Viking proved to be in as good shape as when he claimed Åby Stora Pris over 3,140 meters two weeks before Sundsvall Open Trot.
Goop claimed his fourth group 1-victory in two weeks (Moni Viking, San Moteur in Jubileumspokalen and Following in E3 final) and 9-year-old Moni Viking came home in a mile rate of 1:54.3.
Stoletheshow finished strongly from second over and bested Don Fanucci Zet in the hunt for silver.
VIVID WISE AS DID IT
Four consecutive wins in the $180,000 Grand Prix du Departement des Alpes-Maritimes in French Cagnes-sur-Mer became a fact when Alessandro Gocciadoro’s Yankee Glide son Vivid Wise As grabbed the trophy in Saturday (Aug. 27) night’s edition of the race.
Matthieu Abrivard drove Vivid Wise As and he had to settle for an outside trip with toughest opponent Etonnant in the lead.
The two top trotters fought a really tough battle over Cagnes-sur-Mer’s long home stretch and Vivid Wise As got the advantage with some 100 meters to go, but leader Etonnant didn’t give up and the Elitloppet winner, driven by Anthony Barrier, tried to close the one length advantage during the race’s last meters. But Vivid Wise As held on and claimed his fourth consecutive win at the French Riviera’s biggest race for the summer.
The two front horses marked a 1:51.1 mile while Bleff Dipa sprinted to bronze medal in 1:52.
ANOTHER BIG WIN FOR DUVALDESTIN
Thierry Duvaldestin’s horses are doing great in big races in France at the moment. His 4-year-old Idao de Tillard belongs in the top of the crop and in Saturday’s (Aug. 27) $150,000 Yearling Cup – Arqana Trot at Vincennes, his 3-year-old Jack Tonic (Charly du Noyer) claimed the title for driver Théo Duvaldestin.
Jack Tonic was served a nice cover trip by Duvaldestin and when a half mile remained in the 1.6 miles long race, position first over was captured. And Théo Duvaldestin could control the race from that position and he disposed his horse’s power perfectly as tough opponent Jazzy Perrine got some problems with her trip further back in the field.
Jack Tonic won safely ahead of Jazzy Perrine and did it in mile rate 2:00.1.
MARTENS WITH UPSET WINNER
Belgian top driver Christophe Martens, who mostly operates in France, claimed a big title in The Netherlands as Victoria Park in Wolvega played host to the $110,000 TCT Derby on Sunday (Aug. 28) afternoon.
Martens drove 3-year-old Gericault (Muscle Hill) and after a quick last 5/8ths of a mile from last position in the field, the duo hit the wire first. The upset was a fact for the German bred trotter, who claimed his, by far, biggest title in his career. Mile rate was 1:57.1 over 1.3 miles.
The 3-year-old fillies battled in $44,000 TCT Filly Derby and another German bred trotter proved best during the day in Wolvega. Muscle Mass filly Marvellous Steel was served a first and second over trip by Dion Tesselaar and Marvellous Steel was strong in the finish and came home in 1:59 over 1.3 miles.