Day At The Track

Villeroi wins Gr. III Prix du Gatinais

05:10 AM 10 May 2015 NZST
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Eric Raffin the driver of Villeroi
Eric Raffin the driver of Villeroi

May 9, 2015 - Villeroi (6m Oiseau de Faux-Pocahontas) took today’s co-featured Prix du Gatinais (€85,000 purse, 14 European starters, 2700 meters) timed in 1.12.6kr for harness racing driver Eric Raffin and trainer Sebastian Guarato.

Ecurie Pierre Pilarski owns the winner that scored at odds of 4.7/1.

Tornado Bello (8m Jag de Bellouet-Enfilade), the half-brother to Offshore Dream, was a game pacesetting second for Thomas Levesque and trainer Mike Lenders as 2.3/1 favorite and third went to Triskell Pacha (8g Elio Josselyn-Derose de la Butte) and teamster Franck Nivard.

Sometime pressed the lead during much of the contest but tired and went offstride late.

Fractions were solid with a quick final 500 meters (1.13.1kr at 1500; 1.13.5kr at 1000; 1.13.2kr at 500 and 1.12.6kr finish). This race was today’s Quinte+ with a jackpot of €3.55 million.

The Gr. III Prix Guillaume de Bellaigue (monte, €120,000 purse, 2700 meters, 7 International starters) went to rallying Nene’Degli Ulivi (8g Uconn Roc-Maureen Lobell) and Alexandre Abrivard for trainer Vincent Lacroix.

Off at 7.7/1 the winner recorded career victory 17 in 40 outings, scoring in 1.14.4kr off slow fractions (1.13.5kr at 1500; 1.15kr at 1000; 1.15.7kr at 500, 1.14.4kr finish) set by second place 25/1 odds Vision Intense (6f Prodigious-Intense Action) ridden by Nathalie Henry for Ecurie Victoria Dreams and trainer Philippe Moulin. Rarely a pacesetter Vision Intense raced very well. Great mare Roxane Griff (10f Tenor de Baune-Julia Mesloise) rallied valiantly late to be a close third for Eric Raffin, trainer Guarato and Ecurie Griff. She was off at 4.7/1 and raced fifth on the pegs until late in the lane.

The Prix du Perreux (European, €80,000 purse, 13 starters) for upper class campaigners went to Rember Mail (5m Toss Out-E Mail Spin) and reinsman Christophe Martens for trainer Victor Martens at 3.1/1 odds. He rushed to the front with 1000 meters to go and led to the line scoring in 1.14.8kr for owner Ecurie GIGA Srl of Italy. Perkins Grif (6m Classic Photo-Radiant Victory) was second at 7.5/1 after making a strong push of the last turn and sustaining that run throughout the stretch for Roberto Andreghetti. Fabrice Souloy trains this one for Scuderia Future 2004 Srl. Rooibus (6m Rotation-Miss Tessani) was third along the pegs for trainer/driver Bjorn Goop and owner BS Stables AB at 8.5/1. 

Fractions were pedestrian that set up a quick and wild finish (1.14.7kr at 1500; 1.15.5kr at 1000; 1.16.2kr at 500; 1.14.8kr finish).

Thomas H. Hicks

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