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Lutfi Kolgjini’s star Raja Mirchi, is seen by many as the heir apparent to another Swedish star with a name reminiscent of Subcontinent royalty, Maharajah. There are many similarities. Both are sons of Viking Kronos, Raja Mirchi out of  a half French mare in Dame Lavec, by Quito de Talonay (Florestan) out of a mare by Speedy Crown,  while Maharajah is out of Chilli Khan by a son of Speedy Crown out of a half-French mare by Tibur. Both are former Swedish Travkriterium winners and both  won big races in France as six-year-olds  to earn their first places in the Prix d’Amerique, Maharajah winning the Prix de Belgique in 2011, finishing second in that year’s PDA while Raja Mirchi won the Prix Tenor de Baune  in 2013 before finishing 11th, a place in front of Maharajah in Royal Dream’s 2013 PDA win. Raja Mirchi has some way to go before he gets close to the “Emperor” but the 2012 Masterkap winner (Swedish Champion) has already won group races in Sweden, France, Norway and Italy  indeed has  something of a point to prove after a disappointing 6YO season, which had started so well, with that Prix  Tenor De Baune victory. But his seven-year-old campaign (which actually started in December) has started brightly with two wins out of last three starts, and though he did not go to France as intended, he will be primed to continue his good run with a great draw in the Olympiatravet qualifier, Group II UET Masters Series at Solvalla which is also the Gold division final of March’s V75 series. He will meet the inform Sanity and his conqueror from last week, Harry Haythrow, the grand warhorse and the up and coming force that is Dreams Takes Time, a Breeders Crown champion  last year in a very good field. Olympiatravet qualifier Solvalla 2014-03-29 Group II UET Masters Series, 2140m 1         Labero Broline (h   Pine Chip - Armbro Natural)  Dr: Erik Adielsson   Tr: Svante Båth               2         Raja Mirchi (h   Viking Kronos - Dame Lavec)   Dr: Lutfi Kolgjini   Tr: Lutfi Kolgjini                3         Sanity (g  Love You - Flash Light)   Dr: Örjan Kihlström   Tr: Malin Löfgren               4         Yanantin Boko (g   Viking Kronos - Ormonne Boko)   Dr: Darren Mizzi   Tr: Olle Alsén           5         Harry Haythrow (g   Rite On Line - Speedy Tilda)   Dr: Peter Untersteiner   Tr: Johnny Johansson             6         Montgomery Gel (h   Jag de Bellouet - Com Nina)  Dr:  Jorma Kontio   Tr: Timo Nurmos                7         Lord Capar (h   Varenne - Foxy'n Rowdy)   Dr: Thomas Dalborg   Tr: Mats Karlsson                8         Dreams Take Time (h   Andover Andover - B.My Honey)   Dr: Johnny Takter   Tr: Lars I Nilsson                9         Francais du Gull (h   Jag de Bellouet - Tantiem Gull)   Dr: Torbjörn Jansson   Tr: Erik Lindegren         Dave Sanders

Anticipating Sunday's 1609 meters autostart (one mile) Gr. I Grand Criterium de Vitesse, sprinters have emerged at Cagnes sur mer to contest mile distance events. Today three such races took place with two won by Italy's invaders Oronte di Cesato in 1.11.9kr in the Prix de Bologne and Onorio in the Prix de Pise timed in 1.11.7. The other sprinter race, the Prix de Naples, went to Quezio de Cayola in 1.13.2 as that veteran defeated a group of claimers in the Prix de Naples. March 7, 2014 Cagnes sur mer, Prix de Bologne, 25,000e, 1609 meters autostart, 14 starters 1.11.9kr (1:55.68) 1st Oronte di Cesato (6m Allison Hollow-Enzaran-Lurabo Blue), Roberto Andreghetti, 1.9/1 favorite, 20th career win for 93,815e lifetime earned, (Italy) 2nd Okay Dei Ronchi (6g From Above-Filu of Brown-Lemon Dra), Eduardo Baldi, 7.3/1, (Italy) 3rd Only One Glory (6m Ganymede-Eva Kant Gar-Indro Park), Eduardo Moni, 30/1, (Italy) March 7, 2014, Cagnes sur mer, Prix de Naples, 16,000e, 1609 meters autostart, 14 starters 1.13.2kr (1:57.83) 1st Quezio de Cayola (10g Cezio Josselyn-Deesse du Plessis-Sebrazac), Gabriele Gelormini up for trainer/owner Benjamin Goetz, 5.1/1, his 13th win for 318,348e in lifetime earnings. 2nd Quiet du Chene (10g Horse du Chene-Flo du Chene-Florestan), Yannick A. Briand up, 2/1 odds 3rd Sam Turgot (8m Look de Star-Kalinka d'Arbaz-Tarass Boulba), Lorenzo Baldi up, 82/1 4th Quoriace Stop (10m Horse du Chene-Herado Chene-Nobody de Retz), Jean-Christophe Sorel up for owner/trainer Anders Lindqvist, 54/1 March 7, 2014, Cagnes sur mer, Prix de Pise, 25,000e, females, 1609 meters autostart, 11 starters 1.11.7kr (1:55.40) 1st Onoria (6f Pine Chip-Noega-Ghendero), Andrea Forolfi up, 1.7/1, (Italy), her 22nd victory for 91,394e earnings 2nd Olivia di Casei (6f Love You-Zinia di Casei-Lemon Dra), 21/1, (Italy), Andrea Guzzinati up 3rd Orki Dea Dus (6f Conway Hall-Antartide Dus), Enrico Bellei up, 3.5/1, (Italy) 4th Open (6f Uronometro-Zufola), Dominik Locqueneux up, 20/1, (Italy) At Gelsenkirchen in the Prix de la Cote d'Azur, Robin Bakker piloted the Paul Hagoort trained Diamond to victory. The gelded son of Classic Photo, from the Yankee Glide mare Gala dei Bessi, scored in 1.14.9kr over 2000 meters autostart. The top three finishers represented Holland. March 7, 2014 Gelsenkirchen, Prix de la Cote d'Azur, 7,000e, 2000 meters autostart, 14 starters 1.14.9kr 1st Diamond (4g Classic Photo-Gala dei Bessi-Yankee Glide), Robin Bakker for Paul Hagoort trainer, 2.5/1 (Holland), fourth career win for 12,200e 2nd Crazy Lover (5g Ufo Kievitshof-Kathleen Dragon-Super Way), Robbin Bot, 10/1 (Holland) 3rd Dream Well (4f Love You-Resi Bes), Rudolf Pools up, 11/1 (Holland) Gelsenkirchen, Germany by Thomas H. Hicks for Harnesslink.com  

Today marked the first session of the annual Grand Prix d'Amerique Mixed Sale conducted by Arqana Trot. Comprised of young, lightly raced and unraced stock, the initial session saw 71 horses offered of which 62%, or 44, sold for an aggregate value of 251,500 euro, an average of 5,716 euro. Sale topper was hip 53, the three year-old colt Bold de Tonnerre (by Diamant Gede) that brought 15,000 euro off a qualifying effort at La Capelle. Session #2 on Thursday is comprised of only stallion shares, including those of Goetmals Wood, Password, Quaker Jet, Royal Dream, Sam Bourbon, Texas Charm, The Best Madrik, Timoko and Up And Quick. Racing continued at Paris-Vincennes and Cagnes sur Mer on Tuesday-Wednesday with much European influence in races so designated. The feature today at Cagnes sur Mer was the 55,000 euro purse Prix Une de Mai over 2925 meters with 17 starters. This Quinte+ race of the day (jackpot 3.15 million euro) went to Tailor handled by trainer Yannick Briand. Tailor increased career earnings to over 189.000 euro with the 1.14.2kr win, his 13th lifetime victory. The Quinte+ exact order payoff was 15,470 euro for a two euro wager. January 22, 2014, Cagnes sur mer, Prix Une de Mai, 55,000 euro purse, 2925 meters, 17 starters, Quinte+ with 3.15 million euro jackpot  1.14.2kr 1st Tailor (7m Intrepide-Une Gamine-Hetre Vert), Yannick A. Briand driver/trainer, 2.7/1, 13th career win for 189,940 euros won 2nd Roller Quick (9m Derby du Gite-Arquebuse-Florestan), Jean Uroz trainer/driver at 7.3/1 3rd Superdu Chatelet (8g Jag de Bellouet-Jaina du Chatelet-Jet du Vivier), Roland Jaffrelot up at 16/1 Three year-olds competed in the Prix du Perigord today on the shore at Cagnes sur Mer with Busquesda taking victory at 18/1 for Laurent Fresneau. Favored Blanco du Biwetz was second for Christophe Martens with Black Blues third for Jean-Pierre Dubois. Black Blues is cataloged to sell Friday at the Arqana Trot Prix d'Amerique Sale. January 22, 2014, Cagnes sur mer - Prix du Perigord, 16,000 euro purse, 2125 meters, 9 starters  1.17.9kr 1st Busquesda (3f Repeat Love-Quelette-Hasting), Laurent Fresneau trainer/driver/owner, 18/1 odds 2nd Blanco du Biwetz (3m Orlando Vici-Lio du Biwetz-Capriccio), Christophe Martens up at 3/2 3rd Black Blues (3m Sam Bourbon-Scarlet Lady-Kaisy Dream), Jean-Pierre Dubois driver/owner at 3/1 The Prix de Pont-Audemer showcased European males on Tuesday at Paris-Vincennes for a 58,000 euro purse over the sprinter distance of 2100 meters autostart. The Peter J. Strooper trained Duke Of Greenwood prevailed for reinsman Hugo Langeweg, Jr. in 1.14kr in a front-stepping score. The German registered trotter increased his earnings to over 101,000 euro. Jos. Verbeeck was second with a son of Ready Cash named Alto de Viette that closed strongly for second at 20/1 ahead of Renoir Dany and Italy's Marco Smorgon, off at 15/1. Another Italian performer was fifth, that being the Infinitif colt Rue du Bac, he from Ici by Diamond Way. January 21, 2014 Paris-Vincennes, Prix de Pont-Audemer, European males, 58,000 euro purse, 2100 meters autostart, 11 starters  1.14kr 1st Duke of Greenwood (4m Otello Pierji-Nikki Groenhof-Meadow Road), Hugo Langeweg, Jr. up for trainer P.J. Strooper and owner Michel F. Rothengatter, his third win for 101,836 euro (Germany) 2nd Alto de Viette (4m Ready Cash-Mini Ceinture-Dahir de Prelong), Jos. Verbeeck up at 20/1 3rd Renoir Dany (4m Varenne-Nikita November-Viking Kronos), Marco Smorgon up at 15.1 (Italy) 4th Amazon du Floriange (4g Echo-Peoleta-Ganymede), Loic Guinoiseau up at 12/1 5th Rue du Bac (4m Infinitif-Ici-Diamond Way), Eric Raffin up at 4/1, bred by Scuderia Bolgheri (Italy) European monte practitioners contested the 62,000 euro Prix de Dieppe over 2700 meters. Mathieu Abrivard prevailed with his partner, the seven year-old mare Tuanita d'Occagnes in 1.14.4kr. The mare recorded her fifth career win and increased earnings to over 227,000 euro. January 21, 2014 Paris-Vincennes, Prix de Dieppe, European monte, 62,000 euro purse, 2700 meters, 16 starters 1.14.4kr 1st Tuanita d'Occagnes (7f Tenor de Baune-Juanita d'Occagnes-Quadrophenio), Mathieu Abrivard up at 7.2/1; her fifth career win for 227,740 euros lifetime 2nd Tsar de Houelle (7g Baccarat du Pont-Vanita de la Motte-Granit), Franck Nivard up at 4.3/1 for trainer Franck Leblanc 3rd Surlando de Viette (8g Quadrophenio-Jolimira-Workaholic), Sebastien Emmanuel Pasquier up at 37/1 Another European event, the 90,000 euro Prix de Mironde with 17 starters, went to the Franck Nivard teamed Vulcain de Vandel in 1.14.2kr over the classic 2700 meter distance. German invader Dream Magic BE was a good second for Josef Franzl at 35/1. He's by Dream Vacation from a Defi d'Aunou mare. January 21, 2014 Paris-Vincennes, Prix de Mironde, European, 90,000 euro purse, 17 starters  1.14.2kr 1st Vulcain de Vandel (5m Jag de Bellouet-Ophelia de Vandel-Defi d'Aunou), Franck Nivard up at 2.2/1; his seventh career win for 179,550 euro 2nd Dream Magic BE (5m Dream Vacation-Dentesca Cla-Defi d'Aunou), Josef Franzl aboard the German invader at 35/1 3rd Vicomte Boufarcaux (5m Oh James-Olympe du Bouford-Eclat de la Crau), Yohan Lebourgeois up at 71/1 by Thomas H. Hicks for Harnesslink.com            

Nathalie Henry changed her tactics with Vision Intense, the talented daughter of Prodigious, as she positioned her near the front from the outset. Following the leader into the long Paris-Vincennes stretch, Henry found room along the pylons and rallied through for a convincing win in 1.12.9kr over the 2175 meter distance, the winner's 10th career win with increased earnings to over 616,000 euro. The Gr. II Prix Leon Tacquet, for a 120,000 euro purse, is viewed by analysts as an important forerunner to the rich Prix de Cornulier held a week before the Prix d'Amerique. Philippe Moulin conditions Vision Intense for Ecurie Victoria Dreams. Vaillant Cash raced well for Camille Levesque to be second. 1/4/14 Vincennes - Prix Leon Tacquet, Gr. II monte, 2175 meters, 120,000 euro purse  1.12.9kr Fractional times: 1.12.1kr at 1500, 1.13kr at 1000, 1.13.6kr at 500, 1.12.9kr finish 1st  Vision Intense (5f Prodigious-Intense Action-Cezio Josselyn), Mlle. Nathalie Henry up for Philippe Moulin training for Ecurie Victoria Dreams, her 10 career win for 616,250 euro earnings, 0.8/1 favorite 2nd  Vaillant Cash (5m Offshore Dream-Kara du Redon-Ultra Ducal), Camille Levesque aboard, 6/1 odds 3rd  Valdice de Mars (5f Lynx de Bellouet-Tiphanie-Beausujour II), Yohan Lebourgeois up for trainer/owner Lois Groussard, 21/1 odds 4th  Valse Castelets (5f Memphis du Rib-Elide-Florestan), J,L.C. Dersoir up for Joel Hallais and Ecurie Rib, 4/1 odds Akim du Cap Vert scored in the co-featured Prix de Tonnac-Villeneuve, a Gr. II event worth 120,000 euro purse over 2175 meters. The four year-old son of First de Retz was piloted by trainer/owner Franck Anne to the 1.13kr score, his sixth lifetime now for earnings of over 493,000 euro. Axelle Dark rallied along the pylons to capture second as Jos. Verbeeck drove the Philippe Allaire trained daughter of Ready Cash. The Allaire trained Artiste de Jourdes was a solid third at 64/1 for reinsman Pierre Vercruysse. 1/4/14 Vincennes - Prix de Tonnac-Villeneuve, Gr. II, 120,000 euro purse, 2175 meters, 10 starters 1.13kr (race time 2:38.85) 1st  Akim du Cap Vert (4m First de Retz-Prima du Cap Vert-Cezio Josselyn), Franck Anne trainer, driver, own er, 1.6/1 odds, 6th lifetime win for earnings 493,530 euro 2nd Axelle Dark (4f Ready Cash-Queen des Charmes-Look de Star), Jos. Verbeeck up for trainer Philippe Allaire, 4/1 odds 3rd  Artiste de Jourdes (4m Prodigious-Memoru de Jourdes-Vikings Way), Pierre Vercruysse aboard for Philippe Allaire, 64/1 odds 4th Ah Quel Micha (4m Rocklyn-Oceane du Phare-Vroum d'Or), Julien Dubois up for Philippe Moulin and Ecurie Victoria Dreams Today's Quinte + race of the day was also at Paris-Vincennes and the six year-old Take, a son of Carpe Diem, scored for Franck Nivard in a driving finish. Off at 5/1 the winner is trained by Fabrice Souloy and was timed in 1.12.8kr over the 2100 meter autostart distance. The holders of exact order two euro tickets took home 6,480 euro. The day's jackpot was 1.4 million euro. 1/4/13 Vincennes - Prix de Breteuil, Quinte+, 52,000 euro purse, 2100 meters autostart, 16 starters  1.12.8kr 1st Take (7m Carpe Diem-Koncole-And Arifant), Franck Nivard up for Fabrice Souloy training for Hadis Coatings BV, 5/1 odds, ninth career win for euro earnings 234,100 2nd  Toreador (7g Fleuron Perrine-Jubellone-Jet du Vivier), Francois-Pierre Bossuet up, 2.8/1 favorite 3rd Tartane Vrie (7f Ni Ho Ped d'Ombree-Ancre de Vrie-Firstly), owner/trainer/driver Louis Baudron at 9/1 by Thomas H. Hicks for Harnesslink.com   

The Winter harness racing Meet at Hippodrome Paris-Vincennes continued New Year’s Eve and Day before good crowds and rain-free weather. Starter du Rib captured the New year’s Eve featured Prix de Poitiers for trainer Joel Hallais and owner Ecurie Rib for his 18th career victory. Jean Loic Claude Dersoir steered the winner home in 1.13.7kr over 2700 meters. Highly regarded Sam Gibus ended second with Renardo Bello, a half-brother to double Prix d’Amerique winner Offshore Dream, fourth. Starter du Rib (8) Vincennes – Prix de Poitiers, 78,000 euro purse, 2700 meters, 17 starters Q+ 1.13.7kr Starter du Rib (7g Ganymede-Jiviga-Sancho Panca), J.L.C. Dersoir, 10/1 odds, trainer Joel Hallais for Ecurie Rib, 18th win lifetime for 392,280 euro Sam Gibus (7g Jet Fortuna-Harmonie Gibus-Viking Sun), Sebastien Baude up, 5/1 odds Roller Quick (8m Derby du Gite-Arquebuse-Florestan), Anthony Barrier, 29/1 odds Renardo Bello (8m Kiki-Enfilade-Tarass Boulba), Damien Bonne Racing Charm (8m Love You-Feraine d’Occagnes-Workaholic), Julien Dubois The January 1 feature ended with sons of Conway Hall finishing one-two in the 2100 meter autostart Prix d’Angouleme carrying a 95,000 euro purse. Conway Fortuna rallied for a convincing win in 1.12.4kr for Pierre Vercruysse. The winner is trained in Holland by Hugo Langeweg, Jr. for Gerrits Recycling Group and is from Saratoga Yankee by Yankee Glide. Conway Fortuna Vincennes – Prix d’Angouleme, European, 95,000 euro purse, 2100 meters autostart, 14 starters, 1.12.4kr Conway Fortuna (Holland) (5m Conway Hall-Saratoga Yankee-Yankee Glide), Pierre Vercruysse up for Hugo Langeweg Jr. and Gerrits Recycling Group, his 10th career win for earnings of 116,975 euro Paper Caf (Italy) (5g Conway Hall-Enda Caf-Supergill), Mathieu Abrivard up for trainer Fabrice Souloy and Scuderia Bimag Srl Vive Magic (5f Baccarat du Pont0Manny Blue-Coktail Jet), Eric Raffin aboard for owner/trainer Louis Baudron, 18/1 odds The undercard revealed several other interesting winners. The Quinte+ Prix du Croise-Laroche for 72,000 euro went to Ulk du Las Vegas in a photo with Italy’s Olimpus Caf (by Varenne). Dominik Locqueneux steered the winner to the 1.14.8kr victory, his eighth career success, at odds of 17/1. Ulk du Las Vegas (12 inside) Vincennes – Prix du Croise-Laroche, 72,000 euro purse, European, 2850 meters, 19 starters, Q+ 1.14.8kr Ulk du Las Vegas (5g Hulk des Champs-Elite du Las Vegas-Quiton du Coral), Dominik Locqueneux up for trainer/owner Jacques Fernandes, 8th career win for earnings of 153,060 euro, 17/1 odds Olimpus Caf (Italy) (5m Varenne-Eviola Caf-Supergill), David Thomain up, 9/1 odds Sammarco (Swe) (7g Enjoy Lavec-Tropic Heat-Sugarcane Hanover), Eric Raffin up, 3/1 odds The year’s first three year-old event of the year went to another Philippe Allaire trained/owned daughter of Ready Cash from the Love You dam Quick Nevele. The Jerome Ruaults teamed winner just got up in the late stages to beat Bambina Magic and the pacesetter Brave Story with Jean-Pierre Dubois up. Bliss Nevele (10) Vincennes - Prix de Mezieres, 34,000 euro purse, 2700 meters, 13 starters, three year-old females1.19.6kr Bliss Nevele (3f Ready Cash-Quick Nevele-Love You), Jerome Ruaults up for owner/trainer Philippe Allaire, 2nd lifetime win Bambina Magic (3f Nuage de Lait-Rive Magic-Jasmin de Flore), Franck Nivard up Brave Story (3f Repeat Love-Heaven d’Hilly-Buvetier d’Aunou), Jean-Pierre Dubois driver/owner for trainer Patrick Chevrier 2014’s first monte contest went to a three year-old son of Niky named Baggio du Chatelet. P-Y Verva was in the irons for this 13/1 upsetter that scored easily to earn the winners share of the 33,000 euro purse. Nicolas Raimbeaux trains the winner. Baggio du Chatelet Vincennes – Prix de Nimes, 33,000 euro, 2200 meters, 15 starters, monte three year-olds 1.17.6kr Baggio du Chatelet (3m Niky-Paola du Chatelet-Gobernador), P-Y Verva for trainer Nicolas Raimbeaux, odds 13/1 Brooklyn Bridge (3m Quatre Juillet-Mysterious Valley-Goetmals Wood), Mlle Celine Leclercq, 23/1 odds, Patrick Chevrier trainer for J-P Dubois, breeder Ecurie D Bikini des Molands (3m Gai Brillant-Quiche des Molands-Carpe Diem), Anthony Dollion jockey, trainer, owner, 6/1 odds Another outsider, Aslak, took the Prix de Conde with its 35,000 euro purse at 8/1 odds. The four year-old son of Lilium Madrik is trained by Ronny Kuiper and was driven today by Pierre Vercruysse, his second driving victory of the day. Aslak 1/1/14 Vincennes – Prix de Conde, 35,000 euro purse, 2850 meters, 12 starters 1.17.3kr Aslac (4g Lilium Madrik-L’Atlante-Quarsenis), Pierre Vercruysse up for trainer Ronny Kuiper, 8/1 odds Amiral de Virmont (4m Sancho Panca-Perie de Virmont), J.L.C., Dersoir driver/trainer, 2/1 favorite Almarok (4m Norman Jet-Malice Morane-Elmon), Mathieu Mottier driving the 52/1 outsider. (Paris-Turf photos) Thomas H. Hicks  

Today's Prix de Bourgogne undercard featured several excellent monte events. The Prix de Brioude for 60,000 euro over 2700 meters went to Linda Vercruysse' Transamerica (6f Offshore Dream-Klassic Aunou-Defi d'Aunou) in a front-stepping 1.14.1kr for Yohan Lebourgeois. The winner scored her fifth career win, now with earnings of 196,820 euro for her NY born owner and trained by Pierre Vercruysse. She sports red-white-blue colors that also fit Transamerica's pedigree, being by the double Prix d'Amerique winner Offshore Dream with earning of over US$3.3 million (2002, Reve d'Udon-Enfilde-Tarass Boulba). Tarass Boulba is by Speedy Somolli and Enfilade's dam, Tableau (Joie de Vie-Seascape Lobell-Speedy Crown-Somolli) directs to Somolli. Transamerica's pedigree further reflects franco-american blending as her dam was sired by Defi D'Aunou, by Armbro Goal from Nesmile, making him a half-brother to Buvetier d'Aunou (by Royal Prestige) and Extreme Aunou (by Baltic Speed). Nesmile is one of Europe's best producing mares and her daughter Amour d'Aunou produced Guilty of Love, dam of Love You, Repeat Love, Nice Love and In Dix Huit. Vincennes - Prix de Brioude (monte, 60,000 euro purse, 2700 meters, 12 starters)   1.14.1kr 1st Transamerica (6f Offshore Dream-Klassik Aunou-Defi d'Aunou), Yohan Lebourgeois up for owner Mme. Lynda Vercruysse and trainer Pierre Vercruysse, her fifth win for career earnings of 196,820 euro 2nd  Tonnerre de Retz (6g First de Retz-Kaline du Solnan-Corot), P-Y Verva aboard 3rd  Tinosa du Chene (6f Nobody du Chane-Inosa du Chene-Jiosco), M. Mottier up The Sunday monte co-feature (Prix de Tarbes for 60,000 euro purse) went to Auria Vikland in 1.13.6kr over 2175 meters for three year-old females. She scored impressively for P-Y Verva and is a daughter of the fastest monte performer to date Prince de Montfort, still racing in Germany and northern European countries. J-P Dubois' A Nous Deux was second in this event with Nathalie Henry in the irons. Vincennes - Prix de Tarbes (60,000 euro purse, monte, female three year-olds, 2175 meters, 10 starters)   1.13.6kr 1st  Aurea Vikland (3f Prince de Montfort-Kethna de Monte-Vif Argent Ludois), P-Y Verva up, 5/1 odds, fourth career win for earnings of 84,550 euro 2nd   A Nous Deux (3f Goetmals Wood-Nina Madrik-In Love With You), Nathalie Henry aboard for trainer Ronny Kuiper and owner Jean-Pierre Dubois, 3/1 odds 3rd  Aureness (3f Mercenaire-Ornaise de Morgane-Himo Josselyn), Francois Lagadeus up, 17/1 odds The 48,000 euro purse Prix de Cabrieres went to Ugolin de Chambre with Mathieu Mottier up. This one is by a son of Passionnant (by Florestan) from a Tenor de Baune (Prix d'Amerique winner with 33 wins in 47 career starts) dam and the winner scored impressively in 1.13.7kr with a powerful stretch run. Vincennes - Prix de Cabrieres (monte, males, 48,000 euro purse, 2200 meters, 12 starters)  1.13.7kr 1st  Ugolin de Chambre (5g Ginger Somolli-L'Avayronnaise-Tenor de Baune), Mathieu Mottier up for trainer Jacques Rajalu and owner Alain-Jean Dubois, 11/1 odds 2nd  Un Aller (5g Le Retour-Elmia-Origan Noir), O. Touvais up, 5/2 favorite 3rd  Ultra Or (5g Orlando Vici-Petra du Chene-Jain de Beval), Anthony Barrier up for Fabrice Souloy trainer and owner Ecurie AB Trot, 38/1 odds by Thomas H. Hicks for Harnesslink.com   

The important Criterium Continental (Gr. I, UET Masters Series, European four year-olds, 240,000 euro purse, 2100 meters autostart, 18 starters) that carries a Prix d'Amerique entry to the winner, produced a modestly unexpected win for 3.6/1 odds filly Victoire (4f Kitko-Juventa Blue-Boy du Pre) and reinsman Mathieu Mottier. She won for the 11th time in her career, now with earnings of 597.390 euro. The filly, bred, owned and trained by Danielle Mottier, hung on for a close score in 1.12.2kr (2 :31.72) over 4/1 Village Mystic (4m Love You-Netchka d'Orgeres-Full Account) with breeder, owner, trainer, driver Louis Baudron aboard. Viking de Val (4m Baccarat du Pont-La Forge de Val-Quadrophenio) took third at 51/1 for breeder, owner,trainer, driver Eric Lambertz. Sweden's invaders Dreams Take Time (4m Andover Andover-B My Honey-Viking Kronos ended fourth for JohnnyTakter ahead of Porthos Amok (4m Orlando Vici-Baroness Amok-Pine Chip) with Eric Raffin up for trainer, owner Stefan Melander. Italy's hopeful Pascia Lest was seventh and J-P Dubois' Viva Island was 11th. Highly regarded Princess Grif, Vanika du Ruel, Volcan d'Urzy and Indigious were disqualified for breaks in the Quinte+ event The Gr. II Prix Federation Francaise Equitation (Emile Riotteau), a monte event over 2700 meters with 10 starters for four year-olds, went to 3.4/1 odds Valse Castelets (4f Memphis du Rib-Elide-Florestan) and J.L.C. Dersoir. She won for the eighth time in her career with increased earnings to 387,200 euro, scoring by open lengths in 1.14.5kr. Joel Hallais trains the winner for Ecurie Rib, both leading participants in monte trots. Favored Vision Intense was disqualified for rough gaitedness early in the contest. Vic du Boisnant (4m Gazoullis-Ode du Boisnant-Vivier de Montfort) was second for P-Y Verva at 74/1 with 64/1 Vicomte Boufarcaux (4m Oh James-Olympe du Bouford-Eclat de la Crau) third with Jonathan Carre aboard. The Gr. I Prix de Vincennes (monte, 240,000 euro purse, 2700 meters, 15 starters, three year-olds) went to second choice 3.7/1 Atlessima (3f Rocklyn-Noblessima-Goetmals Wood) with Eric Raffin in the irons. She scored in 1.14.4kr for her fifth lifetime win and 243,540 euros earned for owner Ecurie Victoria Dreams and trainer Philippe Moulin. Favored 1.9/1 Anastasia Fella was disqualified for a miscue and pacesetter Airport ended fifth. Agrippine (3f Hasting-Moqueuse-Extreme Dream) was second for jockey Alexandre Abrivard with Apollon de la Lys (3m Ouragan de Celland-Hillary de Pierji-Butin du Vivier) finishing third. A big crowd was on-hand for the racing festivities today including youngsters being entertained by Disney activities. Racing resumes at Paris-Vincennes on the afternoons of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. by Thomas H. Hicks for Harnesslink.com   

Yohan Lebourgeois, the leading monte jockey in France in 2012, today steered Valdice de Mars (4f Lynx de Bellouet-Tiphanie) to victory in the Gr. II Monte Prix Ceneri Forcinal (120,000 euro purse, 2175 meters) at Paris-Vincennes. Off at 2.6/1 the winner defeated Viva Forest (4f Mickael de Vonnas-Java de Bazeille), with Anthony Barrier aboard, timed in 1.13.1kr, with third going to Vic du Boisnant (4m Gazoullis-Ode du Boisnant), Alexandre Abrivard in the irons. Three year-old monte performers Saturday contested the Prix de Basly, (Gr. II, 120,000 euro purse, 2175 meters). Alexiandu Cherisay (3f The Big Boss-Precious Thing) scored in 1.14.1kr with Pierre-Yves Verva up at odds of 21/1. Antara Buissonay (3f La Retour-Jadelle Buissonay), P-Edouard Mary aboard, was second with third to Asana Trembladaise (3f Kuadro Wild-Passion d’Alban), Anthony Barrier up. Also, from the weekend, it was reported today that Ready Cash (8m Indy de Vive-Kidea-Extreme Dream) decisive victory in the UET Masters Series Finale ( purse 500,000 euro), raised his lifetime earnings to 4,239,300 euro, inching past retired French trotting icon Jag de Bellouet with 4,223,699. Converted to US dollars the Ready Cash bankroll is about $5.7 million, now above Varenne $5.63 million, Jag de Bellouet $5.6 million and Moni Maker with $5.58 million. Ready Cash’ sire is a son of Vikings Way by Bonefish while his dam is by a son of Florestan from a daughter of Workaholic. His inbreeding coefficient is 5.2%. The Criterium des 5 Ans winner Up And Quick (5m Buvetier d’Aunou-Fichtre- Quiton du Coral) smashed that event’s speed record with his 1.11.5kr win over 2700 meters. In 2010 Scoop d’Yuel set the previous mark of 1.12.7kr for this race. Royal Dream won the 2013 Prix d’Amerique in 1.11.9kr that had been the previous standard for the 2700 meter distance, turning start. Up And Quick’s sire is a son of Royal Prestige from the great mare Nesmile while the winners’ dam is by a son of Chambon P. His inbreeding coefficient is 1.7%. by Thomas H. Hicks for Harnesslink.com  

It was the field for the Kentucky Sires Stakes final, in which 8 of the 9 starters were sired by one horse, Deweycheatumnhowe, which triggered this comparison. In France this weekend, the Criterium Des 5 Ans had 17 runners and 17 different sires. And while both US sires were from the same sireline (Valley Victory-Speedy Crown-Peter Scott) the French field had three separate genuine outcross sirelines, the majority deriving from the standardbred line of Hambletonian, but there were also representatives of both the Godolphin (Une de Chelun (m Flash de Cosse) and Heir of Linne lines (Ulk Medoc (h Karikal)). Granted it is not a like for like, a restricted age group race for a championship age group race – but it was none-the-less a stark reminder of the vast differences between the trotting industries of France and the US. For while the United States has refined its breeding through commercially driven Sires Stakes type incentives, it has also narrowed its ability to outcross, and therefore provide the chances of heterosis which happened in France especially with the introduction of stallions such as Workaholic in the 1980s. That introduction has had a profound effect - indeed Workaholic was represented by a grandson Ugo de Nieul (h Cygnus d'Odyssee) and was one of four from the Speedy Crown lines in the race – including the winner Up And Quick by Buvetier d'Aunou (Royal Prestige) regarded in France as the strongest of the Franco-Americans from the 1980s open window. But they haven’t completely taken over, far from it in fact, because there were also representatives from both the US sirelines which were introduced in the 1930s, Sam Williams (another son of Peter Scott who had three representatives) and The Great McKinney (from the now almost defunct Hambletonian line of George Wilkes in the US). Indeed the Great McKinney provided the race favourite Un Mec d'Heripre (h Orlando Vici) who finished fifth – and who is already at stud and proving very popular, with what are regarded in France as state of the art bloodlines. The Peter Volo line was well represented too, but not altogether from purely US origins. Two of the runners were from the Victory Song line which came out of Italy to France through And Arifant who had two grandchildren in the race Une Fille d'Amour (m Infant du Bossis) and Ulysse du Ravary (h Hugo du Bossis).Star’s Pride only mated with one French mare, the great mare Roquepine while on a visit to race in America. The offspring from that mating was not allowed to race in France but since he was purchased from his breeder Henri Levesque by the French National Stud (Haras Nationaux), Florestan was allowed to stand at stud. And he became a great sire and was represented in this race by two great-grandchildren including second favourite and third placegetter Univers de Pan (h Kenya du Pont) and the mare (Usaurie de Melodie (m Okapi de Fael). Bonefish’s French son Viking’s Way had three representatives in the race including runner up Uhlan du Val (h Islero de Bellouet). There were also 16 maternal families involved in the race, four originating from the US including the double occurrence, these families were US, U402 – Kentucky (2), U326 - Laura Logan, U403 - Lady Pierce and U1456 – Edna. None of these families have surviving US trotting descendants.   The Criterium Des 3 Ans contestants details.   FUSCHIA (Godolphin(1)) Une de Chelun (m  Flash de Cosse - Malice d'Haufor)     Flash de Cosse-Tenor de Baune- Le Loir-Kerjacques-Fuschia-Godolphin   U402 – Kentucky   THE HEIR OF LINNE (Bartletts Childers(1)) Ulk Medoc (h Karikal-Organza Haut Gilet)        Karikal-Jiosco-Quo Vadis-James Watt-Phaeton-The Heir of Linne- Eclipse-Bartletts Childers E1025 – Melanie   HAMBLETONIAN (Flying Childers(1)) THE GREAT McKINNEY Un Mec d'Heripre (h Orlando Vici-I Love You Darling)          Orlando Vici-Quadrophenio-The Great McKinney-George Wilkes- Hambletonian   U326 - Laura Logan   PETER SCOTT (Sam Williams (3), Speedy Crown(4)) SAM WILLIAMS Un Amour d'Haufor (h Love You-Glamour d'Haufor)     Love You (FR)-Coktail Jet-Sam Williams-Peter Scot-PTG- Pilot Medium-Hambletonian         E39 – Kairouan   Udine (m Coktail Jet- Idylle)   Coktail Jet C5 1995-Quouky Williams-Sam Williams-Peter Scott-PTG- Pilot Medium-Hambletonian E8 - Fa Mi Sol (TheBest Madrik, Kiwi,Vanika De Ruel – Ovidius Naso (Prix D’Amerique 2x)   Un Nuage d'Osmoz (h Nuage Noir - L'Etoile d'Escrit )    Nuage Noir (3rd C5)-Cyrus Buissonay-Ura-Carioca II-Sam Williams-Peter Scott – Pilot Medium-Hambletonian E49 - L'Aigle Baie   SPEEDY CROWN (4)   Ugo de Nieul (h Cygnus d'Odyssee -Harmonie de Nieul)      Cygnus d'Odyssee (FR)- Workaholic (US)-Speedy Crown-Peter Scot-PTG- Pilot Medium-Hambletonian    E24 - Fernande   Used to Me (h  Nuage de Lait-North Lane)       Nuage de Lait- Defi D’Aunou-Armbo Goal-Speedy Crown-Peter Scot-PTG- Pilot Medium-Hambletonian    U403 - Lady Pierce      Up And Quick (h  Buvetier d'Aunou - Fichtre)           Buvetier d'Aunou-Royal Prestige-Speedy Crown-Peter Scot - PTG –Pilot Medium-Hambletonian   E13 - Duegne   Unikaranes (m Montecatini -Pivoine des Hayes)         Montecatini (FR)-Defi D’Aunou-Armbo Goal-Speedy Crown-Peter Scot-PTG- Pilot Medium-Hambletonian         U402 - Kentucky   PETER VOLO (Stars Pride (5), Victory Song (2)) STAR’S PRIDE FLORESTAN (2) Usaurie de Melodie (m Okapi de Fael - Isaurie)   Dr: Richard Joly   Tr: Stephane Meunier Okapi De Fael-Gai Brillant-Florestan-Star’s Pride-Peter Volo-PTG –Pilot Medium-Hambletonian         E4 - La Kapirat             Univers de Pan  (h Kenya du Pont-Gypsilore)              Kenya du Pont-Baccarat du Pont-Florestan-Star’s Pride- Peter Volo-PTG –Pilot Medium-Hambletonian   U1456 – Edna   BONEFISH (3) Umoko (h  Imoko - Kiss Me Coulonces)           Imoko U122 – Viking’s WayE112 – Bonefish U32  – Star’s Pride-Volomite-PTG- Pilot Medium-Hambletonian E40 Osmonde   Uhlan du Val (h  Islero de Bellouet-Indiana Beautiful )    Islero De Bellouet-Viking's Way-Bonefish-Star's Pride-Peter Volo-PTG –Pilot Medium-Hambletonian   E1012 - Amaranthe                     Up the Green (h  Espeyrac Sun - Nemenine)              Espeyrac Sun -Vikings Way- Bonefish-Stars Pride-Volomite- Pilot Medium-Hambletonian E41 – Baillette   VICTORY SONG (2) Une Fille d'Amour (m Infant du Bossis-Never So Great)        Infant du Bossis-And Arifant-Quick Song-Victory Song-Peter Volo- PTG- Pilot Medium-Hambletonian         E6 - La Pille   Ulysse du Ravary (h  Hugo du Bossis - Epee)     Hugo du Bossis (Gr1 monte)-And Arifant-QuickSong-Victory Song-Volomite- Pilot Medium-Hambletonian E77-Printaniere   By  Dave Sanders  

A field of seventeen will line up in one of France’s premier races on Saturday, the Criterium des 5 Ans. This year it has once again attracted a stellar field headed by Un Mec d’Heripre (Orlando Vici), Up And Quick (Buvetier d’Aunou) and Univers de Pan (Kenya du Pont). Raced over 3000m it is a real test of the staying credentials and it has recently seen the best horse of their  generation come undone. You have to go back to the 2005 Criterium  des 5 Ans, and Mealnes du Corta, the highest earner of the 2000 generation, to find the race won by the generation’s top earner. Last year Timoko who was bidding to win all three of his generations Criterium to be come only the third horse to win all three Criterium -  and for the first time since Fleuro Perrine in 1996 - only managed third behind arch rival  The Best Madrik. The previous year world record breaking mare Save The Quick, the current star of S generation broke during the running and was disqualified in a race which was won in the fasted  recorded time  by Scoop d’Yvel in 2011, who went 1.12.7kr (1.57MR). Tragically he collapsed and died the following year during the running of the Prix de Paris (Quadrophenio). Current star Ready Cash, who his generation’s Criterium des 3 Ans  was leading  when he also  broke about 1500m into the event which was won by Roc Meslois, while Quaker Jet, the highest earner of the and now a rising stallion completed a wretched run in the three Criteriums with a fourth behind Queen’s Glory. A daughter of Love You (who was sixth in his final Criterium), Queen’s Glory was in fact the last mare to win the event and it is indeed a rare event for a mare to beat the best of generation’s stallions. However some of the greatest mares (and broodmares) of French racing have in fact  won this event, with probably the greatest being  Roquepine and her grand dam Sa Bourbonnaise who are so influential today through the influence of their stallion descendants Florestan, Granit,  Hermes and Sabi Pas. In recent years the race has not been a great indicator of great stallion potential - winners  Ozio Royal, Notre Haufor, Meaulnes du Corta, Ipson de Mormal, Handy Horse, Elito de Manerbe and even the great racehorse General de Pommeau, having not distinguished themselves at stud. However Fleuron Perrine, Jasmin de Flore and Kenya du Pont since the turn of the millennium, have gone on to great  success in the breeding barn to join greats like Defi d’Aunou, Coktail Jet, Tenor de Baune, Reve d’Udon and even further back breed changing sires like Jamin and Kerjacques. Kenya du Pont (Univers du Pan) and Coktail Jet  (Udine) are the only two winners with a representative in Saturday’s race. The winner of the 2008 generation’s Criterium 3 and 4 des Ans, Unique Quick had only won twice in nine runs since the latter win with three disqualifications and three non placings  and hasn’t raced been seen on a racetrack since March 2 and is not in this field. That leaves Un Mec d’Heripre, who was second in the Criterium de 4 Ans as now the pre-eminent horse of this generation having won the Group I  Criterium Continental  just before Christmas and has now won 5 of his last 8 races including the last two  big 5 year-old-races including the  Prix Jockey at the start of the Summer Meeting on the 19th August. Univers de Pan was second that day and along with Uhlan du Val, who was third are likely to dominate betting once again on Saturday. CRITERIUM DES 5 ANS Vincennes  3000m  5YO H & M  € 240 000 1         Umoko (h  Imoko - Kiss Me Coulonces)   Dr: Jos Verbeeck   Tr: Richard Westerink       2         Ulysse du Ravary (h  Hugo du Bossis - Epee)   Dr: Sebastien Hardy  Tr:  Sebastien Hardy       3         Up the Green (h  Espeyrac Sun - Nemenine)   Dr: Pierre Yves Verva   Tr: Franck Terry          4         Un Nuage d'Osmoz (h Nuage Noir - L'Etoile d'Escrit )  Tr/Dr: Emmanuel Allard            5         Une de Chelun (m  Flash de Cosse - Malice d'Haufor)   Dr: Bernard Piton   Tr: Jean Marc Souici         6         Udine (m Coktail Jet- Idylle)   Dr: Jean Pierre Dubois   Tr: Jean Baudron         7         Usaurie de Melodie (m Okapi de Fael - Isaurie)   Dr: Richard Joly   Tr: Stephane Meunier          8         Ugo de Nieul (h Cygnus d'Odyssee -Harmonie de Nieul)  Tr/Dr: Romain Derieux              9         Unikaranes (m Montecatini -Pivoine des Hayes)   Tr/Dr: Laurent Claude Abrivard     10         Un Amour d'Haufor (h Love You-Glamour d'Haufor)   Tr/Dr: Christian Bigeon     11         Ulk Medoc (h Karikal-Organza Haut Gilet)   Dr: Franck Corbineau   Tr: Lionel Cesar          12         Une Fille d'Amour (m Infant du Bossis-Never So Great)   Dr: David Thomain   Tr: Cyril Raimbaud          13         Used to Me (h  Nuage de Lait-North Lane)  Tr/Dr: Jean Etienne Dubois   Jean Etienne Dubois         14         Uhlan du Val (h  Islero de Bellouet-Indiana Beautiful )  Tr/Dr: Cedric Megissier              15         Un Mec d'Heripre (h Orlando Vici-I Love You Darling)   Dr: Jean Michel Bazire   Tr: Fabrice Souloy       16         Up And Quick (h  Buvetier d'Aunou - Fichtre)   Dr: Franck Nivard   Tr: Franck Leblanc         17         Univers de Pan  (h Kenya du Pont-Gypsilore)  Tr/  Dr: Philippe Daugeard           by David Sanders    

Harness racing driver Jean-Pierre Dubois scored a double yesterday at Marseille-Borely, continuing his remarkable driving return in France.

One of the Elitloppet favorites, Maharajah (Sweden), has been scratched from his elimination on Sunday. Of the remaining harness racing entrants in that elimination, the early wagering favorites are Formula One, Timoko and Neste Effe. Favored in the second elimination are Sebastian K, Brad de Veluwe and Nahar.

Three more entrants were announced for the May 26 Elitloppet 2013 (from Sweden Raja Mirchi, Commander Crowe and Panne de Moteur).

Today at Hyeres Jean-Pierre Dubois won his FR comeback after European rules were changed to permit harness racing drivers to compete after age 70.

The harness racing card Saturday at Hippodrome Paris-Vincennes, in addition to the Prix l'Union Europeene, featured two graded monte events and the featured Prix de Selection.

Exceptionally competitive trotting highlighted today's Hippodrome Paris-Vincennes harness racing card, readying race-goers for tomorrows Grand Prix de France. Today's featured Prix Ephram Houel (Grade II, 120,000 euro, 2,175 meters) was taken by the 4 year-old mare Victoire (by Kitko), driven by Mathieu Mottier for owner/trainer Danielle Mottier.

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