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The Prix Raymond Fouard (Gr. III, purse 70.000€, 2850 meters, 10 starters) saw 17/1 Golden Bridge (4m Ready Cash-Usenza) score for reinsman David Thoman, harness racing trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Michel Tessier. He was clocked in 1.13.8kr off even fractions and the victory raised his career earnings to 243,450€. The was the first of three groupe wins this day for trainer Philippe Allaire. The 8/10 favorite Gelati Cut (4m Coktail Jet-Variety Cut) was second for Alexandre Abrivard, trainer R.C. Larue and Ecurie de Windcut. 3/1 odds Girolamo (4m Uriel Speed) took third for pilot Franck Ouvrie.  Golden Bridge   Next up was the Prix d’Essai (Gr. I Monte, purse 145,000€, 2175 meters, 15 starters three year olds) and Allaire’s owned and trained Hudson Vedaquais (3m Thorens Vedaquais-Bielsa Vedaquaise) was victorious for jockey Yoann Lebourgeois at 3.1/1 odds. This J.P. Guay bred colt won for the fourth time in nine starts now for 132,930€ earned. Race time was 1.12.6kr off very fast early fractions (the mark with 1000 meter remaining was 1.08.9kr). 25/1 Hera Landia (3f Ludo de Castelle) was a narrowly edged second for P.Ph. Ploquin and owner/trainer Ph. Girmault after setting the wicked pace. 26/1 Hispanien (3m Magniificent Rodney) was third for Anthony Barrier with 75/1 Hook Up Absolute finishing fourth. Hudson Vedaquais Allaire won his third of the day in the Prix Albert Viel (Gr. I, purse 145,000€, 2700 meters, three year olds) as 8/10 favorite Helgafell (3f Charly du Noyer-Baania) scored timed in 1.13.7kr off rated fractions. Eric Raffin teamed this one for Allaire and owner Ecurie Normandy Spirit. Helgafell has now won eight times in 11 outings good for 311,400€ in life earnings. 10/1 Hooker Berry (3m Booster Winner-Osaka Berry) was up late for second reined by Franck Nivard for trainer Jean Miche Bazire. Third was the Jean Pierre Dubois owned and reined Hede Darling (3m Password-Queen Darling) that was off at 10/1 and coming in off four straight wins. He raced well. 25/1 Hokkaito Jiel (3m Brillantissime) and 76/1 Hakim Griff (3m Brillantissime) completed the first five to the line.   Helgafell LeTrot files/photos Thomas H. Hicks

Today the exceptional 2020 Prox d’Amerique winner Face Time Bourbon (5m Ready Cash-Vita Bourbon-Love You) scored at Vincennes in the Prix Rene Balliere (Gr. I Intermational UET Masters, purse 145,000€, 2100 meters autostart) clocked in 1.09.4kr (mile race 1:51.66) for pilot Bjorn Goop, harness racing trainer Sebastiem Guarato and owner Scuderia Bivans Srl. He was bred by SARL Haras Saint Martin. Face Time, off at 5/10 odds,  took the lead from  Enino de Pommereux (6m Coktail Jet-Noune du Pommereux) and first leading Bold Eagle (9m Ready Cash-Reethi Rah Jet) and took it all the way in the fast fractions (1:06.4kr with 1500 meters remaining; 1.08.2kr at the 1000 to go mark; 1,10kr with 500 meter remaining). He was tested with over 1000 meters remaining by first up and 62/1 Drole de Jet (7m Coktail Jet-Likely Jet-Defi d’Aunou) who maintained the pressure all the way, falling a length and a half back at the line, with trainer Pierre Vercruysse aboard for Ecurie Hunter Valley. This one, bred by Jean Etienne Dubois, won the GP l’Uet in 2017. Third home was 9/1 Feliciano (5m Ready Cash-Ravenella) with David Thomain up for trainer Philippe Allaire and Ecurie des Charmes. 33/1 Valokaja Hindo and 49/1 Bahia Quesnot completd the top five. 4.6/1 Enino de Pommereux and 7.7/1 Bold Eagle finished sixth and seventh. Watch the replay click here. Face Time Bourbon Face Time Bourbon won for the 21st time in 25 career starts now for 1,716,300€ for this five year old that today set a speed record for the distance. In comparison, as the great Ready Cash, bred by Jean Etienne Dubois and trained by Sebastien Guarato, likely is winding down his racing career at age nine,  has 46 victories in 73 starts for 4,980,467€ earned.   LeTrot, Vincennes files/photos   Thomas H. Hicks

June 20, 2020 - Easy To Love Blues (6f Rolling d’Heripre-Up Me Dryme) was a narrow winner of today’s Prix de Tabac du Centre de Toury at Chartres (monte, purse 23,000€, 2800 meters, 11 starters) timed in 1.13.0kr with Mathieu Mottier in the irons. He trains this winner for Ecurie D.M. Mottier and she now has won four straight and five of her last six this year. For the career she has 10 victories in 39 appearances for 168,330€ earned. Off at 1.8/1 odds she defeated 2.5/1 Espace Winner (6g Prince d’Espace) with Alexandre Abrivard up and third finishing was pacesetter Calin du Rhonneau (8m First Way) that was off at 2.7/1 odds with Eric Raffin aboard, Easy To Love Blue Replay This day in Sweden was racing at Rattvik with four Breeders Crown (BC) divisions and the Midsommar Lopp 2140 meters autostart) for aged performers. In that one the 4.3/1 odds Milligans School (7m Yankee Glide-Tori Ann-SJs Photo) scored in 1.13.8kr for Ulf Eriksson and owner/trainer Stefan Melander. It was his first 2020 victory in six outings. Mellby Free was second. Milligans School The BC events were won by the following: Hector Sisu (3g Zola Boko-Donatomesswithme-Donato Hanover) at 3.5/1, Orjan Kihlstrom up for trainer Petri Salmela, his second 2020 win in five appearances; No Business (3f The Bank-TT de Luxe-Center Field) at 3.3/1 for Bjorn Goop and trainer Oscar Berglund Bythebook (4g Googoo Gaagaa-Stellar Value-Viking Kronos) for Orjan Kihlstrom and trainer Svante Baty at 8.2/1 odds; Anthara Bi (4f Donato Hanover-Dakota Bi-Toss Out) for trainer/driver Bjorn Goop at 1.9/1 odds Thomas H. Hicks    

June 19, 2020 - Feeling Cash (5m Ready Cash-Royale Star) survived a vicious harness racing duel with Fleche Bourbon and scored in today’s Prix Xavier de Saint Palais (Gr. II monte, purse 85,000€, 2225 meters, five year olds) at Mauquenchy (transferred card from Vincennes) clocked in 1.12.3kr. Eric Raffin, the masked man, was the winning jockey for trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Carlos Lerner. Feeling Cash, who drifted right in the lane, was off at 4.9/1 odds and won for the eighth time in his career, now for 897,100€ earned. 36/1 Flore de Janeiro (5f Vanishing Point-Ozie de Janeiro) was second with Anthony Barrier in the irons for trainer/owner Franck Blandin. Third home was 38/1 Fiona Gendreenne (5f Akim du Cap Vert-Pekinois) with Mathieu Mottier up for owner/trainer Dominique Lemetayer. Feche Bourbon was a misque dq when engaged in the struggle with the eventuial winner. Feeling Cash On Sunday racing resumes (really) at Paris-Vincennes and what a card it is on Champions Journey Day. There are six groupe races including the Gr. I Prix Albert Viel for three year olds and the Gr. I International UET Masters Prix Rene Balliere that has Face Time Bourbon and Bold Eagle at the start in a talented field. Thomas H. Hicks  

Today’s seventh leg of the Grand National du Trot Paris Turf (Gr. III, purse 75,000€, 2850 meters distance handicap) saw 3.7/1 and 25 meter handicapped Diable de Vauvert (7m Prince d’Espace-Pop Star) score with Gabriele Gelormini up and timed in 1.12.2kr. Bertrand Le Beller trains the winner that recorded his eighth harness racing career victory now for 433,090€ earned. A close second was 13/1 Et Voila de Muze (6m Royal Dream-Nolalla) for Hugues Monthule who teamed this Sebastien Guarato trainee that Union Stables owns. Fashion Queen (5f Ready Cash-Usenza) was third at 7.9/1 odds driven by Eric Raffin for trainer Philippe Allaire for breeder/owner J.M. Tessier. Comtesse du Clos and the 25-meter handicapped Diablo du Noyer completed the top five. Cleangame (handicapped 50 meters) and Etonnant (25-meter handicapped) were miscue dq’s and 50-meter penalized Bel Avis was unplaced. Top races are soon on tap in France, first on June 19 at Vincennes at Mauquenchy that will stage the Gr. II monte Prix Xavier de Saint Palais (purse 85,000€, 2225 meters) that will have Fleche Bourbon and Feeling Cash at the start. On June 21 racing resumes at Paris-Vincennes and that card includes six groupe events. The Gr. I Prix Rene Balliere (purse 145,000€, 2100 meters autostart, International) has Face Time Bourbon, Bold Eagle and Eninoi du Pommereux among the entrants. The monte Gr. I Prix du President de la Republique (purse 170,000€, 2850 meters) has recent winner Guide Moi Forgan entered. The other groupe events are the Gr. I Prix Albert Viel (three-year olds), Gr. III Prix d’Essai, Gr. III Prix Raymond Fouard (four-year olds) and the Gr. III Prix de Grasse (five-six year olds).   LeTrot files/photos   Thomas H. Hicks

Today’s Enghien at Laval harness racing program was good one, highlighted by the Prix de New York (purse 67,000€, 2050 meters autostart, 16 European starters). Here the 5.8/1 Ce Bello Romain (8g Jam Pridem-Miss Echo Bella) scored in 1.11.4kr with Anthony Barrier aboard for owner/trainer S.G. Dupont. This was the winners’ 16th career victory now for 452,480€ earned. 25/1 Jerry Mom (7m Ready Cash-Graziella), a full brother to Traders, was second with David Thomain up for trainer Jo Corbanie and JPB Building Bvba. 16/1 Estola (6f Nectar) took third for Francois Lecanu, trainer Emmanuel Ruault and owner Ecurie Comte P. de Montesson. 6.5/1 Alcoy (6m Ready Cash) and 21/1 Nancy America (9f Revenue) completed the top five in this Quinte+ contest. The exact order Q+ payoff was 19,742.20€. Ce Bello Romain  Watch the replay click here.  The three year olds were on stage in the Prix d’Hermonville (purse 44,000€, 2875 meters voltstart, nine European starters) and the 3/2 favorite Hede Darling (3m Password-Queen Darling) scored in 1.15.6kr. This one achieved his fourth career victory in eight starts now for 51,330€in the bank. He was given a learning path by owner/driver Jean Pierre Dubois and he is conditioned by Kevin Vanderschelden. Driver JPB won for the ninth time in 26 drives in 2020. This team also won the Prix de la Mayenne at Lyon Parilly today with Heroic Dark (3m Bird Parker-Quniromontica), clocked in 1.18.5kr with P.Y. Verva aboard. This was the third lifetime win for Heroic Dark. Hede Darling Watch the replay click here. Following Hede Darling to the line were 2.9/1 Barolo Roc (4m Filipp Roc) for trainer/driver Matthieu Abrivard and 8.6/1 Hiros de Fleur (3m Ludo de Castelle) for Alexandre Abrivard. This one is trained by Frederic Prat and owned by Flavien Prat. Thomas H. Hicks

June 10, 2020 - Chalimar de Guez (8g Nahar de Beval-Phebe de Guez) took the June 9th harness racing Gr. III Prix Jean Paul Fairand (monte, purse 70,000€, 2000 meters voltstart, apprentice lad jockeys) at La Capelle (Vincennes transferred) timed in 1.12.2kr. Maxime Grumetz handled this Jean Michel Bazire trainee that is owned by Ecurie Vautors. The winner, off at 4.4/1 odds, now has eight career victories for 317,340€ earned. Clara du Pomtseuil (8f Mich Phili) was second with Florent Guerineau in the irons. Third went to Brainstorm (9m Pomerol de Laumac) for jockey Gaelle Godard. Chalimar de Guez The prior day was the Prix de Saussay LeTrot Open des Regions Basse-Normandie (purse 23,000€, 2450 meters voltstart, three year olds) at Caen. Here, the 1.7/1 favorite Hede Darling (3m Password-Queen Darling) scored easily timed in 1.16.0kr for owner Jean Pierre Dubois. Kevin Vanderschelden trains this nice colt that earned his third straight win to increase his life earnings to 31,530€. He raced much of the way parked first over. The 53/1 outsider Help Me Win (3f Otello Pierji-Bronza) was next for owner/trainer Sebastien Houyuet). Third went to 2.7/1 Hove Point Vautier (3m Uniclove-Voix Pont Vautier) with Franck Nivard up for Philippe Billard. Hede Darling Several interesting races are ahead. On June 12 at Mauquenchy is the Prix Coronis (purse 44,000€, 2850 meters, three-year olds). On June 13 action moves to Laval (transferred from Enghien) and that program includes the Prix de New York (purse 67,000€, 2050 meters autostart) and the Prix d’Hermonville (purse 44,000€, 2875 meters). Watch for the Oslo Grand Prix that will occur Sunday June 14. It should be a competitive event albeit it is void of trotting superstars. Elian Web and Vitruvio (the 2019 winner) should be among the leaders. This race has a rich history and has been won by great horses in recent years. It is raced at Bjerke for a purse to the winner of 350,000 Norwegian krone and the ten entrants will race over 2100 meters autostart. Below is the list of Oslo GP winners since 1983. The race record of 1.10.5kr was established by Nuncio in 2016 and during the 36 years in this chart there have been only three double winners, Rex Rodney, Copiad and Gidde Palema.   Thomas H. Hicks  

Groupe level harness racing action took place this week at Mauquenchy (relocated from Vincennes) with two events. The Gr. III Prix Caecilia (purse 60,000€, 2850 meters voltstart, four year olds) saw Gelati Cut (4m Coktail Jet-Variety Cut) score timed in 1.16.2kr for Alexandre Abrivard. R.C. Larue trains this performer that now has five career victories for 170,370€ earned. Girolamo (4m Uriel Speed-Seduction d’Anama) was second with Franck Ouvrie at the lines. Third was Gimy di Pommereux (4m Coktail Jet-Noune du Pommereux) with Matthieu Abrivard the pilot for the Roger/Lolic team. The co-featured Gr. III Prix de Gien (purse 60,000€, 2850 meters voltstart, three year olds, European eligibles) produced a 1.16.6kr score for the game Heavens Pride (3m Brillantissime-Queenly Pride) reined by David Thomain. This Philippe Allaire trainee now has four career wins good for 84,700€ earned. Hokkado Jiel (3m Brillantissime-Victory Jiel) was a fast closing second with P.Y. Verva aboard for trainer J.L. Dersoir. Hohneck (3m Royal Dream-Caranca) was third for Simon Rousselle up for owner/trainer Philippe Allaire.   LeTrot files/photos Thomas H. Hicks    

June 3, 2020 - Calou Renardiere (8g Lets Go Along-Rosee Renardiere), off at 4.7/1 odds, took this sixth leg of the harness racing Gr. III Grand National du Trot Paris Turf (purse 75,000€, 2850 meters distance handicap, 16 starters) raced at Laval. Eric Raffin teamed this J.M. Baudouin trainee that was timed in 1.13.6kr. The 5.6/1 Dollar Soyer (7g Phlegyas-Quinoa Soyer) was second for pilot Anthony Barrier and trainer Gregory Thorel. Defi Pierji (7g Roc Meslois) was third for Leo Abrivard. Divine Mesloise (7f The Best Madrik) and 25 meter handicapped Drole de Jet (7m Coktail Jet) completed the top five. Calou Renardiere   Thomas H. Hicks  

May 30, 2020 - The harness racing Dubois family won three times on Saturday in France. At Argentan the Prix des Glaievls (purse 18,000€, 2150 meters autostart, 12 starters) went to 1.3/1 Hede Darling (3m Password-Queen Darling) timed in 1.14.7kr for owner/driver Jean Pierre Dubois. Joelle Laroche bred this Kevin Vanderschelden trainee. The Prix Ibiscus (purse 18,000€, 2800 meters autostart, 12 starters) at the same venue saw 5/10 favorite Follow Dream (5m Royal Dream-Vita Dream) score in 1.17.5kr for his seventh victory in 14 career starts. Jean Philippe Dubois was the pilot for his Ecurie Victoria Dreams and trainer Philippe Moulin. Follow Dream At Salon de Provence the Prix Rene Laffont (purse 15,000€, 2200 meters autostart, 13 entrants) went to 1.18.1kr timed and 3.3/1 Horchestro (3g Sam Bourbon-Alisma du Corta) in his first career victory, this one with trainer Kevin Vanderschelden aboard. The owner/breeder is Jean Pierre Dubois. Horchestro   Thomas H. Hicks

Action returned this day to Le Croise-Laroche for the fifth harness racing leg of the Gr. III Grand National du Trot Paris-Turf for five to ten year olds (purse 75,000€, 2825 meters distance handicap). The impressive Fleche du Yucca (5f Prodigious-Vincenza) took a give and go strategy to rally for victory timed in 1.14.1kr. Jean Philippe Dubois teamed the Ecurie Victoria Dreams mare that Philippe Moulin trains to her 12th career victory now for 269,170€ earned. She has a 1-1-1 slate in her four 2020 appearances. This unchecked mare raced without front shoes. The 25- meter handicapped Drole de Jet (7m Coktail Jet-Likely Jet) was a game second timed in 1.13.6kr for trainer/driver Pierre Vercruysse. The 25-meter penalized Frisbee d’Am (5m The Best Madrik) was third for Alexandre Abrivard and trainer Richard Westerink. 25 meter handicapped Fric du Chene (5m Nobody du Chene) was fourth for Francois Lagadeuc and fifth was Altius Fortis (10m Ganymede) with Philippe Masschaele aboard. attacking for the lead Watch the Replay here Ready Cash turned age 15 this week and recently Varenne reached 25. Two great champions!!! Ready Cash Varenne There are still five positions left to fill for the 2020 Elitloppet eliminations. Saturday May 23 will be a last chance to shine as the Gr. II International V75 Gold (300,000SEK to the winner, 1609 meters autostart) field will face the mobile at Gavle. We will see who joins Earl Simon, Sorbet, Cokstile, Makethemark, Looking Superb, Missile Hill, Tae Kwon Deo, Attraversiamo, Elian Web, Chief Orlando and Vivid Wise As. Zarenna FAS Scheduling changes have been implemented in FR from now to month end as co-called RED Covid19 areas are again banned from racing. The premier cards from May 22-29 have been moved as follows: May 22 – Vincennes to Mauquenchy May 23 – Enghien to Laval May 24 – La Capelle to Chartres May 25 – Amiens to Mauquenchy May 26 – Vincennes to Mans May 27 – Reims to Lyon Parilly May 29 – Vincennes to Laval Yesterday was groupe level action at Paris-Vincennes on this last day of racing there this month. There were three top races starting with the Prix Camilla (Gr. III, purse 60,000€, 2850 meters, four-year olds with Europeans eligible). Victory went to Girolamo (4m Uriel Speed-Seduction d’Anama) with Franck Ouvrie up timed in 1.12.8kr. This Sylvain Roger trainee that Noel Lolic owns now has a 2-1-1 slate in four 2020 starts and five career wins for 148,170€ earned. Stablemare Gimy du Pommereux (4m Coktail Jet-Noune du Pommereux) was next for Mathieu Mottier for the same connections and Lolic was the breeder. Gelati Cut (4m Coktail Jet-Variety Cut) took third with Alexandre Abrivard up for trainer R.C. Larue. Girolamo The Prix Heraclite (Gr. III, 2850 meters, four-year old European females) was next with All Wise As (4f Varenne-Temple Blue Chip) the 1.14.1kr winner for Gabriele Gelormini, trainer H.E. Bondo and owner Peter Wilhemsen. This was her first win in FR and her career earnings are now 140,103€. Gamme de Busset (4f Brillantissime-Ovelinotte d’Ylea) held on gamely for second with David Thomain up for trainer Philippe Allaire, with third to Greyline (4f Sam Bourbon-Si Seulement) for owner/trainer/driver Julien Dubois. All Wise As The Gr. II Prix Kalmia (purse 85,000€, 2700 meters, three tear olds) went to Helgafell (3m Charly du Noyer-Baaria) was an impressive 1.13.8kr timed winner for Eric Raffin, trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Ecurie Normandy Spirit. Helgafell has a 2-1-0 slate in four starts this year. Hooker Berry (3m Booster Winner-Osaka Berry) was second with trainer Jean Michel Bazire up for owner Michel Aladenise. Hugh de Banville (3m Akim du Cap Vert-Sissi de Banville) took third for owner/trainer/driver Franck Anne. Helgafell Watch the replay here. It was a good day of racing and much more will soon follow.   LeTrot, ATG files/photos Thomas H. Hicks

May 14, 2020 - Era de Lavadour (6f Flash de Cosse-Melba du Chatelet) took the Thursday GP Dynavena Maisagri (purse 30,000€, 2550 meters distance handicap, 18 starters) at Beaumont de Lomagne in this harness racing reopening week in France. The 3.3/1 odds winner was timed in 1.15.2kr as she won for the sixth time in 53 career starts for 183,770€. Mathieu Auvray owns, trains and drove Era de Lavadour. The 25-meter handicapped and 1.6/1 favorite Cap de Narmont (8m Islero de Bellouet) was second for Denis Brossard individually timed in 1.14.7kr. 16/1 Camiros du Goutier (8g Quido du Goutier) was third for Jerome Chavette. 26/1 Christmas du Cebe and 9/1 Boxing Day completed the top five with Boxing Day racing well timed in 1.14.8kr with his 25-meter handicap. Era de Lavador The 18 horse field in late race action Early in the week the veteran horseman Jean Pierre Dubois won twice with another second in his three drives. On May 11 at Le Croise-Laroche JPD was second with Hello Jo Darling (3m Bird Parker-Lets Go Along) in a three year old event and that was followed by a victory for Gospel Truth (4g Sam Bourbon-Rebelle) clocked in 1.15.4kr in the Prix de Wasquchal (purse 12,000€, 2700 meters autostart, an Open des Regions Grand Nord event). JPB breed this winner through his Scuderia Bolgheri Srl and J.A. Hernandez-Navarro is the trainer. Gospel Truth The next JPB winner was May 13 at Mareille Borely in the Prix de Septemes Les Vallons (purse 23,000€, 2300 meters autostart, an Open des Regions Sud-Est three year old contest). He scored with Headline (3f Brillantissime-Mara Bourbon) in 1.15.4kr, her third victory in the last five starts. Kevin Vanderschelden trains this nice filly that was bred by Dubois’ Ecurie Dream With Me. Headline On the Elitloppet front, Earl Simon and Sorbet have been added to invitee list. They join Cokstile, Makethemark, Looking Superb, Missile Hill, Tae Kwon Deo, Attraversiamo, Elian Web, Chief Orlando and Vivid Wise As. Earl Simon won this week at Caen easily defeating a good field that included Bold Eagle. Earl Simon We expect others to follow (five open spots remain) after Sunday’s Copenhagen Cup 2020 at Charlottenlund. Zacon Gio and Vitruvio will be ones to watch. Zacon Gio is conditioned by Holger Ehlert and was the 2019 Yonkers International winner.   Thomas H. Hicks  

May 13, 2020 - The Prix Calvados (monte, purse 35,000€, 2450 meters voltstart, 16 European eligibles) began the excellent monte harness racing action this day at Caen with two groupe level tests on the stage. The 1.13.0kr timed winner of the monte kickoff was 6.9/1 Diamant de Treabat (7g Kuadro Wild-Sud Africa) handled by Clement Frecelle. The 1.9/1 favorite Emir de Rebomard (6g Kepler-Ufania de Guez), with Julien Raffestin up took second, and 9/1 odds Chalimar de Guez (8g Nahar de Beval-Phoebe de Guez) was third with J-Y Ricard aboard for trainer J.M. Bazire. Diamant de Treabat The Gr. I Prix Saint-Leger des Trotteurs (monte, purse 100,000€, 2450 meters voltstart, 14 starters) was quite a contest with the top three at the finish together, all clocked in 1.15.6kr. The winner was 37/1 Hopla des Louanges (3f Gazouillis-Jolie Lily) with Adrien Lamy in the irons for trainer Franck Leblanc. This was her second 2020 victory in six starts (the year and career). 9/1 Happiness Ellis (3f Opus Viervil-Belle de Cahot) was next for Mathieu Mottier, with 91/1 Hera Landia (3f Ludo de Castelle-Tina des Loups) third handled by P. Ph. Ploquin. Hispanen and Hytte du Terrior completed the top five. Six of the 14 starters were fillies. The Prix Henri Balliere (Groupe II monte, purse 85,000€, 2450 meters voltstart, 14 starters) wrapped up the groupe level monte action this day, with victory to 1.14.3kr timed and 6/1 odds Guide Moi Forgan (4m Neutron du Cebe-Trajane) with jockey Christopher Corbineau in the irons. This was her second 2020 victory in four starts and fourth lifetime win in 13 outings. The 12/1 Gainsborough (4m Bird Parker-Redemption Song) was second for Yoann Lebourgeois and trainer Romain Derieux. Third went to 9/1 Gemme de Busset (4f Brillantissime-Overlinotte d’Ylea) with David Thomain at the lines for trainer Philippe Allaire. Grace de Fael and Gatsby Perrine followed the top three. Guide Moi Forgan Thomas H. Hicks  

French horse racing giant Pari-Mutuel Urbain (PMU) has been hit with a 900,000€ ($983,000US) fine from France’s Competition Authority after it was found to have failed to maintain its commitment to splitting online and retail liquidity. While the operator has upheld the commitment first made in 2013 - then mandated by the Authority in February the following year - to keep betting pools for each channel separate for domestic racing, it has maintained shared pools for international racing. This prompted complaints from Betclic Everest Group’s Betclic brand and Zeturf, which argued that PMU was flouting the February 2014 agreement. PMU has commingling agreements in place to offer coverage of South African, Irish, American, Norwegian and Swedish racing. Betclic and Zeturf noted that these are currently offered with identical odds and prize pools on its website and in retail outlets. The combined online and offline pools are then combined with those of its foreign partners to offer a single, large jackpot under the terms of these commingling agreements. “Therefore, within the framework of these partnerships, PMU is able to offer betting on foreign racing on its website and in its retail network on equally attractive terms,” the Competition Authority explained. “[This] corresponds directly with the situation for [French] horse race betting, before it committed to [splitting online and offline liquidity] in 2014.” The Authority, however, said that the order in 2014 to split online and retail liquidity was “unambiguous”, and covered all racing, rather than just domestic events. This 2014 ruling stated that by combining its online and retail pools - following a complaint from Betclic - PMU had an unfair advantage over other operators offering horse racing pools. The decision to split the pools was therefore taken to ensure consumers were offered a diversified range of betting options. France’s igaming regulator, L’Autorité de régulation des jeux en ligne (ARJEL) supported this assessment, while PMU was also warned that pooling liquidity may not be factored into any commingling agreements. Indeed, the Authority added, PMU had drafted the commitment itself, meaning there was no possible way that it could have been permissible to having a separate set of rules for betting on foreign racing. “Even if, at this time, commingled foreign racing pools only constitute a small part of PMU’s horse racing betting revenue, the breach is all the more serious since the commitment to split liquidity was a key component of the arrangement to prevent the operator’s site from benefiting from its retail monopoly,” it explained. The dispute between PMU, the undisputed horse race betting market leader in France, and challengers such as Betclic and Zeturf stretches back to the opening of the country's regulated igaming market in 2010. As well as forcing the operator to split its online and retail pools, this has also seen the French courts order PMU to pay Betclic Everest an unspecified sum in compensation for anti-competitive practices. With files from the France Competition Authority

Calle Crown (6m Great Challenger-Hillary Crown) rallied to win the Grand Prix de Vincennes (Gr. III, purse 80,000€, 2925 meters, International) at Cagnes sur Mer timed in 1.14.2kr. Pierre Vercruysse reined this Tomas Malmqvist trainee that now has two wins and a second in his last three for owner Easy KP. His career earnings are 286,404€. Dream de Lasserie (7g Orlando Vici) was second for Romain Derieux and Ecurie Daidou. Third was the 25-meter handicapped Brooke du Boscar (9f Look de Star) with Yves Hurel aboard.Callie Crown On the undercard were two upper level races. First, the Prix de Syracuse (purse 29,000€, 2925 meters, European) went to 5.6/1 odds Making Love (9g Ken Warkentin-Nouvelle Action) reined by Pierre Vercruysse for owner Measurable Success AB and trainer Daniel Parling. This was the winner’s first win in France and it raised his life earnings to 110,648€. Emiliano (6m Love You-Quarda du Rib) was second with Dominik Loqueneux the pilot for Ecurie des Charmes and trainer Yannick Alain Briand. Third was the Steve Stefano teamed Batum des Bruyeres (9g L’Eau du Vernay) for trainer J.M. Roubaud. Making Love The undercard also included the Prix de Saint-Malo (purse 33,000€, 2925 meters, European) and Pierre Vercruysse was again the winner, teaming Eden Basque (6g Singalo-Janga) to the 1.14.3kr victory. Nicolas Ensch trains this now nine-time winner for Ecurie Castagniccia. Eden raised his life earnings to 177,890€. Delmonica (7f Prince d’Espace) was second for Stephane Cingland and trainer Anthony Muidebled. Third was the Jean Charles Feron trainer and reined Belle au Vent (9g Jag de Bellouet). Eden Basque Vercruysse posted three consecutive wins this day at Cagnes sur Mer, as reported above, and his trainee Moni Viking took the feature at Enghien. The Winter Meet at CSM showcased the Grand Criterium de Vitesse that went to Vivid Wise As from the Gocciadoro stable. The other results from the winter meet are shown below.   TOP 3 HORSES (excl. Grand Critérium de Vitesse Nice-Matin) Elsa de Belfonds - 108 200€ Good Morning - 64 800€ El Villagio - 58 170€   TOP 3 TRAINERS- MEETING 2019-2020 Romuald Mourice - 33 victories Yannick-Alain Briand - 30 wins Vincent Martens - 24 wins   TOP 3 DRIVERS - MEETING 2019-2020 Christophe Martens - 25 victories David Bekaert - 21 wins Yannick-Alain Briand - 12 wins LeTrot files/photos by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink    

The Grand Criterium de Vitesse Nice-Matin (Gr. I, UET Masters Series, purse 170,000€, 11 starters) today at Cagnes sur Mer was raced with video, with wagering and with fans and the 1.8/1 favorite Vivid Wise As (6m Yankee Glide-Temple Blue Chip) scored, timed in 1.09.7kr (1:52.16) for trainer/driver Alessandro Gocciadoro. Scuderia Bivans Srl owns the now four-time winner in France and his life earnings reached 774,636€. The race time was well off the 1.08.9kr race record jointly held by Readly Express and Bold Eagle. The 4.5/1 Earl Simon (6m Prodigious-Tindrama) was second with Franck Ouvrie up for trainer Jarmo Niskanen and Ecurie Skyttem. 12/1 Billie de Montfort (9f Jasmin de Flore) rallied late for third after being trapped on the pegs with Gabriele Gelormini up. The 9/2 Delia du Pommereux (7f Niky) was fourth and 6.4/1 Looking Superb finished fifth ahead of the other two check earners Uza Josselyn and Bahia Quesnot. Former Elitloppet winner Dijon was a miscue dq. Une de Mai won this classic five times; Ourasi plus Timoko are four-time winners. The last USA winner was Moni Maker in 2000 with Jimmy Takter driving. The seven other USA winners include Peace Corps and Express Ride. Vivid Wise As Race Replay: LeTrot, PMU files/photos by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink    

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