VINCENNES, France - It is the, the World Cup soccer final, and the Melbourne Cup of harness racing rolled all into one at Vincennes for the Prix d'Amerique.
You can't really experience the passion of the Prix d'Amerique from the plush 300 euro a seat restaurants, that perch imperious above the massed throng of 40,000 trotting diehards in the sprawling stand below.
It is in a rain drenched crowd, bedecked in scarves of their favourite trotters, and national flags from Sweden, Norway and Italy, that the true passion of this great sport emerges.
A wonderful crop of horses, the class of 2005 had claimed every Prix d'Amerique since 2011.
And now in their twilight,and held a French nation's hopes, while Maharajah, born in the same spring but some miles to the north-east held an equally enamoured Swedish nation in his thrall.
It was time for a change, said the level-headed pundits. Up And Quick was the rising star, and picked to shine.
But two nation's hearts said not so fast. Greatness deserves a fitting finale. And so it was on this gloomy January day in Paris.
It was the three big guns who fired all the shots in this magnificent race. Three great equine athletes delivered all that is noble about equine sport. Those with great hearts know no quit. And this was a race of the ages.
Sweden's Maharajah eventually ruled supreme over France's heir apparent Up An Quick whilecould not keep stride with his unfathomable desire.
A great end, to a great race. And I was privileged to witness history written.by David Sanders for Harnesslink.com