The heats for the International Group I Grand Prix de l’UET will be held this week at Vincennes and Solvalla with the €400,000 final to be held at Solvalla on September 29.
There are 12 French horses, two Dutch, one Italian and a German horse have entered, and unusually for a year with the final in Sweden, most of the top French horses are involved.
The only top liner missing is Criterium des 4 Ans winner Voltigeur De Myrt, currently on the annual "Tour Européen du Trotteurs Français", where he finished sixth in the Prix de President, in Avenches, Switzerland on the weekend.
The first heat looks the easier of the two and the Jean Michel Bazire’s Vaux le Vicomte (4h Nahar de Beval) who was second in the Criterium des 3 Ans looks a class above these having beaten the best in this field home when second in both the Prix Gaston Brunet and Prix Phaeton, two of the biggest races of the year.
Last season’s Prix de l’Etoile runner-up Vera Pierji (4m Otello Pierji) and third placed Very Pleasant (4h Goetmals Wood) are both entered but the former, who is trained by Thierry Duvaldestin is not in good form having not won in over a year.
Philippe Moulin’s Very Pleasant, who won a minor race in the provinces last month, will be probably be the second favourite, but his last good performance in top company was in April.
In the second heat Paul Hagoort’s Dutch Derby winner Clint Boko (Abano As) is the only foreign threat to three French horses with real claims.
The winner should come from the trio of Varade d'Hermine (4m Legs du Clos) with Jean Michel Bazire in the bike, Viva Island (4m Goetmals Wood) with the incomparable Jean-Pierre Dubois driving and Volcan d'Urzy (4h Password), another of Philippe Moulin’s charges.
Varade d’Hermine has won 10 of his 15 starts and was disqualified from second place in the Criterium des 4 Ans for a rough gait, but has since won two Group IIs and should be favourite.
Volcan d’Urzy was promoted to second in the Criterium des 4 Ans but has since run down the track in similar company.
GRAND PRIX DE I'U.E.T.
Qualifying heats - Vincennes
2013-09-17 4YOs 2100m
1 Proud Wood (ITA) (4m Goetmals Wood - Berenice d'Ete) Dr: Arnold J Mollema Tr: Arnold J Mollema
2 Voici d'Urzy (4h Orlando Vici - Amazone River) Dr: Romain Derieux Tr: Romain Derieux
3 Very Pleasant (4h Goetmals Wood - Feraine d'Occagnes) Dr: Julien Dubois Tr: Philippe Moulin
4 Vera Pierji (4m Otello Pierji - Odyssee Pierji) Dr: Franck Ouvrie Tr: Thierry Duvaldestin
5 Vive Majyc (4m Baccarat du Pont - Mammy Blue) Dr: Louis Baudron Tr: Louis Baudron
6 Conway Fortuna (NED) (4h Conway Hall - Saratoga Yankee) Dr: Hugo Langeweg Jr Tr: Hugo Langeweg Jr
7 Via Josselyn (4m Kiwi - Kate) Dr: Pierre Yves Verva Tr: Hedi Le Bec
8 Vaux le Vicomte (4h Nahar de Beval - Nina du Beauvoisin) Dr: Jean Michel Bazire Tr: Jean Michel Bazire
1 Varade d'Hermine (4m Legs du Clos - Hotesse des Champs) Dr: Jean Michel Bazire Tr: Jean Michel Baudouin
2 Vassilia d'Orgeres (4m Love You - Falamine) Dr: Louis Baudron Tr: Louis Baudron
3 Villeroi (4h Oiseau de Feux - Pocahontas) Dr: Jean Etienne Dubois Tr: Jean Etienne Dubois
4 Viva Island (4m Goetmals Wood - Island Dream) Dr: Jean Pierre Dubois Tr: Jean Pierre Dubois
5 Clint W Boko (NED) (4h Abano As - Vantz Boko) Dr: Robin Bakker Tr: Paul Hagoort
6 Volcan d'Urzy (4h Password - Jabotte d'Urzy) Dr: Jean Philippe Dubois Tr: Philippe Moulin
7 Casanova (GER) (4h Ufo Kievitshof - Pinky) Dr: Pierre Levesque Tr: Mike Lenders
8 Vegas des Oliviers (4h Prodigious - Ops Clairchamp) Dr: Franck Anne Tr: Franck Anne
By Dave Sanders for Harnesslink.com