by Thomas Hedlund
Vincennes offered a nice race card with the $400,000 European Derby for 4-year-olds as the main act on Friday night (Oct. 14).
The French ”I-team”, with Italiano Vero as first choice, would dominate the race, but it wasn’t the Philippe Allaire trained favorite who proved strongest over the distance 2,100 meters.
Italiano Vero was sent to the front position a half mile into the race and a couple of hundred meters later, the first choice got company from outside trotter Ideal du Pommeau (Ready Cash), driven by Matthieu Abrivard.
The European Derby contained five French horses and six Swedish bred trotters and it was the French home team that dominated the race when the home stretch approached. Ideal du Pommeau looked very strong when Abrivard asked for some action at the top of the stretch and leader Italiano Vero couldn’t defend himself.
Swedish horse Iznogoud Am was smartly driven, third on the inside, by Björn Goop and the duo claimed the silver medal ahead of leader Italiano Vero. French horses finished 1-3-4-5 and the winner Ideal du Pommeau could very well be a serious threat in the biggest races in Europe in the future. Sébastien Guarato’s 4-year-old started his career late as a 3-year-old, on Oct. 18 last year and he ended the season undefeated after five starts.
Ideal du Pommeau continued to win his first two starts as a 4-year-old and Friday night’s victory is his biggest so far in his career. The mile rate in the European Derby was 1:55 over 1.3 miles.
Ready Cash claimed one more big trophy as sire during Vincennes’ card Friday night. The $100,000 Championnat Europeen des 5 ans became a successful story for Jean-Michel Bazire and his Herault d’Armes (Ready Cash). Bazire gave his horse order to attack against leader — and first choice — Hohneck in the last turn and the two French bred trotters battled in a tight finish, where outside horse Herault d’Armes was the strongest of them. Hohneck is merited in tough races in France this year, but this time he had to capitulate. Herault d’Armes came home in a strong mile rate of 1:53.4 over 1.3 miles, on a track that could be described as sloppy.
Three-year-olds battled in Championnat Europeen des 3 ans and favorite Just A Gigolo had to use plenty of power to reach front position after 650 meters and even if driver Franck Nivard could keep the pace down as the uphill part approached, Just A Gigolo was beaten at the top of the stretch when Sébastien Guarato trained Deus Zack (Victor Gio) attacked three wide. The Italian bred trotter flew to safe victory paired with Eric Raffin and Guarato claimed his second group-race win on the card at Vincennes.
Deus Zack won the $120,000 Prix Paul Viel at Vincennes in January this year and came back and claimed mile race $90,000 Prix Henri Cravosier at Enghien in late July.
The mile rate for Deus Zack this time was 1:54.3 over 1.3 miles.
FEEL NO PAIN IN SVAMPEN
The $120,000 Svampen for 2-year-old trotters was held in Örebro, Sweden on Thursday (Oct. 13) night. The 2-year-old racing in Sweden, or any other of the northern European countries, is not comparable with the business in America, so Svampen has become a big race for the youngest trotters and this year it was time for a Walner offspring to claim the title.
Daniel Wäjersten trains and drives Feel No Pain (Walner—Under The Table) and the young Swedish rookie trainer had the race in control from the lead. Feel No Pain won in 1:59.4 and Daniel Wäjersten can look back at a tremendous 2022 as a trainer so far. His stable has 131 wins in 510 starts and Wäjersten has placed himself in top-5 among the Swedish trainers this season.
The $1,649,000 in earnings so far in 2022 can be compared with his 2021 when his horses earned $1,031,700, which was, by far, his best year until then.