Day At The Track

Roxane Griff prevails in €700,000 Prix de Cornulier

04:10 AM 19 Jan 2015 NZDT
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High five from Eric Raffin and a race fan Eric Raffin, harness racing Roxane Grif
High five from Eric Raffin and a race fan
Paris-Turf photo
Look mom.....no hands! Eric Raffin and Roxane Grif are in perfect harmony
Paris-Turf Photo
Roxane Grif and Eric Raffin showboating to the wire at Vincennes
Paris-Turf photo
Roxane Grif
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Roxane Griff (10f Tenor de Baune-Julia  Mesloise), at 2.6/1 odds, with jubilant Eric Raffin in the irons for Ecurie Griff and conditioner Sebastian Guarato, made a powerful move around the final bend from third over in the outer flow and surged to the front in winning the €700,000 Prix de Cornulier (monte) at Vincennes, France.

They held off the favorite 1.8/1 Tiego d’Etang (8m Chaillot-Harolena) and Charles J. Bigeon up in the drive, overcoming a drift out to the fans fence by Roxane Griff that perhaps cost her four lengths and nearly the victory as she won by just a head. Nevertheless she held on with Raffin saluting the crowd without reins in hand.

Roxane Griff scored her 21st victory in 105 starts, now for €2,891,818 earned. The “grande-dame” of trotting raced without shoes. This was the world's richest monte race for trotters.

Pacesetter Vittel de Brevol and David Thomain was third on the line but disqualified causing Talicia Bella (8g General du Pommeau-Illicia Bella) to be placed third for Anthony Barrier and trainer J-P Marmion, ahead of Udayama and Ugo de Nieil.

The winner became the first ten year-old to win this classique. The pace was even (1.13.6kr at 1500; 1.13.6kr at 1000; 1.13.8kr at 500: 1.13.3kr finish) but the top two picked it up impressively in the drive to the line.

The Cornulier was today’s Quinte+ race of the day (jackpot €4.35 million) and over €1.85 million was bet on the race on win/place alone.

On a sunny, well-attended winter day at Paris-Vincennes, the Gr. II monte Prix Camille de Wazieres (€120,000 purse, monte, 2175 meters) went to 7/1 Bocage d’Ortize (4m Mirage du Goutier-Providence d’Ortize) with Mathieu Abrivard aboard for trainer Sebastian Guarato.

The winner rallied steadily in the lane to defeat 4/5 favorite Booster Winner (4m Love You-Quille Viretaute) with Eric Raffin up, also for top trainer Guarato. Best of Jets (4m Magnificent Rodney-Plume Jets) was a good third for Franck Lagadeuc at the lines for Jean-Michel Baudouin. The winner scored in a sharp 1.12.3kr after solid early fractions (1.09.9kr at 1500; 1.11.1kr at 1000; 1.12.2kr at 500).

The Gr. III Prix de Dinan (€110,000 purse, 2850 meters, 17 starters) went to fast finishing 6/1 Volare de Lou (6g Korean-Pareastern de Lou) with Christophe Martens driving for trainer Vincent Martens. The winner scored in 1.14.4kr after modest fractions. Vodka du Wallon (6f Onlyx du Goutier-Neige des Harneaux) was second at 8/1 for Eric Raffin ahead of 41/1 Val Royal with Alexandre Abrivard teaming for trainer J-M Bazire.

The Gr. III Prix de Valence (€95,000, 2700 meters, 12 starters) went to 3/2 favorite Buffalo de Beylev (4m Memphis du Rib-Rafale du Plessis) with Mathieu Abrivard aboard for trainer Hubert Hardy. 67/1 outsider Bardane du Houlbet was second for David Thomain with third to 10/1 Brasil de Bailly and teamster Franck Ouvrie. The winner scored in 1.15.5kr.

Today’s Prix Bellino II (€85,000, 2700 meters, 11 starters) produced victory for 2/1 Virgious du Maza (6g Prodigious-Pocket Edition), with David Thomain up for trainer Sebastian Ernault. The winner scored in 1.14.4kr, closing stoutly off modest fractions (1.15.3kr at 1500; 1.14.4kr at 1000; 1.14.9kr at 500). 25/1 Varoum Boy (6m Baccarat du Pont-Hawai Girl) ended second for Eric Raffin and trainer Yves Dreux. Anthony Barrier teamed third place finisher Vivier de l;Oison (6g Prince de Montfort-Punaise) at 6/1.

Lightly raced three year-olds contested the Prix de Maisons-Lafitte (€42,000 purse, 2200 meters, nine starters) and the winner was undefeated (now in three starts) Comtesse du Chene (3f Quaker Jet-Imperiola du Chene) with Pierre Vercruysse up at 9/10 odds. Cana de Bailly and Carla Bilou trailed the winner across the line. Young sire Quaker Jet looks to be an emerging stallion.

by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com

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