The Paris winter meet is here

The Paris winter meet is here

November 3, 2022

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by Thomas Hedlund

Vincennes opened the 2022-23 winter meeting on Thursday (Nov. 3) afternoon and during following months, big purses will be offered in races 4-5 days a week in France’s capital.

Jean-Michel Bazire claimed the $90,000 Prix des Cevennes with his 8-year-old gelding Elie de Beaufour (Royal Dream) after an offensive tactic. Elie de Beaufour followed with cover three wide the first half-mile before Bazire stepped on the gas pedal and hit the lead a mile into the race.

Elie de Beaufour got company from Ampia Mede SM up the backstretch and the fight for the victory was about the two front horses as the field turned for home, even if bronze medalist Decoloration finished quickly after a late attack at the stretch.

Leader Elie de Beaufour held Ampia Mede SM on the outside all the way and Jean-Michel Bazire’s trotter, who claimed his 31st lifetime win, came home in a mile rate of 1:57.4 over 1.7 miles.

The Vincennes’ winter meeting finishes in style on the last Sunday in January, when the $1,000,000 Prix d’Amérique is scheduled.

CALGARY GAMES IMPRESSIVE

And speaking of Prix d’Amérique… place your bets! Wednesday’s (Nov. 2) race card at Solvalla was in fact just an ordinary race day in Stockholm, but two factors made the night at Solvalla very special. The first thing was the fact that 5-year-old Calgary Games (Readly Express) entered the track for the first time since his victorious fall 2021 campaign, when he won the $800,000 Derby in Sweden and the $400,000 European Derby and left the scene undefeated after nine lifetime starts.

Trainer Timo Nurmos contacted Björn Goop, who has been Nurmos’ driver in France the prior seasons, for the qualification race at Solvalla and it’s pretty clear that Nurmos has prepared his phenomenal horse for a battle in Paris this winter. Calgary Games basically jogged his 2,140 meters in mile rate 1:55.2, with a last half mile in 55 seconds.

Calgary Games’ qualification race replay here.

There are probably not any horses in Prix d’Amérique edition 2023 that can be close to possessing the same capacity, speed, strength and moral as Calgary Games and it might seem cocky to name the winner in one of the harness world’s biggest races already now, but after witnessing Calgary Games’ qualification race at Solvalla on Wednesday night, many fans will agree on the fact that he will be the horse to beat, as long as the 5-year-old trotter’s name is in the entries list that specific day in January.

“This was an impressive experience. Timo (Nurmos) told me that he wanted to let Calgary Games run today, but the horse wasn’t tired at all when we crossed the wire, he just felt enormously strong and good,” said driver Goop after his first connection with Calgary Games.

Reijo Liljendahl trained Admiral As (Ready Cash) impressed in the $20,000 Triton Sund’s race over 2,640 meters. A first-over trip didn’t bother Admiral As, who easily disarmed leader Esprit Sisu at the top of the stretch and the 6-year-old gelding came home in mile rate 1:55.1, one fifth from Milligan’s School world record over the distance.

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