Two of Europe’s heavyweight trotters Timoko and Commander Crowe warmed up for the Masters Series final in the International Group II Grand Prix du Conseil des Alpes Maritime, the name of which is almost as long as the race – a rare imperial mile in France at Cagnes sur Mer,.
Last year this very race was billed as the race of the century, with stars of the brilliant R generation Ready Cash (a stallion) and Rapide Lebel (a gelding by Ginger Somolli and illegible for all the classique and semi-classique races) meeting each other for the very first time in a field which also included Commander Crowe, in the form of his life after winning the Elitloppet and who won the event last year.
Classique racing in France is based around racing potential stallions and elite mares within and sometimes between each succeeding generation from 2-5 years.
The very best then, if they are male begin mixing racing with breeding, as dual Prix D’Amerique winner Ready Cash (Indy de Vive) currently does, with his first crop proving exceptional, with two 3YO fillies Avila and Axelle Dark providing the quinella in the Prix Guy Deloison on the first day of the Summer Season at Vincennes last week.
The R generation (foals born in 2005) is generally regarded as one of the greatest of all time, and is already rivaling the mighty G generation (foals born in 1994) which produced five Euro millionaires and 20 which earned more than €500,000 and included the likes of great racehorses General Du Pommeau (3,57,602), General Du Lupin (2,446,174) and Giesolo de Lou (1,773,452) and terrific sires such as Goetmals Wood, Ganymede, Gazouillis, Gai Brillant and Gobernador.
The R generation besides the aforementioned superstar Ready Cash also includes current Prix D’Amerique winner Royal Dream, runner up, Roxane Griff, sensational gelding Rapide Lebel and a Monte millionaire besides in Roi du Lupin.
But Rapide Lebel (now retired) and Ready Cash did not appear for this year’s renewal of the GP du Conseil des Alpes Maritime so it was left to last year’s winner Commander Crowe to face the heir apparent to Ready Cash, Timoko (Imoko), and the best of the T generation (2007), which is fast establishing a massive reputation of its own through the likes of rising stars Texas Charm and The Best Madrik.
From the gate Timoko (Imoko) had little trouble in holding off Prelude Gede and took command from the outset.
In the end it was little more than a training run for TImoko, who in the hands of Jos Verbeeck shot clear down the back straight and then turned on the power to widen the gap in the straight to have a comfortable three length margin over Qwidil (Hibiscus du Rib ) and Probo Op (From Above ) as he recorded an almost leisurely 1’12 kr (1.55.8MR) in victory.
Quentin Rose (Carpe Diem) and Pas Sans Toi (In Love You) were close behind in the other minor placing with Commander Crowe (Juliano Star) who faded into sixth place after a minor check in the straight.
It was Timoko’s 19th victory in 48 race day starts and takes his earnings to €1,751,230€ for owner and trainer Richard Westerink
GRAND PRIX DU CONSEIL GENERAL (Int Gp2)
Cagnes sur Mer 1609m 4-10 180,000
1 Timoko (6h Imoko - Kiss Me Coulonces) Dr: Jos Verbeeck Tr: Richard Westerink 1.12,0a 81,000
2 Qwidil (9g Hibiscus du Rib - Idylle Fayenne) Dr: Junior Guelpa Tr: Stephane Guelpa 1.12,4a 45,000
3 Probo Op (10h From Above - Elimara) Dr/Tr: Edoardo Moni 1.12,4a 22 500
4 Quentin Rose (9g Carpe Diem - Gigi Rose) Dr: Rik Depuydt Tr: Carine de Soete 1.12,6a 14,400
5 Pas Sans Toi (10h In Love With You - Fatre) Dr/Tr: David Cinier 1.12,6a 9,000
by Dave Sanders