Hohneck best in Caen

by Thomas Hedlund

Philippe Allaire-trained Hohneck (Royal Dream), paired with Gabriele Gelormini, hit the lead in the $165,000 Prix de Ducs de Normandie in Caen on Saturday afternoon (May 13) and when Gelormini later let Etonnant pass, Hohneck saved power for the finish from the pocket.

Etonnant and Hohneck are both ready for the Elitloppet at Solvalla on May 28 and this was the last preparatory race for the French team.

With Etonnant in front on the back stretch in Saturday’s race, the pace was held at a high level and that didn’t matter to Hohneck, who followed easily behind the leader. Gelormini attacked Etonnant with 350 meters to go and in mid-stretch Hohneck took advantage of the race. Etonnant had to capitulate in the hunt for the silver as Hokkaido Jiel finished strongly on the far outside.

Hohneck will travel to Sweden strengthened by a tough winter meeting in Paris where he picked up prize money in all the big races. His last victory prior to Saturday’s win came in August 2022.

Allaire’s horse is undefeated after two attempts over the mile. In July last year he claimed two wins over 1,609 meters and he has a record of 1:52 as he enters Solvalla’s track in two weeks.

Mile rate in Prix des Ducs de Normandie on Saturday afternoon was 1:54.3 over 1.5 miles.

Prix de Ducs de Normandie replay here


Daniel Redén’s 5-year-old Francesco Zet (Father Patrick) had a marvelous 2022 season as he claimed the titles in the four biggest races for 4-year-olds in Sweden and he finished the year undefeated after nine starts.

Francesco Zet was runner up in $200,000 E3 final on Aug. 21, 2021 and that is the date when he last lost a harness race, so the expectations were high when Redén opted for the $45,000 Berth Johanssons Memorial for 5-year-olds over 1.3 miles at Umåker racetrack as the first task for the season on Saturday afternoon (May 13).

Only five horses entered the track for the race and Francesco Zet was obviously the big favorite to win, but a sharp mile rate of 1:54.1 was demanded by Redén’s trotter as he disarmed brave leader Castor The Star shortly before the wire with a :26.4 last quarter. The outside horses were impressive and Francesco Zet’s future still looks bright.

He is, at this moment, one of the favorites to win the Elitloppet, but he still hasn’t been invited by Solvalla. And the
decision is not hard to make by Solvalla, from Redén’s point of view. Redén already has Don Fanucci Zet and Hail Mary in the race at Solvalla on May 28, so the fans will most probably have to wait another year before Francesco Zet shows up in the Elitloppet.


Berth Johanssons Memorial replay here