With the €500,000 Masters du Trot series final just a couple of weeks away, there was just one race in the UET series this weekend, this being at Bergsaker in Sweden with the running of the Group I Sundsvall Open, worth 1.75 million SEK where some of the big guns were jostling for points to make the starting line up for the big final in Vincennes on September 7.
In the field were last year’s Masters du Trot final winner Sebastian K, this year’s Elitloppet winner Nahar, and Swedish mega-stable Travkompaniets’ rising star Panne de Moteur (Credit Winner), who was stepping up from his win against his own 5YO age group in the Jubileumspokalen in a late bid to make the field as were top Swedish horses Sanity (Love You) and Raja Mirchi (Viking Kronos).
And it was Ake Svandtedt’s star of last year Sebastian K who charged off the number five post at the gate to take up the lead with US import Formula One (Yankee Glide) in the trail which locked up Panne de Moteur three back and on the rail, while Raja Mirchi was prominent early on the outside with Sanity.
Sebastian K is adept at fighting off challengers and is very hard to head once he gets to the lead and so it seemed as the field headed around the bend for home with the champ still on top and going strongly.
But then Panne de Moteur who was still buried three deep on the rail until halfway down the straight but in the hands of Sweden’s leading reinsman Bjorn Goop, suddenly cut diagonally across a wall of horses and somehow without causing interference and then showed blistering acceleration to get up past Sebastian K (Korean) in the shadows of the post.
Last week’s world record breaking European mare’s championship winner Save The Quick (Jasmine de Flore), who travelled three wide for all the last lap, couldn’t find the legs to get past Sebastian K, or hold off Panne De Moteur, but outlasted a fast finishing US import Formula One for third. Monster Drive (Thai Thanic) picked up the fifth placed points.
Panne De Moteur clocked 1.10,9a (1.52.5MR) for the 2140m sprint to record his fifth win in eight starts this season taking his earnings to over the half million euro mark (€534,466) and move to 18th on the Masters Du Trot standings, just 100 points outside the 16th and last qualifying position. But with the likely withdrawal of several runners, he is almost certain to get a start.
There does appear to be an anomaly in the UET ranking system,with so many Italian races historically listed as group ones, there are six Italian horses in the top 16, although only Main Wise As (who races in France), Neste Effe and Mack Grace Sm are worthy of their positions.
Not in the top 16 currently are three far superior horses to the lightweight Italian trio of Looney Tunes (11) Owen’s Club (13=) and Look MP (13=), in France’s The Best Madrik (17) Sweden’s Travkompaniets stablemates Panne De Moteur (18) and Maharajah (21) – who have all won far higher status races this seasonthan those in Italy whose racing industry is in a state of near collapse. It will be interesting to see what solution the UET comes up with.
SUNDSVALL OPEN (Int Gp1)
Bergsåker 2 140m Open 1,750,000SEK
1 Panne de Moteur (5h Credit Winner–Jalopy) Örjan Kihlström Stefan Hultman 1.10,9a 1,000,000 SEK
2 Sebastian K. (7h Korean-Gabriella K) Åke Svanstedt Åke Svanstedt 1.11,0a 400,000 SEK
3 Save the Quick (7m Jasmin de Flore-Heureuse Duchesse Björn Goop Franck Leblanc 1.11,0a 200,000 SEK
4 Formula One (6h Yankee Glide-Ferrari Of) Jorma Kontio Reijo Liljendahl 1.11,1a 100,000 SEK
5 Monster Drive (7h Thai Tanic-Kewpie) Johan Untersteiner Reijo Liljendahl 1.11,1a 50,000 SEK
By Dave Sanders