Day At The Track

Groupe winners shine at Vincennes

08:04 AM 12 Jan 2020 NZDT
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Furyo,Harness racing Furyo, harness racing Helgafell, harness racing Valokaja Hindo, harness racing
Furyo and driver Pierre Levesque winning on the far outside
Furyo and his winning connections
LeTROT photo
Helgafell (on the outside) beats Heaven’s Pride to the wire
Valokaja Hindo pedigree
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Helgafell (3m Charly du Noyer-Baaria) began groupe action this day by winning the Gr. II Prix Maurice de Gheest (purse 100,000€, 2700 meters, 10 three year old starters) at Paris-Vincennes.

Eric Raffin teamed the 5/10 favorite for trainer Phillipe Allaire and Ecurie Normandy Spirit. He won for the sixth time in seven career starts now for 182,900€ earned. Marial Turbiaux bred this winner that scored in 1.16.1kr. 4.8/1 Heaven’s Pride (3m Brillantissime-Queenly Pride) took second for pilot David Thomain and trainer Allaire, followed by 10/1 Holzarte Vedaquais (3m Brillantissime-Chikka Vedaquaise) that Francois Lagadeuc drove for trainer/owner Allaire. Heartbreaker One was fourth for Bjorn Goop.

The Quinte+ Gr II Prix de Croix (purse 100,000€, 2850 meters, 13 European starters) brought out some top five-year olds in that class and victory was earned by 9/1 Feliciano (5m Ready Cash-Ravenella). David Thomain was the pilot for trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Ecurie des Charmes. The 1.13.4kr timed winner scored for the 10th time in 30 career starts now for 474,340€ earned. 

The 29/1 Falco de Laurma (5m Uniclove-Rangoon) took second with Franck Nivard up for trainer Thierry Duvaldestin with third to 5.6/1 Fleche du Yucca (5f Prodigious-Vincenza) handled by Jean Philippe Dubois for his Ecurie Victoria Dreams and trainer Philippe Moulin. 90/1 Florida Sport (5f Tornado Bello) and 22/1 Fashion Queen (5f Ready Cash) completed the top five. The exact order Q+ payoff was 20,833€ paid to 31 winning ticketholders. The Q+ pool was 4,414,116€ and over 9.304,000€ was wagered on the race (all wagering pools).

The Gr. III Prix du Forez (purse 80,000€, 2700 meters, 10 European starters) is an opportiunity to impress and perhaps gain an Amerique berth, no guarantees however. J-M Bazire send out a flock of starters and he won driving his 6.7/1 trainee Valokaja Hindo (9m Great Challenger-Hindo Enghave) to the 1.11.9kr victory.

Hindo, owned in Norway by Eirik Djuve, won for 11th time in 25 appearances in France to raise his life earnings to 582,920€. He stormed home from the backfield to score over five rivals also timed in 1.11.9kr. 5.5/1 Dorgoss de Guez (7g Romcok de Guez-Lady Fromentro) was second for Nicolas Bazire and trainer JMB, ahead of 5/1 Tessy d’Ete (8f Ganymede-Love Me Tender) reined by Franck Nivard. 118/1 Alamo du Goutier was fourth for owner/trainer/driver Vincent Hebert and fifth was 9/2 pacesetter Mindyourvalue WF (7g Hovding Lavec) for Yoann Lebourgeois. Dreambreaker and Chica de Joudes completed the top seven with nine horses clocked in 1.12.1kr or better.

Hindo’s pedigree is 100% standardbred and the sire Great Challenger was a US$160,000 yearling. His dam was registered in Denmark and is by Victor Victor from a Buckfinder mare.

Late in the card in the Prix de Bois-Guillaume (purse 33,000€, 2100 meters autostart) the great veteran horseman Pierre Levesque was in the winner’s circle after teaming 8.5/1 Furyo (5g Quaker Jet-Laliflo Gede) to a 1.13.2kr victory. He owns and bred this now four-time winner that Thomas Levesque conditions. Levesque drives sparingly now but what a career he has enjoyed as driver and trainer. As driver he won the Prix d’Amerique in 2007-2008 with trainee Offshore Dream and with trainee Meaulnes du Corta he won the 2010 Prix de France, 2009-2010 Grand Criterium de Vitesse with Meaulnes and the 2006 Criterium Continental with that horse.

As trainer he also won the Prix d’Amerique with Mealunes plus the 2009 Prix de France, the 2005 Criterium 5 Ans and the 2004 Prix de Selection. Meaulnes du Corta retired with 2,786,760€ earned and Offshore Dream won 1,992,024€. With the victory today Pierre Levesque has 2,317 driving wins in 15,283 starts (and 1,511 wins as trainer). He has won over 100 races in five seasons.

by Thomas H. HIcks, for Harnesslink

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