Marathon effort needed to win longest Group One

04:47 PM 22 Feb 2014 NZDT
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Trond Anderssen Roxane Griff Vourasie
Trond Anderssen
Roxane Griff
Vourasie

Is there a tougher race in harness racing.

Certainly not at the elite level.

The third leg of the French triple crown, the Prix de Paris, is a monster.

Twice around the Grand Piste, twice up the famed monte, the killer rise up the back straight at Vincennes, which separates the pretenders from the contenders in any race at this great track.

And these equine superstars can churn through the demands of the 4150m trip in around 2min time - indeed Private Love went under a 2min time when she won in 2010 as did Gobernador in 2001, General du Pommeau in 2002, Insert Gede in 2003 and Jardy went a flat 2.00 rate the third time he won the race in 2007.

Vourasie also won the race three times, as did the great Bellino II and some of the true greats of the sport have also saluted the judge including Rooseveldt International Trot winners Jamin in 1960, Une de Mai in 1973, Ideal du Gazeau in 1982 and Lutin d'Isigny in 1984.

Three Swedish horses have won the race, the first Piper Club, a son of French export sire Tibur, who is also in the pedigree of the last Swede to win the race, Maharajah in 2011. The third horse was the champion Remington Crown, the only horse to win the race with 100% American bloodlines - although his dam was from a Danish family which had been in Europe since the 1930s.

Maharajah also set of a sequence of three wins by horses who were born in 2005 who have dominated the Triple Crown in the past four years.

This is the 12th triple crown race since the Prix d'Amerique was won by Ready Cash in 2011. All previous 11 have been won by a foal of 2005, including Noras Bean, the Swedish raider who won the Prix de France two weeks ago.

And don't bet against them continuing the sequence again on Sunday.

Second favourite Roxane Griff is a former winner of the race, won the monte Prix du Cornulier the week before running a gallant fourth in the PDA, then won her second group one monte of the meeting, the Prix de l'Ille de France on February 2.

Fourth favourite and third place getter in the Prix d'Amerique Yarrah Boko is a Swedish bred son of a great French sire in Coktail Jet who now competes for Norway, and is due a win in a big group one. He was bravery personified in the Prix de Paris being one of the three horses which set a sensational 1.03.9k/r for the opening 600m and then stayed on in the straight some 1500m later to finish fourth.

"Four kilometers is new for him, but I have a feeling that he manages the distance. We must believe in our horse", said Norwegian trainer Trond Anderssen on Sweden's atg.se website.

The other 9YOs in the race include former Prix d'Amerique winner Royal Dream and Roxana de Barbray, trained by ex-pat Italian Roberto Donati, and who was fourth in this event last year. The daughter of Speed Clayttois also ran fourth in that year's Prix d'Amerique in her only start in the great race.

Favouritism will go to the rising star Up And Quick in the hands of master driver Jean Michel Bazire, while fourth favourite is Cedric Megissier's Uhlan du Val, who ran fifth and sixth in the Prix de France and Prix d'Amerique, which are fine performances for a young horse in French terms - six is regarded as the entry year for elite level horses after four seasons of age group racing.

Fifth favourite is Christian Bigeon's Tiego and he is a really good chance in this, having ran second in this race last year, and ran a great third in the Prix de France a fortnight ago.

PRIX DE PARIS

Vincennes

2014-02-23 Group 1 4-10 4150m Euro 400 000

1 Titi Quick (7h Extreme Aunou - Gazelle d'Aussy) Dr: Alexandre Abrivard Tr: Clement Casseron 4150

2 Taormina d'Em (7m Cedre du Vivier - Nevadara d'Em) Dr: Tony Le Beller Tr: Jean Pierre Allix 4150

3 Son Alezan (8h First de Retz - Kelle Ile) Dr: Dominik Locqueneux Tr: Franck Leblanc 4150

4 Utoky (6h Cygnus d'Odyssee - Epopee) Dr: Yoann Lebourgeois Tr: Franck Leblanc 4150

5 Soleil du Fosse (8h Jag de Bellouet - Fortune du Fosse) Dr: Mathieu Abrivard Tr: Thierry Duvaldestin 4150

6 Uhlan du Val (6h Islero de Bellouet - Indiana Beautiful) Dr: Cedric Megissier Tr: Cedric Megissier 4150

7 Santa Rosa France (8m Kaisy Dream - Helice France) Dr: William Bigeon Tr: Jean Luc Bigeon 4150

8 Roxana de Barbray (9m Speed Clayettois - Iriane des Enclos) Dr: David Thomain Tr: Roberto Donati 4150

9 Severino (8h Gobernador - Katia de Tillard) Dr: Damien Bonne Tr: Roger Coueffin 4150

10 Quinoa du Gers (10h Ganymede - Targa du Chalange) Dr: Franck Nivard Tr: Fabrice Souloy 4150

11 Up And Quick 6(h Buvetier d'Aunou - Fichtre) Dr: Jean Michel Bazire Tr: Franck Leblanc 4150

12 Tiego d'Etang (7h Chaillot - Harolene) Dr: Christian Bigeon Tr: Christian Bigeon 4150

13 Yarrah Boko (9h Coktail Jet - Big Blue Kitten) Dr: Pierre Vercruysse Tr: Trond Anderssen 4150

14 Royal Dream (9h Love You - Ida Bourbon) Dr: Jean Philippe Dubois Tr: Philippe Moulin 4150

15 Roxane Griff (9m Tenor de Baune - Julia Mesloise) Dr: Eric Raffin Tr: Sebastien Guarato 4150

Dave Sanders

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