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Today’s Gr. II UET Masters Series Prix Marcel Laurent at Paris-Vincennes brought out 14 starters to battle for the €120,000 purse over 2100 meters autostart. 1.6/1 favorite Aladin d’Ecajeul (4m Quaker Jet-Nancy d’Ecajeul) drew off in the late stages for Eric Raffin to score in 1.13.1kr. Sebastien Guarato trains the winner that defeated 9.7/1 Akim du Cap Vert (4m First de Retz-Prima du Cap Vert) and owner/trainer/driver Franck Anne. Third went to Athos des Elfes (4m Ganymede-Lezio du Bourg). Well-regarded Village Mystic, Pascia’Lest and Tast Of Bourbon finished fifth through seventh. Fractions were fast early and late in this event (1.09.7kr at 1500; 1.13.5kr at 1000; 1.14.3kr at 500 and 1.13.1kr at finish). This race was the Quinte+ race of the day with a €3.1 million jackpot.     Aladin d’Ecajeul wins Prix Marcel Laurent   Yesterday at Nantes the Gr. III Gran National du Trot Paris-Turf leg went to Up The Green reined by Pierre Levesque. The Frederic Terry trainee scored at 8.3/1 odds in 1.15.6kr over 3000 meters. The purse was €90,000 and 15 contested the event.   Up The Green is a six year-old son of Espeyrac Sun from Nemenine. J-M Bazire (also trainer) teamed United Back to be second at 2.8/1 with 4/1 Uprince ending third for Franck Nivard after over-coming a distance handicap.     Up The Green wins GNT     Thomas H. Hicks

Last week showcased solid, competitive racing in France, Italy, Sweden and Hungary. Mid-week graded action at Paris-Vincennes highlighted the lead in to a superb racing weekend.  Africaine took the Gr. II Prix Guy le Gondidec Wednesday for Jean-Etienne Dubois. The four-year-old daughter of Oiseau de Feur scored easily in 1.13.6kr over 2700 meters. On Thursday, Paris-Vincennes conducted two more Gr. II events that went to Valdice de Mars in a monte test (Prix Legoux-Longpre) over 2850 meters. This five-year-old daughter of Lynx de Bellouet scored in 1.13.9kr for Yohan Lebourgeois. The other Gr II event was the Prix Jules Thibault over 2700 meters that Athos des Elfes won for Joel Van Eeckhaute in 1.13.7kr. The four year-old son on Ganymede was a hard driving winner over Aladin d’Ecajeul. Summaries of these races are shown below. August 27, 2014 Paris-Vincennes, Prix Guy le Gonidec, Gr. II €120,000 purse, 2700 meters, 16 starters, 1.13.6kr 1st Africaine (4f Oiseau de Feux-Italiene-Coktail Jet), Jean-Etienne Dubois owner/trainer/driver, 1.1/1, fifth win in 23 outings for €292,820 earned 2nd Andalouse (4f Tenor de Baune-Mosaique), Tony Le Beller, 45.9/1 3rd Athena de Vandel (4f Prince Gede-Maelia de Vandel), Mathieu Abrivard for Cedric Megissier, 5.5/1 4th Axelle Dark (4f Ready Cash-Queen des Charmes), Jos. Verbeeck up for owner/trainer Philippe Allaire, 4.8/1 August 28, 2014, Paris-Vincennes, Prix Legoux-Longpre, 2850 meters monte, Gr. II €120,000 purse, ten starters, time 1.13.9kr 1st Valdice de Mars (5f Lynx de Bellouet-Tiphanie-Beausejour II), Yohan Lebourgeois for owner/trainer Loic Groussard, 7.2/1, tenth career win for €543,820 2nd Valse de Reve (5f Mister President-Nouba Houba), Camille Levesque, 3.3/1 3rd Votka Bleue (5f Jasmin de Flore-Joyeuse Bleue), Franck Nivard, 4.1/1 4th Valse Castelets (5f Memphis du Rib-Elide), J.L.C. Dersoir, 17.1/1 August 28, 2014 Paris-Vincennes, Prix Jules Thibault, 2700 meters, Gr. II €120,000 purse, 1.13.7kr 1st Athos des Elfes (4m Ganymede-Iazio du Bourg-Tadzio de la Motte), Joel Van Eeckhaute, 1.4/1 odds favorite, his eighth career win for €343,030 for owner J-P Goubert 2nd Aladin d’Ecajeul (4m Quaker Jet-Nancy d’Ecajeul), Eric Raffin up for trainer Sebastian Guarato, 3.1/1 3rd Akim du Cap Vert (4m First de Retz-Prima du Cap Vert), Franck Anne owner/trainer/driver, 9.2/1 In Cesena, Italy two preps for the Breeders Course Final took place on August 23. Tiffany Caf (2f Cantab Hall-Elaine Caf-Supergill) scored in 1.16.4kr over 1660 meters autostart for Bo Le Verde and Talish As (2f Daguet Rapide-Gaia dei Veltri-Remington Crown) was a 1.16.6kr winner over the same distance for Roberto Vecchione. Both races were contested over 1660 meters autostart for the two year-old olds. On August 22 at Solvalla Mister JP scored over 1640 meters autostart in 1.13.4kr by open lengths, for Bjorn Goop. The winner is now 2 for 2 for Ecurie Citrus (J-P Barjon). Mister JP is a two year-old son of Taurus Dream from Baghdad Dream by Yankee Glide. Jim Oscarsson was second this day with Mr. Perfect by Andover Hall. This group of lightly raced two year-olds will be back in action on September 6 at Jagersro for the Breeders Course Final. They will travel 1640 meters autostart for 450,000SEK purse. The field is shown below. Mister J.P. (B. Goop) Angelina (DK) (J. Juel) Fiona Stardust (NL)  (B. Crebas) Telecomando Ok (J. Kontio) Tunica (E. Adielsson) Partizan Face (L. Kolgjini) Mr Perfect (J. Oscarsson) Troja D’Asolo (Renè Legati) Talish As (W. Paal) Flyer Boshoeve (M. Schimd) The same day at Jagersro will be the European Championship for three year-olds, going 2140 meters for a 450,000SEK purse. The lineup follows. Expo Express (DE) (A. Mollema) Winston Sisa (DK) (S. Juul) Easytowin (J. Takter) Saphire Bi (O. Kihlstrom) Jontte Boy (FI) (J. Kontio) Da Vinci B.R (NO) (K. Haugstad) Kickans Girl (R. Pettersson) Othello Tilly (B. Goop) Ewald F. Boko (DE) )C. Lugauer) Sheava Vik (J. Untersteiner) Coolwater In (E. Adielsson) On Sunday at Kincsem Park the SLO invader Lady Luna (9f Sierra Ranger-Luna) took the 500,000HUfRecorder DIJ feature over 1960 meters turning start. Rene Hanzekovic, also trainer, piloted the winner perfectly gaining a pocket journey behind pacesetter Amazing Lobell (7f Incredible Crafts-US Companion) and reinsman Arpad Lakatos to score in 1.17.9kr over a deep racing surface. Orangyal (6f Wall Street Banker-Derengo) ended third for Pal Vicen. Next Saturday, September 6, will be the prestigious Hungaria Prize and the Marschall Jozsef Memorial. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com

Philippe Allaire might be eyeing America with his super trotter Ready Cash, but his eyes will be firmly on another pair of his charges at Caen tomorrow when Bird Parker and Bomba line up in the Group 1 Saint-Leger des Trotters, a 2450m three-year-old monte for 150,000 euros which highlights the biggest day of the year at the northern Basse-Normandie city. Bird Parker, a son of Ready Cash, is equally at home in the bike or under saddle, being a group two monte winner and a runner-up under harness in several major group races including the Prix Emmanuel Marghouty and Prix Maurice Gheest. With top monte rider Yoann Lebourgeois engaged, Bird Parker was paying very short 3/2 odds early Tuesday while his stable mate, the filly Bomba was at 4/1. By Goetmals Wood, a noted under saddle sire, Bomba has won three of her six monte starts, including the prestigious group two Prix Ali Hawas but gallops have proven costly in her other two group outings and handicappers will have been wary of this. Splitting the two Allaire charges in the market is Fabrice Souloy's nice filly Beauty Turgot, the winner of the Prix Holly du Locton under saddle and a placegetter in the bike in the Prix Une de Mai, the biggest race for 2YO fillies in France. Pascal Daulier's Babar des Brouets, a son of Giant Cat, is also coming in for early support having run a fourth placing in one of his two group two monte starts. The others in the market are Blooma d'Heripre (Rolling d'Heripre) a three-win colt trained by Gregory Thorel who is making his first group start and Brise de l'Alba (Quido du Goutier) a filly from William Bigeon's barn who was runner up in the Prix Holly du Locton. There is a second monte of note on the card with the Prix Henri Balliere, over the same distance for 4YOs, but for 120,000 euros and graded Group II. With Roddy Kuiper's top-ranked filly A Nous Deux missing from the event, Ake Kristoffersson's Love You stallion Airport (Love Yo) who was a gallant second in both the last two group montes is under even money to win this. He will be ridden again by Eric Raffin. Hughes Levesque's Cygnus d'Odyssee mare Astree de l'Iton is making her first group start after a couple of impressive wins under saddle in lower grade races is the next best supported in the market, and has Yoann Lebourgeois on board for the trip. Alexandre Abrivard will be on board talented Hasting mare Agrippine, which is trained by Laurent Claude Abrivard and handicappers are hoping she can find the form that saw her second in the group one Prix de Vincennes, after several DQs in recent outings. SAINT-LEGER DES TROTTEURS - Caen 14/05/14 FR Group I  2450m 3YO €150 000 1         Bella Madrik (f Lilium Madrik - Carieva de Prelong)   Rd: Nathalie Henry   Tr: Rd: Estelle Dessartre       2         Bandit (c Coktail Jet - Malika de Vandel)   Rd: Mathieu Abrivard   Tr: Guillaume Grelier         3         Baron Colmi (c Rieussec - Ligie du Vivier)   Rd: Anthony Dollion   Tr: Sebastien Guarato      4         Best des Jacquets (c Coktail Jet - Kodessa)   Rd: Antoine Wiels   Tr: Thierry Duvaldestin           5         Ballerine Griff (f Password - Keva Mesloise)   Rd: Damien Bonne   Tr: Sebastien Guarato        6         Babar des Brouets (c Giant Cat - Pin Up des Brouets)  Rd:  Philippe Masschaele   Tr: Pascal Daulier        7         Blooma d'Heripre (f  Rolling d'Heripre - Quenta Por Favor)   Rd: David Thomain   Tr: Gregory Thorel       8         Balzane de Bootz (f Nem - Queza de Bootz)   Rd: Alexandre Abrivard   Tr: Jean Michel Bazire       9         Bingo Star (c Look de Star - Rosiris)   Rd: Adrien Lamy   Tr: Lucien Swita           10         Balade de Blary (f  Qualmio de Vandel - Garine d'Occagnes)   Rd: Antoine Lherete   Tr: Franck Anne           11         Brise de l'Alba (f  Quido du Goutier - Cely de la Meritee)   Rd: Eric Raffin   Tr: William Bigeon       12         Brooklyn Bridge (c Quatre Juillet - Mysterious Valley)   Rd: Pierre Yves Verva   Tr: Franck Leblanc       13         Bomba (f  Goetmals Wood - Passion d'Amour)   Rd: Mathieu Mottier   Tr: Philippe Allaire           14         Beauty Turgot (f  Hand du Vivier - Quouragane)   Rd: Franck Nivard   Tr: Fabrice Souloy           15         Bird Parker (c  Ready Cash – Belisha)   Rd: Yoann Lebourgeois   Tr: Philippe Allaire           PRIX HENRI BALLIERE - Caen 14/05/14 FR  Group II 2450m 4YOs €120 000 1         Arabole du Varlet (f    Magnificent Rodney - Gabole du Varlet)   Rd: Jerome Dave   Tr: Martial Dupuis       2         Albertains (h   Power Jet - Nymphe de Feugeres)   Rd: Julien Raffestin   Tr: Jean Francois Senet       3         Astree de l'Iton (f    Cygnus d'Odyssee - Melodie de l'Iton)   Rd: Yoann Lebourgeois   Tr: Hughes Levesque        4         Amour de Retz (h   First de Retz - Melody des Charmes)   Rd: Mathieu Mottier   Tr: Åke Kristoffersson          5         Athos du Roc (h   Odeisis de Vandel - Herbe des Brouets)   Rd: Franck Nivard   Tr: Damien Jean Brault          6         Altair des Brouets (f    Quiz des Brouets - Luanda des Brouets)   Rd: Jonathan Vanmeerbeck   Tr: Pascal Daulier       7         Agilite Jenilou (f    Love You - Quemilla Jenilou)   Rd: Mathieu Abrivard   Tr: Louis Baudron         8         Aurea Vikland (f    Prince de Montfort - Kettina de Monti)   Rd: Pierre Yves Verva   Tr: Guillaume Moinon          9         Agrippine (f    Hasting - Moqueuse)   Rd: Alexandre Abrivard   Tr: Laurent Claude Abrivard         10         Aston Fly (h   Hermes de Montfort - Quie Daidou)   Rd: Jonathan Carre   Tr: Michael Jean Ruault          11         Airport (h   Love You - Pivoine)   Rd: Eric Raffin   Tr: Åke Kristoffersson          12         Atwood Griff (h   Goetmals Wood - Qualane Griff)   Rd: Damien Bonne   Tr: Sebastien Guarato       13         Asana Trembladaise (f    Kuadro Wild - Passion d'Alban)   Rd: Anthony Dollion   Tr: Anthony Dollion       by David Sanders for Harnesslink.com

Franck Anne teamed his pupil Akim du Cap Vert to victory in today's 240,000e ($333,000 US) Gr. I Prix des 4Ans at Vincennes, scoring a rallying win in 1.11.8kr over 2850 meters. The son of Frist de Retz won for the seventh time, now for career earnings of 621,930e lifetime. Favored Aladiin d'Ecajeul was second for Eric Raffin after being the pacesetter. Summary follows: May 3, 2014 Paris Vincennes, Gr. I Prix des 4Ans (Conquerant), 240,000e, 2850 meters, 17 starters, 1.11.8kr 1st Akin du Cap Vert (4m First de Retz-Prima du Cap Vert-Cezio Josselyn), Franck Anne trainer/driver, 16/1, his seventh win 2nd Aladin d'Ecajeul (4m Quaker Jet-Nancy d'Ecajeul), Eric Raffin up for Sebastien Guarato, 1.3/1 3rd Athos des Elfes (4m Ganymede-Lazio du Bourg), J. Van Eeckhaute trainer/driver, 19/1 4th Axelle Dark (4f Ready Cash-Queen des Charmes), Jos. Verbeeck for Philippe Allaire, 30/1 5th Africaine (4f Oiseau de Feux-Italienne), Jean-Etienne Dubois trainer/driver, 14/1 by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com

The 5YO crop play a supporting role to the Group One classique Criterium des 4 Ans with two Group two races, both worth 120,000 euros, the Prix Jean Gauvreau a monte over 2175m and the Prix Albert Demarcq an "atelle" or under harness race over 2850m, sandwiching the marquee event of the day. Jean-Philippe Dubois' super mare Vision Intense is a 4/3 on favourite on early markets for the Prix Jean Gauvreau which is race 5 on Saturday's card, as she makes a return to under saddle racing after a meritorious third in the group two Prix Henri Levesque in the bike to Voltigeur de Myrt, who is second-favourite in the other 5YO group race today. Vision Intense will be ridden as usual by Nathalie Henry and any placing in the race will push the daughter of Prodigious over the 800,000 euro mark in earnings. You will get good odds on any of the others, should she go into one of her occasional gallops as she did in costly fashion in the first of the monte group ones this year, the Prix des Centaures, which was won by Valdice de Mars , who lines up again here. Loic Groussard's daughter of Lynx de Bellouet will be ridden by champion jockey Yoann Lebourgeois and was paying 7/2 on the early market. Powerful player Ecurie des Charms stallion Valroy (First de Retz) and Yves Dreux's Varum Boy (Baccarat du Pont), who is making his first group start after solid recent form, are also well supported at 3/1 and 4/1 respectively. As mentioned previously Voltigeur de Myrt is the early 2/1 second-favourite for the Prix Albert Demarcq, for the same age group, but under harness, which is race 8 on the card and has drawn a closely matched field of nine. The winner of last year's Criterium des 4 Ans was super last time out notching his first win since last year's classique for trainer Roberto Donati and is a good chance here with a similar performance, with the other big guns of the generation such as Village Mystic, Victoire and Vanika du Ruel bypassing the race. Edging him in the favouritism is Eric Lambertz' Viking de Val (3/2) who was second in the Prix Henri Levesque, but Villeroi (9/4), whose baby sister Agneska is in the Criterium des 4 Ans, and two sons of Jag de Bellouet in Vulcain de Vandel (5/2) and Very Nice Marceau (3/1) also well supported. PRIX JEAN GAUVREAU Vincennes 03/05/14 FR Group II monte 2175m 5YO 120,000e 1 Valse de Reve (m Mister President - Nouba Houba) Anthony Barrier Tr: Nicolas Roussel 2175 2 Victoire Smiling (m Memphis du Rib - Kediva) Damien Bonne Tr: Damien Bonne 2175 3 Vol de Nuit (h Goetmals Wood - Manon Lescaut ) Camille Levesque Tr: Mike Lenders 2175 4 Vie des Neuf Clos (m Obrillant - Lola des Neuf Clos) Matthieu Abrivard Tr: Sebastien Hardy 2175 5 Viva Jenilou (m Phlegyas - Louve Jenilou) Franck Nivard Louis Baudron 2175 6 Valroy (h First de Retz - Leda d'Occagnes) Alexandre Abrivard Tr: Jean Michel Bazire 2175 7 Varum Boy (h Baccarat du Pont - Hawai Girl) Eric Raffin Tr: Yves Dreux 2175 8 Volga Saltor (m Fleuron Perrine - Glory d'Ariane) David Thomain Tr: Daniel Bethouart 2175 9 Voriane de Guez (m Jet Fortuna - Oriane de Guez) Olivier Touvais Mickael Tourteau 2175 10 Vic du Boisnant (h Gazouillis - Ode du Boisnant) Pierre Yves Verva Tr: Bruno Bourgoin 2175 11 Viscaria (m Gai Brillant - Lajounie des Cinty) Francois Lagadeuc Tr: Guillaume Gillot 2175 12 Valdice de Mars (m Lynx de Bellouet - Tiphanie) Yoann Lebourgeois Tr: Loic Groussard 2175 13 Vision Intense (m Prodigious - Intense Action) Nathalie Henry Tr: Philippe Moulin 2175 PRIX ALBERT DEMARCQ Vincennes 03/05/14 FR Group II 2850m 5YO 120 000e 1 Vaisman (h Memphis du Rib - Iula du Douetil) Dr: Franck Anne Tr: Franck Anne 2850 2 Vulcain de Vandel (h Jag de Bellouet - Ophelia de Vandel) Dr: Franck Nivard Tr: Franck Nivard 2850 3 Visite Royale (s Love You - Imagine d'Odyssee) Dr: Julien Dubois Tr: Philippe Moulin 2850 4 Very Nice Marceaux (h Jag de Bellouet - Jolie Fortuna) Dr: Pierre Vercruysse Tr: Gregory Laurent 2850 5 Vive Majyc (s Baccarat - Pont et Mammy Blue) Dr: Cedric Beurel Tr: Louis Baudron 2850 6 Villeroi (h Oiseau de Feux - Pocahontas) Dr: Jean Etienne Dubois Tr: Jean Etienne Dubois 2850 7 Vigove (h Gazouillis - Govive) Dr: Jean Michel Bazire Tr: Franck Leblanc 2850 8 Viking de Val (h Baccarat du Pont - La Forge de Val) Dr: Eric Lambertz Tr: Eric Lambertz 2875 9 Voltigeur de Myrt (h Opus Viervil - Myrtille des Bois) Dr: Eric Raffin Tr: Roberto Donati 2850 by David Sanders, for Harnesslink.com

Sebastien Guarato's Prix de Selection winner Aladin d'Ecajeul heads the nine-horse field in the 120,000 euro Group 2 Prix Gaston Brunet, the final male lead-up race to next month's Criterium des 4 Ans at Vincennes in early May. The son of the royally bred Quaker Jet Aladin added the intergenerational Prix de Selection recently to his Criterium des 3 Ans (Gr1) and two other Group twos and has established himself firmly as the pre-eminent 4YO in France. However Matthieu Abrivard's Aldo des Champs has been making steady progress, running third in the Prix de Selection and was third in the Prix Phaeton, the first of the prep races last start. The son of Prince d'Espace is a group one place getter, Prix Albert Viel, and is one who is certainly capable of adding to his four career victories thus far. Third in the market is Vincent Collard Africain, a very consistent horse who has been in the money on a frequent basis without looking likely to win. The son of Oardo will be driven by Franck Nivard There are few horses with a CV as strong as Franck Anne's Akim du Cap Vert. The son of First de Retz won the top 2YO race in France, the Prix Emmanuel Margouty and was second in the Criterium Des Jeunes (Gr1), and a gallant third in the Prix Albert Viel (Gr1). He has won two at group two level including the Prix De Tonnac-Villeneuve (G2) in January and has been placed in three other races at group level. Joel Van Eeckhaute's Ganymede colt Athos des Elfes won the Prix Phaeton at odds of 30/1 last start, his first attempt at group company. The field was minus the likes of Aladin d'Ecajeul, but this was his fifth win in 23 starts, and he has been a consistent improver thus far. PRIX GASTON BRUNET Vincennes 18/04/14 FR Group 2 Nat 2100 4M 120,000e 1 Adio Josselyn (h And Arifant - Queda Josselyn) Dr: Jean Michel Bazire Tr: Hedi Le Bec 2100 2 Africain (h Oardo - Kamine) Dr: Franck Nivard Tr: Vincent Collard 2100 3 Ah Quel Micha (h Rocklyn - Oceane du Phare) Dr: Julien Dubois Tr: Philippe Moulin 2100 4 Adonis du Goutier (h Coktail Jet - Quintaescencia) Dr: Dominik Locqueneux Tr: Sebastien Guarato 2100 5 Akim du Cap Vert (h First de Retz - Prima du Cap Vert) Dr: Franck Anne Tr: Franck Anne 2100 6 Ausone du Kastel( h Gros Grain - Lancee) Dr: Emmanuel Allard Tr: Emmanuel Allard 2100 7 Aldo des Champs (h Prince d'Espace - Noumea des Champs) Dr: Matthieu Abrivard Tr: Matthieu Abrivard 2100 8 Athos des Elfes (h Ganymede - Lazio du Bourg) Dr: Joel Van Eeckhaute Tr: Joel Van Eeckhaute 2100 9 Aladin d'Ecajeul (h Quaker Jet - Nancy d'Ecajeul) Dr: Eric Raffin Tr: Sebastien Guarato 2100 by David Sanders, for Harnesslink.com

The Swedish invasion of Vincennes continues right up to the last with two of Sweden's top open age trotters Sanity and On Track Piraten lining up in the UET Masters Series Prix de l'Union Europeenne, on the last day of the Winter Meeting on Saturday. The group two staying race over 2000m is worth 160,000 euros and has attracted a field of nine entries, with Sanity vying for favouritism with French veteran Roi du Lupin. Sanity has been in super form in France since running seventh in the UET Masters Series final in September. Malin Löfgren's son of Love You won the 100, 000 euro Grand Prix la Voix du Nord later that month at Le Croise Laroche and followed that up with a win at Mexlay du Maine, in the 100,000 euro Grand Prix Anjou-Maine. He then ran third to Timoko in the 200,000 euro Grand Prix de Sud-Ouest in Beaumont de Lomagne in October before a second to Tiego d'Etang in the 110,000 euro Prix des Cevennes later that month, on the first day of the Winter Meeting at Vincennes. Sanity capped that off with a win in the group two 120,000 euro Prix de Brest on January 18, his last start before Saturday's race. The other Swedish star On Track Piraten also raced in the UET Masters final, prior to victory in the Swedish championships in December, the third win in a row on home soil. He returned to France in January for a sixth in the Prix du Luxembourg, and a close second to Une Fille d'Amour in the Prix du Plateau de Gravelle just over a week ago. The other Scandinavian raider is Finland's Maxwell Mayday, a veteran warhorse who has won over 440,000 on his travels all over Europe, who has a best placing of third in the group three Prix de Montignac-Charnete in November. Jean Paul Marmion's Roi du Lupin is a multi-talented performer with just shy of 1.5 million euros in earnings through group victories in both monte and harness, many of them UET Masters events such as the Grand Prix de Sud Owenst and the Prix Jacques Andrieu monte. The altered son of Fleuron Perrine galloped in the Prix de Brest but has had two warm-up wins in Belgium in preparation for this. Others who are prominent in early betting are Jean Michel's 10YO mare Quoumba de Guez (Urfist des Pres) was eighth in the Prix de Bretagne in November and has also been warming up in Belgium while Franck Leblanc's First de Retz stallion Son Alezan was a meritorious fourth in the Grand Prix de Paris last start. PRIX DE L'UNION EUROPEENNE Vincennes 01/03/14 Group II Euro UET Masters 3000m 5-10 €160 000 1 Starter du Rib (8g Ganymede - Jiviga) Dr: Jean Loic Claude Dersoir Tr: Joel Hallais 3000 2 Maxwell Mayday (9g S J's Photo - Counting Crowns) Dr: Björn Goop Tr: Jarmo Niskanen 3000 3 Quela Rive (10m Eclair de Vandel - Sissi) Dr: Anne Francoise Donati Tr: Roberto Donati 3000 4 On Track Piraten (6h Kool du Caux - Monrovia) Dr: Pierre Vercruysse Tr: Hans R Strömberg 3000 5 Son Alezan (8h First de Retz - Kelle Ile) Dr: Dominik Locqueneux Tr: Franck Leblanc 3000 6 Quinio du Relais (10g Kitcho d'Ecajeul - Gabriella) Dr: Sebastien Hardy Tr: Sebastien Hardy 3000 7 Riglorieux du Bois (9g Indy de Vive - Glorieuse du Bois) Dr: Alexandre Abrivard Tr: Jean Michel Bazire 3000 8 Roxana de Barbray (9m Speed Clayettois - Iriane des Enclos) Dr: David Thomain Tr: Roberto Donati 3000 9 Sanity (8g Love You - Flash Light) Dr: Franck Ouvrie Tr: Malin Löfgren 3000 10 Quoumba de Guez (10m Urfist des Pres - Vanina de Mareuil) Dr: Jean Michel Bazire Tr: Jean Michel Bazire 3000 11 Roi du Lupin (9g Fleuron Perrine - Helia de Saint Pol) Dr: Franck Nivard Tr: Jean Paul Marmion 3000 by David Sanders, for Harnesslink.com

The Prix de Selection is the final Group I race of the rich Vincennes Winter Meeting and is an aptly named race which is often a precursor to a rich stud career for the place-getters. An inter-generational race for 4-6YOs, it is the second (after the Prix des Centaures) to be run under the new handicapping system which has reduced the handicap for older horses to address the more precocious modern horse, which has seen 4YOs dominate this traditional stallion identifying race. Only Milord Drill (Sancho Panca) as a 6YO in 2006 and Kiwi (Coktail Jet) at 5 in 2003 have won the race in the last 21 years, but the change from a 50m to a 25m handicap should readdress the balance. But even with this anomaly the race's success as a test of stallion potential can be seen by a quick look at its alumini who have been well represented in this Winter Meeting. Royal Prestige's son Buvetier d'Aunou, sire of superstar Up And Quick, winner of the Prix de Paris and runner up in the Prix d'Amerique won the race in 1992, while the following year's winner Cygnus d'Odysee, a son of former US 2YO star Workaholic is the sire of the brilliant Texas Charm, who was favourite for this year's Prix d'Amerique after a superb win in the Prix de Bourgogne until injury. And 2001 winner Jasmin de Flore is the sire of Criterium de Juenes winner Billie de Montfort. Prominent stallions who have won the race include Kaisy Dream (sire of group one winners Santa Rosa France and So Lovely Girl), the aforementioned Kiwi (sire of Criterium des 3 and 4 winner Quaro), Full Account (sire of Criterium de Jeunes winner Kinder Jet), Insert Gede and Meaulnes du Corta, Nice Love and rising star Saxo de Vandel. And underlining just how important the race can be for predicting great sires can be further illustrated by a look at some of the runners-up in the race - none other than Coktail Jet, Ganymede, Orlando Vici, Kesaco Phedo, Giant Cat and the next superstar sire Ready Cash. Last year's winner Village Mystic (who is already at stud) lines up against a swag of group one winners and such is the strength of the field that Louis Baudron's son of Love You will probably be seventh or eighth favourite. After running a narrow second in the Goup 1 Grand Prix de France Univers du Pan will be the favourite for this race, given the reduced nature of the handicap against his talented younger rivals. Philippe Raugeard's son of Kenya du Pont is in rare form, with three second placings in a row against the best older horses in the world, which will set him up for a great shot at this. Prix De Bretagne winner Uhlan du Val, who was also second to current star Up And Quick in last year's Criterium des 5 Ans, is also well in the mix here . Cedric Megissier's son of Islero de Bellouet is the only one of the field who graced the Grand Prix d'Amerique where he finished a meritorious sixth and his last three starts have all been in the crucible of the French triple crown. He also looks to be in great shape against his own and younger age-groups after such a torrid build up. Of the younger horses, who will start with a 25metre advantage on the 2175m trip, Sebastien Guarato's rising star Aladin d'Ecajuel (Quaker Jet ) is favoured to test the older horses and maintain the dominance of 4YOs, while Akim du Cap Vert (First de Retz) is also a very talented stallion. Mares have also enjoyed rare success with only the exceptional Pearl Queen and Qualita Bourbon having won the race in the past 20 years, but the A generation has been dominated by the female gender up until very recently. But whether the leading lights Axelle Dark (Ready Cash), Anastasia Fella (Goetmals Wood) and Atlessima (Rocklyn) are of that quality is the 240,000 euro question. PRIX DE SELECTION  Vincennes 2014-03-01 Group I 2175 4-6YOs € 240 000e 1 Aldo des Champs (4h Prince d'Espace - Noumea des Champs) Dr: Mathieu Abrivard Tr: Matthieu Abrivard 2175 2 Alesia d'Atout (4m Defi d'Aunou - New York Jet) Dr: Mathieu Mottier Tr: Dominique Mottier 2175 3 Astor du Quenne (4h Opus Viervil - Qualinka du Quenne) Dr: Jean Michel Bazire Tr: Sebastien Guarato 2175 4 Atlessima (4m Rocklyn - Noblessima) Dr: Julien Dubois Tr: Philippe Moulin 2175 5 Aladin d'Ecajeul (4h Quaker Jet - Nancy d'Ecajeul) Dr: Eric Raffin Tr: Sebastien Guarato 2175 6 Anastasia Fella (4m Goetmals Wood - Jeanne's Fella) Dr: Franck Nivard Tr: Fabrice Souloy 2175 7 Akim du Cap Vert (4h First de Retz - Prima du Cap Vert) Dr: Franck Anne Tr: Franck Anne 2175 8 Axelle Dark (4m Ready Cash - Queen des Charmes) Dr: Jos Verbeeck Tr: Philippe Allaire 2175 9 Vanna Coletto (5m Lejacque d'Houlbec - Paloma du Donjon) Dr: Anthony Barrier Tr: Guillaume Grelier 2200 10 Viking de Val (5h Baccarat du Pont - La Forge de Val) Dr: Eric Lambertz Tr: Eric Lambertz 2200 11 Unabella Perrine (6m Diamant Gede - Minnie Perrine) Dr: Franck Ouvrie Tr: Jean Francois Mary 2200 12 Voltigeur de Myrt (5h Opus Viervil - Myrtille des Bois) Dr: Pierre Vercruysse Tr: Roberto Donati 2200 13 Une Fille d'Amour (6m Infant du Bossis - Never So Great) Dr: David Thomain Tr: Cyril Raimbaud 2200 14 Village Mystic (5h Love You - Netchka d'Orgeres) Dr: Louis Baudron Tr: Louis Baudron 2200 15 Uhlan du Val (6h Islero de Bellouet - Indiana Beautiful) Dr: Cedric Megissier Tr: Cedric Megissier 2200 16 Univers de Pan (6h Kenya du Pont - Gypsilore) Dr: Philippe Raugeard Tr: Philippe Raugeard 2200 by David Sanders for Harnesslink.com  

A large field of fifteen will line up for the Prix Ali Hawas, a group two monte over 2700m, the last race on the Winter Series programme for the B generation fillies, now three-year-olds. Heading the field will be the winner of the Holly du Locton at her first start under saddle, Fabrice Solouy's promising filly Beauty Turgot (Hand du Vivier). She added her first group two success to the third placing in premier 2YO fillies race in France, the Prix Une de Mai in December. The brilliant Franck Nivard will again do the riding as usual for Souloy. The favourite for the Prix de Locton was Goetmals Wood filly Bomba who made a break in the first group two monte race for the generation. But previously the striking Philippe Allaire filly had made three starts under saddle in January for two wins against fillies before a gallant second against the colts when going out a 7/5 favourite. Jean Pierre Dubois' owned Sam Bourbon filly Bassana de Marlau, who will be partnered with Vision Intense's jockey Nathalie Henry, is coming in for heavy support despite a break in the Prix Holly du Locton . But she had won her first three starts before stepping up to group races. Also coming for early support is Jean Michel Bazire's Bixenta du Gers (Quinoa du Gers) who was fourth in the Prix Holly du Lockton and had a third and second in her last three starts, all under saddle. Others in the market are Jacques Rajalu's Birmane de Lavau (Opus Viervil) who will be ridden by Mathieu Mottier, and had a win last start after a second a fourth while Sebastien Guarato's well-bred Ballerine Griff (Password) in the hands of Eric Raffin is also a favoured runner. Of the others Dominique Lefaucheux's Bahia Star (Kiwi) and By Little (Jasmin de Flore) who is trained by Alain Roussel both had last start wins under saddle.. PRIX ALI HAWAS Vincennes 27/02/14 FR Group 2 Monte 2700 3F 120 000e 1 Bella la Coste (Quatre Juillet - Peachee Elegance) Rd: Gregory Guilbert Tr: Mario Van Dooyeweerd 2700 2 Believe Viretaute (Rieussec - La Vire) Rd: Caroline Cheradame Tr: Sylvain Lelievre 2700 3 Bigoudene Thieben ( Jeanbat du Vivier - Quinoa Thieben) Rd: Romain Gougeon Tr: Romain Gougeon 2700 4 Bresilienne Hub (Lord Angot - Inconnue du Lys) Rd: Sebastien Emmanuel Pasquier Tr: Didier Pasquier 2700 5 Berenice du Boulay (First de Retz - Hotesse de Feu) Rd: Francois Lagadeuc Tr: Jean Michel Baudouin 2700 6 Bahia Star (Kiwi - Roxana de Mesangy) Rd: Martial Viel Tr: Dominique Lefaucheux 2700 7 Blanca de Gueude (Oakwood du Closet - Minda de Romagny) Rd: Pierre Edouard Mary Tr: Jean Francois Mary 2700 8 By Little (Jasmin de Flore - Little Pearl) Rd: Adrien Lamy Tr: Alain Roussel 2700 9 Ballerine Griff (Password - Keva Mesloise) Rd: Eric Raffin Tr: Sebastien Guarato 2700 10 Bixenta du Gers (Quinoa du Gers - Seventy Seven) Rd: Alexandre Abrivard Tr: Jean Michel Bazire 2700 11 Birmane de Lavau (Opus Viervil - Nuptiale) Rd: Mathieu Mottier Tr: Jacques Rajalu 2700 12 Bomba (Goetmals Wood - Passion d'Amour) Rd: Yoann Lebourgeois Tr: Philippe Allaire 2700 13 Bassana de Marlau (Sam Bourbon - Jessie de Vonnas) Rd: Nathalie Henry Tr: Matthieu Abrivard 2700 14 Balade de Blary (Qualmio de Vandel - Garine d'Occagnes) Rd: Antoine Lherete Tr: Franck Anne 2700 15 Beauty Turgot (Hand du Vivier - Quouragane ) Franck Nivard Tr: Fabrice Souloy by David Sanders for Harnesslink.com

Is there a tougher race in harness racing. Certainly not at the elite level. The third leg of the French triple crown, the Prix de Paris, is a monster. Twice around the Grand Piste, twice up the famed monte, the killer rise up the back straight at Vincennes, which separates the pretenders from the contenders in any race at this great track. And these equine superstars can churn through the demands of the 4150m trip in around 2min time - indeed Private Love went under a 2min time when she won in 2010 as did Gobernador in 2001, General du Pommeau in 2002, Insert Gede in 2003 and Jardy went a flat 2.00 rate the third time he won the race in 2007. Vourasie also won the race three times, as did the great Bellino II and some of the true greats of the sport have also saluted the judge including Rooseveldt International Trot winners Jamin in 1960, Une de Mai in 1973, Ideal du Gazeau in 1982 and Lutin d'Isigny in 1984. Three Swedish horses have won the race, the first Piper Club, a son of French export sire Tibur, who is also in the pedigree of the last Swede to win the race, Maharajah in 2011. The third horse was the champion Remington Crown, the only horse to win the race with 100% American bloodlines - although his dam was from a Danish family which had been in Europe since the 1930s. Maharajah also set of a sequence of three wins by horses who were born in 2005 who have dominated the Triple Crown in the past four years. This is the 12th triple crown race since the Prix d'Amerique was won by Ready Cash in 2011. All previous 11 have been won by a foal of 2005, including Noras Bean, the Swedish raider who won the Prix de France two weeks ago. And don't bet against them continuing the sequence again on Sunday. Second favourite Roxane Griff is a former winner of the race, won the monte Prix du Cornulier the week before running a gallant fourth in the PDA, then won her second group one monte of the meeting, the Prix de l'Ille de France on February 2. Fourth favourite and third place getter in the Prix d'Amerique Yarrah Boko is a Swedish bred son of a great French sire in Coktail Jet who now competes for Norway, and is due a win in a big group one. He was bravery personified in the Prix de Paris being one of the three horses which set a sensational 1.03.9k/r for the opening 600m and then stayed on in the straight some 1500m later to finish fourth. "Four kilometers is new for him, but I have a feeling that he manages the distance. We must believe in our horse", said Norwegian trainer Trond Anderssen on Sweden's atg.se website. The other 9YOs in the race include former Prix d'Amerique winner Royal Dream and Roxana de Barbray, trained by ex-pat Italian Roberto Donati, and who was fourth in this event last year. The daughter of Speed Clayttois also ran fourth in that year's Prix d'Amerique in her only start in the great race. Favouritism will go to the rising star Up And Quick in the hands of master driver Jean Michel Bazire, while fourth favourite is Cedric Megissier's Uhlan du Val, who ran fifth and sixth in the Prix de France and Prix d'Amerique, which are fine performances for a young horse in French terms - six is regarded as the entry year for elite level horses after four seasons of age group racing. Fifth favourite is Christian Bigeon's Tiego and he is a really good chance in this, having ran second in this race last year, and ran a great third in the Prix de France a fortnight ago. PRIX DE PARIS Vincennes 2014-02-23 Group 1 4-10 4150m Euro 400 000 1 Titi Quick (7h Extreme Aunou - Gazelle d'Aussy) Dr: Alexandre Abrivard Tr: Clement Casseron 4150 2 Taormina d'Em (7m Cedre du Vivier - Nevadara d'Em) Dr: Tony Le Beller Tr: Jean Pierre Allix 4150 3 Son Alezan (8h First de Retz - Kelle Ile) Dr: Dominik Locqueneux Tr: Franck Leblanc 4150 4 Utoky (6h Cygnus d'Odyssee - Epopee) Dr: Yoann Lebourgeois Tr: Franck Leblanc 4150 5 Soleil du Fosse (8h Jag de Bellouet - Fortune du Fosse) Dr: Mathieu Abrivard Tr: Thierry Duvaldestin 4150 6 Uhlan du Val (6h Islero de Bellouet - Indiana Beautiful) Dr: Cedric Megissier Tr: Cedric Megissier 4150 7 Santa Rosa France (8m Kaisy Dream - Helice France) Dr: William Bigeon Tr: Jean Luc Bigeon 4150 8 Roxana de Barbray (9m Speed Clayettois - Iriane des Enclos) Dr: David Thomain Tr: Roberto Donati 4150 9 Severino (8h Gobernador - Katia de Tillard) Dr: Damien Bonne Tr: Roger Coueffin 4150 10 Quinoa du Gers (10h Ganymede - Targa du Chalange) Dr: Franck Nivard Tr: Fabrice Souloy 4150 11 Up And Quick 6(h Buvetier d'Aunou - Fichtre) Dr: Jean Michel Bazire Tr: Franck Leblanc 4150 12 Tiego d'Etang (7h Chaillot - Harolene) Dr: Christian Bigeon Tr: Christian Bigeon 4150 13 Yarrah Boko (9h Coktail Jet - Big Blue Kitten) Dr: Pierre Vercruysse Tr: Trond Anderssen 4150 14 Royal Dream (9h Love You - Ida Bourbon) Dr: Jean Philippe Dubois Tr: Philippe Moulin 4150 15 Roxane Griff (9m Tenor de Baune - Julia Mesloise) Dr: Eric Raffin Tr: Sebastien Guarato 4150 Dave Sanders

Goetmals Wood filly Bomba is the favourite for the 120,000 euro Prix Holly du Locton, one of the first two group races under saddle for the emerging B-generation. After a break under harness, Bomba made three starts under saddle in January for two wins against her own gender and then a second against the colts when going out a 7/5 favourite. She will be partnered once again inthe 2175m race by Yoann Lebourgeois who rode her in her first three starts. Fabrice Solouy's well performed Beauty Turgot, who was third in the top 2YO fillies race in France, the Prix Une de Mai in December, will make her first start under saddle. Franck Nivard who is equally adept in both the bike and the saddle will do the riding as usual for Souloy. Also making her monte debut is Coktail Jet filly Biguglia who was third in the group two Prix Gelinotte in January. Her trainer Frederic Prat will be looking for his second group success in this crop for the month of February after scoring with Black d'Avril in the group two Prix Paul Viel last week. Another making her debut under saddle is Jean Pierre Dubois' owned Sam Bourbon filly Bassana de Marlau who finished fourth in both group two harness races for fillies this year. She had won her first three starts before stepping up to group races and she was the early third favourite. William Bigeon's Brise de l'Alba is fourth favourite on the strength of her win on debut under saddle after six unsuccessful tries in harness. She raced in the Prix Roquepine with no success when returned to the bike, last start but she has the talented Eric Raffin in the saddle, fresh from winning both the Prix de Cornullier and the Prix de l'Ille-de-France, the two biggest under saddle races in France. Also coming into early support is Franck Anne's Bellaya who will make her step up to group racing after four races, all under saddle, with a win and and three minor placings to the daughter of First de Retz' credit. PRIX HOLLY DU LOCTON  Vincennes 13/02/14 FR Group II monte 2175m 3F 120 000 1 Bixenta du Gers (Quinoa du Gers - Seventy Seven) Dr: Alexandre Abrivard Tr: Jean Michel Bazire 2 Baraka Vici (Love You - Irlande du Nord) Dr: Elisabeth Allaire Tr: Frederic Prat 2175 3 Ballerine Griff (Password - Keva Mesloise) Dr: Pierre Yves Verva Tr: Sebastien Guarato 4 Bellaya (First de Retz - Kelaya) Dr: Antoine Lherete Tr: Franck Anne 5 Brise de l'Alba (Quido du Goutier - Cely de la Meritee) Dr: Eric Raffin Tr: William Bigeon 6 Bomba (Goetmals Wood - Passion d'Amour) Dr: Yoann Lebourgeois Tr: Philippe Allaire 7 Balade de Blary (Qualmio de Vandel - Garine d'Occagnes) Dr: David Thomain Tr: Franck Anne 8 Bassana de Marlau (Sam Bourbon - Jessie de Vonnas) Dr: Nathalie Henry Tr: Patrick Chevrier 9 Beauty Turgot (Hand du Vivier - Quouragane) Dr: Franck Nivard Tr: Fabrice Souloy 10 Biguglia (Coktail Jet - La Faisanderie) Dr: Jonathan Carre Tr: Frederic Prat by David Sanders for Harnesslink.com

Eric Raffin teamed Astor du Quenne to a game victory in today's 120,000e Gr. II Prix Ephrem Houel at Paris-Vincennes. The four year-old son of Opus Viervil defeated nine quality rivals in 1.15.1kr at 2.7/1 odds. Julien Dubois was a fast closing second with Atlessima at 47/1. This four year-old filly by Rocklyn is owned by Ecurie Victoria Dreams. Well regarded Akim de Cap Vert and the mare Axelle Dark, by Ready Cash, finished four-five. February 8, 2014, Prix Ephrem Houel, Gr. II, 2850 meters, 120,000e, 10 starters 1.15.1kr 1st Astor du Quenne (4m Opus Viervil-Qualinka du Quenne), Eric Raffin, 2.7/1 2nd Atlessima (4f Rocklyn-Noblessima), Julien Dubois, 47/1 3rd Alesia d'Atout (4f Defi d'Aunou-New York Jet), Mathieu Mottier, 9/1 4th Akim de Cap Vert (4m First de Retz-Prima du Cap Vert), Franck Anne, 11/1 5th Axelle Dark (4f Ready Cash-Queen des Charmes), Jos. Verbeeck, 15/1 The co-featured Prix de Munich, a European eligible event for 95,000e, went to the Sweden registered Global Manhattan and Franck Nivard. The seven year-old son of Love You-Devilish Yankee is trained by Fabrice Souloy and he scored over the 2100 meter autostart sprinter distance in 1.12.3kr. Global Manhattan has performed consistently well throughout 2014 in France. Turbo Jet was fifth in this one after winning on January 25 after being a buyback at 100,000e at the Paris-Vincennes mixed sale. February 8, 2014 Paris-Vincennes, Prix de Munich, European, 2100 meters autostart, 95,000e‚¬, 15 starters 1.12.3kr 1st Global Manhattan (7m Love You-Devisish Yankee), Franck Nivard up for trainer Fabrice Souloy, 6/1 2nd Une Fille d'Amour (6f Infant du Bossis-Never So Great), David Thomain, 14/1 3rd The de Chine (7g Blue Eyes America-Heparine), J.L.C. Dersoir, 15/1 4th Sogo (8g Baccarat du Pont-Govive), J-M Bazire, 28/1 5th Turbo Jet (7m Joyau d'Amour-Elite d'Atout), Jean-Etienne Dubois, 3.8/1 At Solvalla in the Lindahls Gold Final, veteran Amaru Boko took the victory for trainer/driver Robert Bergh, defeating a pair of solid campaigners Baht Launcher and BWL Champion in 1.14.1kr over 2140 meters by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com  

France's top four-year-olds take centre stage on Saturday's card at Vincennes in the Group two Prix Ephrem Houel over 2850m with Akim du Cap Vert looking to bounce back from an unfortunate gallop at the start of his last outing in the Prix Charles Tiercelin run at a slushy Vincennes on Prix d'Amerique day. Franck Anne's star 4YO son of First de Retz was a heavily backed favourite that day and gave the field the best part of 70metres head start and put in a supreme effort to catch the peloton and eventually run seventh. If he steps away, and this is from the starting shute and not from the mobile gate as it was last start, he has a great chance of winning his fourth group two, and his second this year following his success in the Prix De Tonnac-Villeneuve in January. The winner of the Prix Charles Tierclin was Alesia d'Atout, a tough daughter of Defi d'Aunou who held off a brilliant finish from Aladin d'Ecajeul to claim her second group two. Dominique Mottier's mare has blossomed into a genuine talent in the earlier shadow of the star trio of Axelle Dark, Avilla and Anastasia Fella, and also has the group two Prix Ozo to her name, and even more importantly for her stud career, classique status through a third placing in the Criterium Des 3 Ans. She holds the fastest record in the race with a 1.12.2kr Axelle Dark was third in the Prix Charles Tiercelin but was several lengths in arrears of the first two. The slushy track was known to have upset a lot of the horses, and whether this has been a factor in the daughter of Ready Cash's lack of dash of late is open to conjecture. Owner Philippe Allaire also has Atlas de Jourdes entered in the race, a richly bred son of his retiring superstar who was sixth in the Prix Charles Tiercelin and slated to start stud duties in a few weeks time. Jean-Philippe Dubois' Atlessima is a group one winner under saddle but has yet to best this generation under harness, being prominent in the Prix Charles Tiercelin before trotting roughly and breaking. The son of Rocklyn is talented but may be being set for the Prix Louis Le Bourg on the last day of the Winter Meeting on March 1, while the best in harness of the crop will be competing in the group one Prix de Selection. PRIX EPHREM HOUEL Vincennes 08/02/14 FR Group 2 2 175m 4YOS € 120 000 1 Athena de Vandel (s Prince Gede - Maelia de Vandel) Dr Cedric Megissier Tr: Cedric Megissier 2 Adio Josselyn (h And Arifant - Queda Josselyn) Dr Jean Michel Bazire Tr: Hedi Le Bec 3 Africain (h Oardo - Kamine) Dr Franck Nivard Tr: Vincent Collard 4 Ausone du Kastel (h Gros Grain - Lancee) Dr Emmanuel Allard Tr: Emmanuel Allard 5 Astor du Quenne (h Opus Viervil - Qualinka du Quenne) Dr Eric Raffin Tr: Sebastien Guarato 6 Alesia d'Atout (s Defi d'Aunou - New York Jet ) Dr Mathieu Mottier Tr: Dominique Mottier 7 Atlessima (s Rocklyn - Noblessima) Dr Julien Dubois Tr: Philippe Moulin 8 Aldo des Champs (h Prince d'Espace - Noumea des Champs) Dr Mathieu Abrivard Tr: Matthieu Abrivard 9 Akim du Cap Vert (h First de Retz - Prima du Cap Vert) Dr Franck Anne Tr: Franck Anne 10 Axelle Dark (s Ready Cash - Queen des Charmes) Dr: Jos Verbeeck Tr: Philippe Allaire by David Sanders for Harnesslink.com

Beckman, the veteran Swedish invader owned by Ecurie Commander, trained by Fabrice Souloy, and reined by Franck Nivard, captured today's secondary featured Prix de la Marne at Vincennes. The Gr. III International event was raced over 2700 meters for a purse of 110,000e. Beckman was off as 1.4/1 favorite and rallied at mid-stretch to score by ¾ length in 1.13.2kr over second choice Univers de Pan with trainer/driver Philippe Daugeard up. Recit Jeloca captured third ahead of Italy's Marielles. Univers de Pan and Marielles are engaged to contest the Prix de France next week along with other starters today, Quinoa du Gers and Roxana de Barbray. February 2, 2014 Paris-Vincennes, Prix de la Marne, Gr. III International, 110,000€, 2700 meters, 12 starters 1.13.2kr Fractions: 1.12kr at 1500; 1.12.8kr at 1000; 1.13.6kr at 500; 1.13.2kr finish 1st Beckman (7g Turbo Sund-Nins Palema-Alf Palema), driven by Franck Nivard for Fabrice Souloy and Ecurie Commander, 1.4/1 odds, his 26th career win for 493,931e (Sweden) 2nd Univers de Pan (6m Kenya du Pont-Gypsilore), Philippe Daugeard trainer/driver, 2/1 odds 3rd Recit Jeloca (9g First de Retz-Flora Castelets), J.L.C. Dersoir trainer/driver, 4.5/1 odds 4th Marielles (8f Kick Tail-Egida Play), David Thomain up for Fabrice Souloy at 21/1 5th Quinio du Relais (10g Kitcho d'Ecajeul-Gabriella), Sebastien Hardy trainer/driver, 137/1 odds The Gr. III monte Prix Indienne also graced the card, this one with eight starters over a 2175 meter distance for 95,000e. Utopie Cehere scored a solid come from behind victory with trainer Mathieu Abrivard in the irons, timed in a rapid 1.11.8kr after a scorching early pace. The 11/1 odds winner increased her career earnings to 203,900e by defeating Veloce du Banney with jockey Yohan Lebourgeois up for conditioner Franck Leblanc. February 2, 2014 Paris-Vincennes, Prix Indienne, Gr. III monte 95,000€ purse, 2175 meters, 8 starters, all 67 poids 1.11.8kr Fractions: 1.09.9kr at 1500; 1.10.,3kr at 1000; 1.11.5kr at 500; 1.11.8kr finish 1st Utopie Cehere (6f Luido de Castelle-Lolite Valiere-Quadrophenio), Mathieu Abrivard jockey and trainer, 11/1 odds, her fifth win for lifetime earnings of 203,900€ 2nd Veloce du Banney (5g Quaro-Jiva du Banney), Yohan Lebourgeois up for Franck Leblanc, 1.2/1 3rd Ulagarasan (6g Love You-Indienne Pascale), Franck Nivard for Franck Leblanc, 12/1 4th Ut d'Erable (6m Insert Gede-Ostera), David Thomain up for J-P Thomain, 2/1 odds Also on the card was the daily Quinte+ event with a jackpot of 3.7 million euros, named the Prix de Champtose, a European eligible event for 60,000e over 2850 meters. 17 starters contested this one and 18/1 upsetter Top Price Piya took victory for Pierre Vercruysse. Franck Leblanc trains the seven year-old gelded son of And Arifant from La Cocherie by Reve d'Udon, the sire of Revenue. The winner held on for a nose win in a blanket finish over Tafaiko Fax and Franck Ouvrie. Holders of a Q+ ticket with the top five in exact order of finish collected 40,968e (without the jackpot) for a 2e wager. February 2, 2014 Paris-Vincennes, Prix de Champtoce, European 60,000€, 2850 meters, 17 starters, Quinte+ jackpot 3.7€ million 1.15.7kr Fractions: 1.16.7kr at 1500; 1.16.7kr at 1000; 1.16.7kr at 500; 1.15.7kr finish 1st Top Price Piya (7g And Arifant-La Cocherie-Reve d'Udon), Pierre Vercruysse up for Franck Leblanc, 18/1 odds, his fifth win for career earnings of 147,205e 2nd Tafaiko Sax (7g Nobilis Jiel-Nafaika), Franck Ouvrie up for J-L Dersoir, 44/1, plus 25 meters 3rd Trinity Jiel (7f Goetmals Wood-Flaya de Jiel), Mathieu Abrivard for J-L Dersoir, 6/1, plus 25 meters 4th United Face (6g Viking Kronos-Pretty I), Christophe Martens, Vincent Martens trainer, 2.8/1 Later in the card two interesting contests caught my attention. Ecurie Wildenstein's Very Lovely Blue scored in the Prix e Barfleur for 60,000e. The five year-old gelded son of Nice Love won for trainer/driver J-M Bazire in a sharp 1.12.2kr over the 2100 meter autostart sprinter distance. The winner was off as 5/2 favorite. The closing event was the 78,000e 2850 meter, Prix de Chalons-en-Champagne for apprentice monte jockeys. Veteran equine performer Soleil d'Enfer, an eight-year-old son of Coktail Jet, secured the win in 1.13.7kr to increased career earnings to over 377,000e. More importantly, jockey Elisabeth Allaire won for the 50th time, thus moving her from apprentice to professional status. She rides exceptionally well. Female riders Marie Bacsich and Laura Gautherot piloted the second and third place finishers. February 2, 2014 Paris-Vincennes, Prix de Barfleur, males, 60,000e, 2100 meters autostart, 11 starters 1.12.2kr 1st Very Lovely Blue (5g Nice Love-Naama Blue-Buvetier d'Aunou), J-M Bazire trainer/driver for Ecurie Wildenstein, 2.5/1, his eighth win for 125,750€ earned 2nd Varus du Bocage (5m Paisy Dream-Noria du Bocage), Mathieu Abrivard trainer/driver, 15/1 3rd Voeland (5m Hi To Ped d'Ombree-Oquita d'Harcourt), Joel Van Eeckhaute trainer/driver, 84/1 February 2, 2014 Paris-Vincennes, Prix de Chalons-en-Champagne, monte, apprentice jockeys, 78,000e purse, 2850 meters, 11 starters 1.13.7kr 1st Soleil d'Enfer (8m Coktail Jet-Kavale d'Enfer), Elisabeth Allaire up for Gilles Delacour trainer, 4/1 odds, the winners' 11th career win for 377,300€; and 50th career win for Elisabeth Allaire who now is labeled a professional vs. apprentice 2nd Tsar de Houelle (7g Baccarat du Pont-Vanita de la Motte), Marie Bacsich up for Franck Leblanc. 4.5/1 3rd Quetzal de Brix (10g Eldorado du Pont-Europe Fariniere), Laura Gautherot aboard for Eric Joseph, 38/1 by Thomas H. Hicks for Harnesslink.com  

Ready Cash will make his final career start in next Sunday's Gr. I Prix de France at Paris-Vincennes. With Maharajah returned to Sweden the 20 horse field (as initially engaged) showcases strong competitors Up And Quick (second in Prix d'Amerique), the likely favorite, Yarrah Boko (third in January 26 classic), Timoko, The Best Madrik and Univers de Pan. Roxana de Barbray races on February 2. Roxane Griff was not entered in the Prix de France as she will have raced on three consecutive Sunday's including the February 2 monte classic Prix de L'lle-de-France. Black d’Avril, with Franck Ouvrie teaming for trainer Frederic Prat, took today’s co-featured Prix Paul Viel for three year-old colts. The Oceano Nox colt, a fron t-stepping leader, held gamely to the line although he drifted off the pylons allowing heavily favored Brillantissime, by Ready Cash, and reinsman Jos. Verbeeck to rally. Brillantissime looked like he might emerge victorious but stalled short of the line to finish third behind second place Brutus de Bailly and J-M Bazire. Winner Black d’Avril was off at 6.3/1 odds in this 120,000 euro purse event over 2175 meters, timed in 1.14kr, versus the race record of 1.13.5kr set by Tucson. February 1, 2014 Paris-Vincennes, Prix Paul Viel, Gr. II males, 120,000€, 2175 meters, 10 starters 1.14kr (race record 1.13.5kr by Tucson in 2010 for Philippe Allaire) Fractions: 1.10.2lr at 1500; 1.13kr at 1000; 1.14.9kr at 500; 1.14kr finish 1st Black d’Avril (3m Oceano Nox-Olivia d’Avril-Extreme Aunou), Franck Ouvrie up for trainer Frederic Prat, odds 6.3/1, front steppingvictory, drifted and held gamely in stretch 2nd Brutus de Bailly (3m Niky-Ninon de Bailly), J-M Bazire up for trainer Bruno Bourgoin, odds 6.4/1 3rd Brillantissime (3m Ready Cash-Invre de Victoire-Buvetier d’Aunou), Jos. Verbeeck up for Philippe Allaire, odds  0.8/1 favorite, trapped on pylons until late when escaped and looked like a winner until he flattened near the line Earlier in the card the monte Prix de Paimboeuf went to Alto (4m Love You-Olima) with Camille Levesque aboard for trainer Mike Lenders and owner Ecurie des Pommiers. H.L. Levesque bred the winner. The pair rallied steadily in the lane and scored in 1.15.7kr over the 2700 meter course to capture the winners’ share of the 58,000 euro purse. February 1, 2014 Paris-Vincennes, Prix de Paimboeuf,  monte males, 58,000€, 2700 meters, 9 starters 1.15.7kr Fractions: 1.15.1kr at 1500; 1.14.5kr at 1000; 1.15.3kr at 500; 1.15.7kr finish 1st Alto (4m Love You-Olima) Camille Levesque up at 1.2/1, Mike Lenders trainer, bred by H.L. Levesque and owned by Ecurie des Pommiers, his fifth career win for 83,200 euros earned 2nd Astre Blanc (4m Memphis du Rib-Tara Blanche), P-Y Verva up, also trainer at 15/1 3rd Angelus du Perche  (4g Pine Chip Wood-Very Pretty), Alexis Garandeau up, 31/1 odds Bambina Magic, at 23-1, took today's featured Gr. II Prix Roquepine for 120,000 euros. The three year-old female event attracted 12 entrants for the 2175 meter contest. Bambina Magic (3f Nuage de Lait-Rive Magic-Jasmin de Flore) won for only the second time, now with earnings of 75,950 euros. Franck Nivard teamed the winner for Dominique Lemetayer at 23.1. Heavily favored Billie de Montfort (3f Jasmin de Flore-Quismy de Montfort) was second for Eric Raffin and although she closed steadily there was no catching the winner that scored in 1.14.7kr with a solid last 500 meters. The stallion Jasmin de Flore is showing up regularly. He's a 17 year-old son of Vivier de Montfort by Kronos du Vivier, from the mare Etoile du Pasteret by Mon Tourbillon. Jasmin de Flore is 83% French trotter and 17% standardbred with 4% inbreeding coefficient. He's not a fluke as he won US$1,054,718 during a racing career in which he won the Criterium 4ans, Prix de Milan and Prix de Selection at age four; then at age five he took the Criterium 5ans.Bambina Magic and Franck Nivard February 1, 2014 Paris-Vincennes, Prix Roquepine, Gr. II females three years-old, 120,000€ purse, 2175 meters, 12 starters  1.14.7kr Fractions: 1.12.5kr at 1500; 1.12.8kr at 1000; 1.15.1kr at 500; 1.14.7kr finish 1st Bambina Magic (3f Nuage de Lait-Rive Magic-Jasmin de Flore), Franck Nivard teaming for Dominique Lemetayer trainer, 23/1 outside, her second lifetime win. 2nd Billie de Montfort (3f Jasmin de Flore-Quismy de Montfort), Eric Raffin aboard for Sebastien Guarato, 0.9/1 favorite 3rd Bardane du Houlbet (3f Jet Fortuna-Hague de Houlbert), R-C Larue driver/trainer, 9/1 4th Biguglia (3f Coktail Jet-La Faisanderre), Franck Ourvrie up for Frederic Prat at 17/1 The Gr. III Prix d'Avignon for four year-olds went to Africaine (4f Oiseau de Feux-Italienne-Coktail Jet) in a major upset for owner/trainer/driver Jean-Etienne Dubois. She scored over the 2100 meter distance in 1.12.7kr as she swept past the field from head of stretch to the line. Africaine was off at 34/1 and the fillies finished 1-2-3 with Alienor de Godrel second for Franck Anne. A fast pace took its toll on early pacesetters and mutuel market favorites. February 1, 2014 Paris-Vincennes, Prix d'Avignon. Gr. III, 2100 meters autostart, 85,000€, 14 starters, four year-olds 1.12.7kr Fractions: 1.08.2kr at 1500; 1.10.7kr at 1000; 1.12.2kr at 500; 1.12.7kr finish 1st Africaine (4f Oiseau de Feux-Italienne-Coktail Jet), Jean-Etienne Dubois owner/trainer/driver, bred by Mmme. E. Dubois, her third career win for 119,070 euros earnings, rallied strongly from near the back at head of stretch for the win sweeping by the field, 34/1 odds 2nd Alienor de Godrel (4f Orlando Vici-Julietta), Franck Anne trainer/driver, 10/1 odds 3rd Adelie (4f Ganymede-Linea Dream), Alexandre Abrivard up for trainer L-C Abrivard, 7.1/1 odds The Quinte+ race of the day was the 70,000 euros Prix de la Gironde with 19 entrants. Eric Raffin won it easily with veteran Coktail Jet gelding Sunday Jet owned and trained by Michel Vallee. He scored in 1.14.7kr with a sharp last 500 meters. The Jean-Etienne Dubois bred campaigner won for the sixth time and raised career earnings to over 190,000 euros. Tonic Beco was a distant second for Maxime Bezier. February 1, 2014 Paris Vincennes, Prix de la Gironde, 70,000 euros, 2850 meters, 19 starters, Quinte+ jackpot 3.65 million euros.1.14.7kr Fractions: 1.15.6kr at 1500; 1.15.4kr at 1000; 1.15.8kr at 500, 1.14.7kr finish 1st Sunday Jet (8g Coktail Jet-Glad To Meet You-Jiosco), Eric Raffin up for owner/trainer Michel Vallee, breeder Jean-Etienne Dubois, 17/1 odds, his sixth career win for 190,900€ earned 2nd Tonic Beco (7g Baccarat du Pont-High Star), Maxime Bezier driver/trainer, 15/1 3rd Synonyme de Cym (8g Emir des Fresneaux-Douce Clocio), J-M Bazire up for Vinvent Renault trainer Tartan de Vrie took the 52,000 euro monte Prix de Lannemezan for reinsman Olivier Touvais. The seven year-old mare is owned and trained by Louis Baudron and she scored in 1.14.2kr over the 2700 meter distance against 15 rivals. Sydney du Rib was a strong second for Yohan Lebourgeois. February 1, 2014 Paris-Vincennes, Prix de Lannemezan, 52,000€ purse, 2700 meters, 16 starter 1.14.2kr Fractions: 1.14.1kr at 1500; 1.13.3kr at 1000; 1.14.3kr at 500; 1.14.2kr finish 1st Tartane Vrie (7f Ni Ho Ped d'Ombree-Ancie de Vrie), Olivier Touvais up for owner/trainer Louis Baudron, breeder M.R. Baudron, her sixth career win for earnings of 219,600 euros 2nd Sydney du Rib (8g First de Retz-Eva du Rib), Yohan Lebourgeois up for J.L.C. Dersoir trainer, 7.6/1 3rd Simoun (8g Defi d'Aunou-My Freedom), David Thomain up for trainer Robert Bergh, 19/1 by Thomas H. Hicks for Harnesslink.com  

It's pretty safe to assume that French commentator Pierre-Joseph Goetz will have been doing some extra work memorising the horses heading into the Prix de l'Ille-de-France Sunday. For the last time he commentated on a French group one monte, he had to some extra work after the race. During the Prix de Cornulier, Goetz made every racing commentator's nightmare when he called the wrong horse all the way down the straight, only to realise his mistake just before the line and correctly called the winner of the world championship under saddle. You won't see this on Equidea's, France's TV racing channel, replay however. He relaid the "live" commentary later so that posterity records that it was Roxane Griff and not Save The Quick who was fighting it out with Tiego d'Etang down the straight in France's biggest monte race. Roxane Griff will be attempting to become only the fourth horse to complete the Prix de Cornulier and Prix de l'Ille-de-France double following Singalo last year and Oligo 1986-87, Reine du Corta 1990, and Singalo in 2013. She faces an eight horse field, minus Tiego d'Etang, in the sprint championship under saddle (2175m) for 200,000 euros and a week after a gallant fourth in the Prix d'Amerique last week. Sebastien Guarato's star mare will probably start favourite in the race with Quarry Bay, who galloped in the Prix de Cornulier. Quarry Bay was second in this race last year, following a second-placed finish in the corresponding Prix de Cornulier and is perhaps due a change of luck for trainer Mike Lenders and rider Camille Levesque. Quinoa du Gers is the only other horse to be backing up from the Prix d'Amerique but he is one of two horses who did not run in the Prix de Cornulier. It will be Fabrice Souloy's son of Ganymede's fourth attempt at monte, in which he made a fourth placed debut at Sable Sur Sarther in June 1908. He did not improve on that in single attempts at Vincennes in 2011 and 2012. He has however had 19 wins in 79 starts in harness and earnings of 974,343 euros. Franck Terry's Saphir de Morge was third in the Prix de Cornulier but has only won five of his 54 starts, his last win being nearly two years ago. Joel Hallais' Taiga du Rib was fourth in the Prix de Cornulier, and has a record of six wins in 60 starts, with earnings of 738, 450 euros but the son of Nice Love was second in the group one Prix de Normandie under saddle in 2012 and won a group two monte last year. There are no international entries this year. Scandinavian horses have had some success in this shorter monte with Sweden's Hot Tub (2008), Vaserbo Dayight (2005) and Revenue (2003) plus Denmark's Ejna Vogt (1984) all being past winners of the group one. PRIX DE L'ILE-DE-FRANCE Vincennes 02/02/14 FR Group 1 monte Int 2 175 5-10 200 000 1 Unikaranes (s Montecatini - Pivoine des Hayes Alexandre Abrivard Laurent Claude Abrivard 2 Sakura Jiel (s Buvetier d'Aunou - Milady Jiel) Jk: Guillaume Martin Tr: Jean Luc Dersoir 3 Saphir de Morge (h Guenor - Folie de Morge) Jk: Pierre Yves Verva Tr: Franck Terry 4 Son Alezan (h First de Retz - Kelle Ile) Jk: Adrien Lamy Tr: Franck Leblanc 5 Taiga du Rib (s Nice Love - Galinette Cendree) Jk: Jean Loic Claude Dersoir Tr: Joel Hallais 6 Quinoa du Gers (h Ganymede - Targa du Chalange) Jk: Franck Nivard Tr: Fabrice Souloy 7 Quarry Bay (s Cygnus d'Odyssee - Barcarolle) Jk: Camille Levesque Tr: Mike Lenders 8 Roxane Griff (s Tenor de Baune - Julia Mesloise) Jk: Eric Raffin Tr: Sebastien Guarato by David Sanders for Harnesslink.com

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