Can Vanika get back on track?

04:06 PM 06 Dec 2013 NZDT
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Franck Anne, Harness Racing Danielle Mottier trainer of Victoire Emmanuel Ruault trainer of Votka Bleue
Franck Anne trainer of Vanika du Ruel - the richest 4YO in French trotting
Danielle Mottier trainer of Victoire
Emmanuel Ruault trainer of Votka Bleue

Vanika du Ruel is the richest 4YO in French trotting but Franck Anne's star has had a less than stellar 2013 and gets a chance to get back to winning ways in the Prix Ariste Hemard, a 2700m group two for 4YO mares at Vincennes on Saturday.

As a 3YO she was without peer, winning the two Criteriums (des Jeunes, 3 Ans) and also picking up the Prix Albert Viel and Prix De l'Etoile as other group one trophies to go with a swag of 3YO group two victories as she won 11 out of her first 17 races.

She started off the year with a start in the Prix d'Amerique, a rare foray for a 4YO mare, but things have not gone right since. In fact she has not won in over 12 months, and this year she has found horses to beat her in all the major races culminating in a very disappointing Criterium des 4 Ans where she finished down the track.

She reappeared for the first time in six months in the Prix de Bretagne a fortnight ago, and that was always a big ask against the mature horses, and she finished ninth.

But back among her age group and gender, and she should be able to get back to winning ways.

Danielle Mottier's Victoire won the group two Prix Louis Tillaye earlier in the meeting and is a horse in good form. The Kitko mare was third in the Criterium des 3 Ans last year, and has amassed an impressive record of nine wins in 24 starts and has only been five times out of the money .

Thierry Duvaldestin has another strong competitor in Vive Daidou who won the Prix Guy le Gonidec in August, against a similar field to this. He has galloped inhis last two outings but if he trots all the way he will be a factor in this.

The trainer of Ready Cash also has former group one runner up Vera Pierji (Prix de l'Etoile) in this field and although she has not won since her sole group two victory in the Prix Guy Deloison in August last year, she had a fourth last start, and she is not running against the colts this time.

Emmanuel Ruault's Votka Bleue has been rising the ranks impressively lately and may be a factor, while Jean Pierre Dubois fronts up with one of his immaculately bred mares in Viva Island (Goetmals Wood-Island Dream), who has been winning as she likes in provincial company and may be ready to step up.

07/12/13 FR PRIX ARISTE HEMARD (G2) Vincennes 2 700 4F 120 000

Vincennes 2013-12-07 Prix Ariste Hemard € 120 000

N:r Plac. Häst Härstamning Kusk Tränare Tid Dist. Pris

1 Vanina des Baux (Orlando des Baux - Lune de Talonay) Dr: Marion Hue Tr: Marion Hue 2700

2 Version Star's (Prince d'Espace - Planete Rapide) Dr: Bernard Piton Tr: Emmanuel Varin 2700

3 Vive Majyc (Baccarat du Pont - Mammy Blue) Dr: Louis Baudron Tr: Louis Baudron 2700

4 Votka Bleue (Jasmin de Flore - Joyeuse Bleue) Dr: Franck Nivard Tr: Emmanuel Ruault 2700

5 Viva Island (Goetmals Wood - Island Dream) Dr: Jean Pierre Dubois Tr: Jean Pierre Dubois 2700

6 Vive Daidou (Ouragan de Celland - Orange Douce) Dr: Thierry Duvaldestin Tr: Thierry Duvaldestin 2700

7 Vera Pierji (Otello Pierji - Odyssee Pierji) Dr: Mathieu Abrivard Tr: Thierry Duvaldestin 2700

8 Victoire (Kitko - Juventa Blue) Dr: Jean Philippe Mary Tr: Danielle Mottier 2700

9 Vanika du Ruel ( Jardy - Jacarandine) Dr: Franck Anne Tr: Franck Anne 2700

Dave Sanders

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