A shot at redemption in Prix de Tonnac-Villeneuve

09:02 AM 03 Jan 2014 NZDT
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Sebastien Guarato, harness racing Franck Anne, harness racing Philippe Allaire, harness racing
Sebastien Guarato Aladin d'Ecajeul
Franck Anne trains and drives Akim du Cap Ver
Philippe Allaire trains both Artiste de Joudes and Axelle Dark

The A generation step out for their first run as 4YOs in the Prix de Tonnac-Villeneuve, a group two over the sprint distance of 2175m at Vincennes on Saturday.

Heading the field is Criterium de 3 Ans winner Aladin d'Ecajeul, who has been the undoubted star of the Winter Meeting for this age group.

Sebastien Guarato's stallion will be shooting for his third win in a row after capturing the classique and also the Group II Prix Abel Bassigny on the first week of November, his second win in his third try at the level. The son of Quaker Jet has now won seven of his 14 race starts, for earnings of 304,940 and will start the favourite in this event.

The Criterium des 3 Ans was a brutal reminder that racing gives reputation scant respect with the three favourites failing to finish a race where the attrition rate was more than 50 per cent.

Frank Anne's Akim de Cap Vert was an early casualty of a tight squeeze of the peleton as the entered the downhill straight from the starting area, while Philippe Allaire-owned horses trio Atlas de Joudes and the much vaunted fillies Avila and Axelle Dark also failed to cope with the intensity of the race.

Akim de Cap Vert, Avila and Axelle Dark have also come in for heavy early support, with handicappers giving them a chance to redeem themselves, in this the major race for 4YOs in January.

Runner up in the Criterium was Ausone du Kastel, the winner of just five career starts, the last being in his first try at group company in August, which was the culmination of a three-win streak.

Although second in the Criterium, Emmanuel Allard's son of Gros Grain was third in a lesser field in the Prix de Chateau Chinon on Christmas Day.

Third in the Criterium was Alesia d'Atout, another with just one group victory, back in May, and will probably be tested in this, with just four wins in 15 starts.

Alberic was fourth home in the Criterium but at massive odds, and with just three wins in 17 starts he will struggle for support, especially with a failure in the Prix de Chateau Chinon on Christmas Day.

Artiste de Joudes was fifth home in the Criterium, but Philippe Allaire's fourth entrant is a perennial also ran, although he does have a penchant for slotting into one of the money-bearing places in big races hence his 178,150 euro bankroll, despite only two wins.

PRIX DE TONNAC-VILLENEUVE Vincennes

04/01/14 FR Group II 2175m 4YOs € 120 000

1 Ah Quel Micha (4h Rocklyn - Oceane du Phare) Dr: Julien Dubois Tr: Philippe Moulin

2 Alberic (4h Goetmals Wood - Oublies Moi) Dr: Franck Nivard Tr: Fabrice Souloy

3 Artiste de Joudes (4h Prodigious - Memory de Joudes) Dr: Pierre Vercruysse Tr: Philippe Allaire

4 Alesia d'Atout (4m Defi d'Aunou - New York Jet) Dr: Mathieu Mottier Tr: Dominique Mottier

5 Ausone du Kastel (4h Gros Grain - Lancee) Dr: Emmanuel Allard Tr: Emmanuel Allard

6 Atlas de Joudes (4h Ready Cash - Queschua Love) Dr: Dominik Locqueneux Tr: Philippe Allaire

7 Aladin d'Ecajeul (4h Quaker Jet - Nancy d'Ecajeul) Dr: Eric Raffin Tr: Sebastien Guarato

8 Akim du Cap Vert (4h First de Retz - Prima du Cap Vert) Dr: Franck Anne Tr: Franck Anne

9 Avila (4m Ready Cash - Encombevineuse) Dr: Thierry Duvaldestin Tr: Thierry Duvaldestin

10 Axelle Dark (4m Ready Cash - Queen des Charmes) Dr: Jos Verbeeck Tr: Philippe Allaire

by David Sanders for Harnesslink.com 

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