The European Derby heats or ( the Grand Prix de l’UET) moves from Vincennes, France, to Solvalla, Sweden, tomorrow the same venue as the final on September 29.
This is a pan-Scandanavian affair with all four Nordic countries represented along with two German horses, who are trained in Sweden.
The first heat looks the toughest and brings together a mouthwatering clash featuring the impressive winner of this year’s Swedish TravDerby Mosaique Face (4h Classic) Photo and the winner of last year’s Trav Kriterium Chelsea Boko (4h Chocolatier) who chose to bypass this year’s Swedish classic.
Mosaique Face broke the Swedish Derby record at his last start for win number seven in 24 starts and Lutfi Kolgjini’s drive has amassed 2.85million SEK in earnings.
Chelsea Boko chose to compete in the latest leg Solvalla four-year-old series where he ran second last start. Timo Nurmos’ charge has only raced six times this season for one win, but has only been out of the money twice and will be driven by Jorma Kontio.
Also in the heat is Roger Walman’s Noble Knight (4h Scarlet Knight) a former European 3YO champion and a runner up in the prestigious Group I E3 final last year – where he took his record of 1’11”0 (1.54.1) but he has only won once in 11 starts as a 4YO. He will be driven by classy veteran driver Örjan Kihlström.
Catarina Lundström’s well-performed mare Mousse (4m Gallant Baron) is one of four mares entered in the qualifiers, and the only one in this heat. She is a Group I winner of the E3 fillies final and also a runner up in the International Group I Queen Silvias Pokal in May. The mare has a wide draw at seven but does have driving ace Johnny Takter in the bike.
Norway is represented in the heat by Love You Fox (4h Love You) the winner of three of his 22 starts and two of his last four, from the Anders Wolden stable, and he has top Swedish reinsman Bjorn Goop in the bike.
The German-bred and owned entrant is also a son of champion sire Love You, Chapeau is trained from the barn of the legendary Stig Johansson who has trained twice as many winners of this race as any one else (4) although his last win was in 2001 with Abano As (Dylan Lobell). He has also not had a winner other than those he drove himself. This horse however is a former runner-up in the European 3YO Championship, and although lightly raced due to some injury problems, has a good record of 1’10”9 (1.54) and has won nearly half his starts including his last one in July (7 from 16 with 4 minor placings).
Johansson also has a German-bred and owner runner in the second heat, and Indigious (Prodigious) will be one of the favourites to progress. Indigious is one of the first mixed blood sons of boom French sire Prodigious, and did not start racing until his 3YO when he rattled off five wins in a row and has risen to being one of the most competitive in this age group.
He beat many of these top horses home in the ICA Maxi Fyraåringstest in Ekilstuna in July and was second in the Group I Sprintermastern Final in the same month to Svante Bath’s Quid Pro Quo (4h Yankee Glide) who he meets again in this heat.
Lutfi Kolgjini’s Barracuda River (4h Express It) was the Swedish 3YO Breeders Crown champion last year and won Norway’s 4YO Elite Race over a mile in May and will be primed for this.
Finland’s entry is Pekka Korpi’s Diamond Duo (4h Andover Hall) a Kuopio Stakes and Breeders Crown division winner in his homeland, although he might find the step up here too big.
Ulf Stenströmer’s Your Highness (4m Chocolatier) is a well-performed mare who was second in the Mares Championship in July, but though she has Bjorn Goop in the cart, might find the going too tough against the boys.
In heat four Kolgjini fronts up with Konung Gustav V’s winner Pokal El Mago Pellini (4h Chocolatier) who broke in the Swedish Trav Derby but has won nine races and 1.77 million SEK, a record of 1.11.7 (1.55) and will be looking for amends in what looks like by far the weakest heat with five non-Swedish-bred horses in the field.
Tuomas Korvenoja won this race last year with Brad de Veluwe but it will be asking a lot of his horse this year Crème Brulee, a mare by French sire Meaulnes du Corta, to repeat the feat although she did win the Mares sprint final at Halmstad in July.
Daniel Redén’s Molle C.D. (4h Scarlet Knight) was fourth in Sweden’s 4YO classic and is not to be discounted in this field, being a big improver this year.
Roger Walman’s Italian-bred Pojke Kronos (4h Donato Hanover) has been racing in good company and picked up a couple of decent cheques recently, but has not won in over a year and earned most of his money as an early 3YO.
Norway’s big hope is Thai Broadway (4h Broadway Hall) was third in the Norway Trav Derby last month and is trained by Trond Andersson and will be driven by his regular Norwegian pilot Gunnar Austevoll , and could progress from this heat to give the minor Scandinavian players an interest in the final.
Denmark’s first entry Satisfied la Marc (4h Andover Hall) will probably find this all a bit hard even with the ace draw while the second Saxo Holmsminde (4h Dream Vacation) has even less to recommend it.
Grand Prix de I'U.E.T.
Solvalla Qualifying heats
2013-09-18 4YOs 2140m
1 Love You Fox (NOR) (4h Love You - Sly Fox) Dr: Björn Goop Tr: Anders L Wolden
2 Mosaique Face (SWE) (4h Classic Photo - Iona L.B) Dr: Lutfi Kolgjini Tr: Lutfi Kolgjini
3 Noble Knight (SWE) (4h Scarlet Knight - Bruschetta) Dr: Örjan Kihlström Tr: Roger Walmann
4 Cool Style (SWE) (4h Super Arnie - Donna Kronos) Dr: Johan Sedström Johan Sedström
5 Chelsea Boko (SWE) (4h Chocolatier - Kelsea Boko) Dr: Jorma Kontio Tr: Timo Nurmos
6 Here to Rock F. (SWE) (4h Enjoy Lavec - Hey Face) Dr: Mattias Djuse Tr: Anna Forssell
7 Mousse (SWE) (4m Gallant Baron - Fashion Tilly) Dr: Johnny Takter Tr: Catarina Lundström
8 Hertig Shim (SWE) (4h Shim - Super Love) Dr: Thomas Uhrberg Tr: Thomas Uhrberg
9 Chapeau (GER) (4h Love You - Crown Tess) Dr: Erik Adielsson Tr: Stig H Johansson
1 Xena Brick (SWE) (4m Super Arnie - Keystone Nora) Dr: Örjan Kihlström Tr: Timo Nurmos
2 Lucky Luke Zenz (SWE) (4h Daguet Rapide - Noellyn Boko) Dr: Rikard N Skoglund Tr: Mathias Andersson
3 Quite a Fall (SWE) (4h Infinitif - Victoria Falls) Dr: Johnny Takter Tr: Catarina Lundström
4 New Approach (SWE) (4h Prodigious - Chic Girl) Dr: Jorma Kontio Tr: Timo Nurmos
5 Indigious (GER)(4h Prodigious - Indication) Dr: Erik Adielsson Tr: Stig H Johansson
6 Barracuda River (SWE) (4h Express It - Just About Enough) Dr: Lutfi Kolgjini Tr: Lutfi Kolgjini
7 Quid Pro Quo (SWE) (4h Yankee Glide - Hostage) Dr: Åke Svanstedt Tr: Svante Båth
8 Diamond Duo (FIN) (4h Andover Hall - Salima Om) Dr: Tony Wallin Tr: Pekka Korpi
9 Your Highness (SWE) (4m Chocolatier - La Belle Lady) Dr: Björn Goop Tr: Ulf Stenströmer
1 Satisfied la Marc (DEN) (4h Andover Hall - Loving Her Is Easy) Dr: Svante Ericsson Tr: Markus B Svedberg
2 Pojke Kronos (ITA) (4h Donato Hanover - Flicka Kronos) Dr: Örjan Kihlström Tr: Roger Walmann
3 Drew Brees (SWE) (4h Ken Warkentin - Rydens Denise) Dr: Jorma Kontio Tr: Timo Nurmos
4 Dante le Soleil (SWE) (4h Spotlite Lobell - Miss Sinkadus) Dr: Jennifer Tillman Tr: Stefan P Pettersson
5 Saxo Holmsminde (DEN) (4h Dream Vacation- Devil’s Lady) Dr: Marcus Savin Tr: Marcus Savin
6 Molle C.D. (SWE) (4h Scarlet Knight - Not in a Million) Dr: Daniel Redén Tr: Daniel Redén
7 Thai Broadway (NOR) (4h Broadway Hall - Isabella Knick) Dr: Gunnar Austevoll Tr: Trond Anderssen
8 Creme Brulee (FIN) (4m Meaulnes du Corta - Youronpandidcamera ) Dr: Tuomas Korvenoja Tr: Tuomas Korvenoja
9 El Mago Pellini (SWE) (4h Chocolatier - My Intuition) Dr: Lutfi Kolgjini Tr: Lutfi Kolgjini
by David Sanders for Harnesslink.com