Such trotting luminaries as Scarlet Knight and Commander Crowe have won the Gavle Stora Pris in past years, and even the likes of Prix d’Amerique winner Maharajah has graced this field with his presence as recently as last year.
But the cream of the Swedish elite have been plundering France over the past couple of months with the Lutfi Kolgjini-trained colt Olympic Kronos the latest to stick his hoof in the French cookie jar, while On Track Piraten was second in the Prix de Plauteau de Gravelle on Thursday.
Maharajah and Noras Bean won the two group one classics the Grand Prix d’Amerique and Prix de France respectively while the likes of the Swedish trained Sanity, Global Manhattan and the ex-pat Beckman all winning big races in France this Winter Meeting.
Back home Amaru Boko has looked to be finally fulfilling the potential he showed when winning the Group one E3 final over the likes of Duexieme Picsous, Kadett C.D. and Raja Mirchi in 2010.
Then trained by Timo Nurmos, the stallion son of superstar French sire Coktail Jet was third to Orecchietti and Wishing Stone in the Group one Sprintermasteren Final in 2011 and he has won at Gold Division level in the V75, including a win over Beanie M.M. in the Ego Boys Minne in August 2012. He followed that up with his biggest cheque as an open class horse a few weeks later when second to Sebastian K in the group one Sundsvall Open, a UET Masters Series race but his career stalled the next season with just one small win in 2013.
But he returned after a four month break in 2014 in Robert Bergh’s stable and has looked a different horse, racking up three impressive wins in a row. Bergh seems to have found the key to the stallion and although he is attempting the three kilometre trip for the first time, should have the breeding to add the storied distance race to his CV.
Montgomery Gel has won four of his last six races but has not won over this distance before, with a second and a third his best efforts in seven attempts at the 3km staying race.
Timo Nurmos usually has Jorma Kontio on board the son of jag de Bellouet but has engaged top Swedish drive Bjorn Goop. The Swedish champ has driven the gelding nine times previously but the last time was in May last year and he has only won once, on his second drive on the horse in September 2009.
Francais du Gull, another son of Jag de Bellouet, was third in this race last year and has the credentials to really test this field while Svante Bath’s Labero Broline (Pine Chip)and Ake Lindblom’s Winning Love (Love You) are also getting support in early markets..
GÄVLE STORA PRIS
2014-02-22 3140m 33,642 euros
1 Francais du Gull (h Jag de Bellouet - Tantiem Gull) Dr: Erik Lindegren Tr: Erik Lindegren
2 Trustworthy Ås (g Dream Vacation - Keep the Word) Dr: Henrik Svensson Tr: Henrik Svensson
3 My Golden (m Adams Hall - Lady Wall Star) Dr: Kajsa Frick Tr: Leif Witasp
4 Tidied Accelerator (g Yankee Glide - Cookout) Dr: Örjan Kihlström Tr: Stefan Melander
5 Labero Broline (h Pine Chip - Armbro Natural) Dr: Erik Adielsson Tr: Svante Båth
6 Yanantin Boko ( v Viking Kronos - Ormonne Boko) Dr: Olle Alsén Tr: Olle Alsén
7 Winnng Love (h Love You - Falin Amber Dance) Dr: Åke Lindblom Tr: Åke Lindblom
8 Amaru Boko (h Coktail Jet - Sue Boko) Dr: Robert Bergh Tr: Robert Bergh
9 Kaka (h November - Elegance Real) Dr: Torbjörn Jansson Tr: Stig H Johansson
10 Lord Capar (h Varenne - Foxy'n Rowdy) Dr: Thomas Dalborg Tr: Mats Karlsson
11 Clear Sign (g Smok'n Lantern - Atas Nice Sun L) Dr:. Ulf Ohlsson Tr: Henrik Svensson
12 Montgomery Gel (h Jag de Bellouet - Com Nina) Dr: Björn Goop Tr: Timo Nurmos