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The A generation step out for their first run as 4YOs in the Prix de Tonnac-Villeneuve, a group two over the sprint distance of 2175m at Vincennes on Saturday. Heading the field is Criterium de 3 Ans winner Aladin d'Ecajeul, who has been the undoubted star of the Winter Meeting for this age group. Sebastien Guarato's stallion will be shooting for his third win in a row after capturing the classique and also the Group II Prix Abel Bassigny on the first week of November, his second win in his third try at the level. The son of Quaker Jet has now won seven of his 14 race starts, for earnings of 304,940 and will start the favourite in this event. The Criterium des 3 Ans was a brutal reminder that racing gives reputation scant respect with the three favourites failing to finish a race where the attrition rate was more than 50 per cent. Frank Anne's Akim de Cap Vert was an early casualty of a tight squeeze of the peleton as the entered the downhill straight from the starting area, while Philippe Allaire-owned horses trio Atlas de Joudes and the much vaunted fillies Avila and Axelle Dark also failed to cope with the intensity of the race. Akim de Cap Vert, Avila and Axelle Dark have also come in for heavy early support, with handicappers giving them a chance to redeem themselves, in this the major race for 4YOs in January. Runner up in the Criterium was Ausone du Kastel, the winner of just five career starts, the last being in his first try at group company in August, which was the culmination of a three-win streak. Although second in the Criterium, Emmanuel Allard's son of Gros Grain was third in a lesser field in the Prix de Chateau Chinon on Christmas Day. Third in the Criterium was Alesia d'Atout, another with just one group victory, back in May, and will probably be tested in this, with just four wins in 15 starts. Alberic was fourth home in the Criterium but at massive odds, and with just three wins in 17 starts he will struggle for support, especially with a failure in the Prix de Chateau Chinon on Christmas Day. Artiste de Joudes was fifth home in the Criterium, but Philippe Allaire's fourth entrant is a perennial also ran, although he does have a penchant for slotting into one of the money-bearing places in big races hence his 178,150 euro bankroll, despite only two wins. PRIX DE TONNAC-VILLENEUVE Vincennes 04/01/14 FR Group II 2175m 4YOs € 120 000 1 Ah Quel Micha (4h Rocklyn - Oceane du Phare) Dr: Julien Dubois Tr: Philippe Moulin 2 Alberic (4h Goetmals Wood - Oublies Moi) Dr: Franck Nivard Tr: Fabrice Souloy 3 Artiste de Joudes (4h Prodigious - Memory de Joudes) Dr: Pierre Vercruysse Tr: Philippe Allaire 4 Alesia d'Atout (4m Defi d'Aunou - New York Jet) Dr: Mathieu Mottier Tr: Dominique Mottier 5 Ausone du Kastel (4h Gros Grain - Lancee) Dr: Emmanuel Allard Tr: Emmanuel Allard 6 Atlas de Joudes (4h Ready Cash - Queschua Love) Dr: Dominik Locqueneux Tr: Philippe Allaire 7 Aladin d'Ecajeul (4h Quaker Jet - Nancy d'Ecajeul) Dr: Eric Raffin Tr: Sebastien Guarato 8 Akim du Cap Vert (4h First de Retz - Prima du Cap Vert) Dr: Franck Anne Tr: Franck Anne 9 Avila (4m Ready Cash - Encombevineuse) Dr: Thierry Duvaldestin Tr: Thierry Duvaldestin 10 Axelle Dark (4m Ready Cash - Queen des Charmes) Dr: Jos Verbeeck Tr: Philippe Allaire by David Sanders for Harnesslink.com 

Texas Charm (second choice in wagering, son of Cygnus d'Odyssee) rallied to win today's third "B" leading to January 26th Prix d'Amerique. Julien Dubois expertly handled the winner for Ecurie Victoria Dreams and trainer Philippe Moulin. Triode de Felliere was a solid second for Anthony Barrier driving for J-P Marmion owner/trainer. Favored Ready Cash was third after a two-hole trip behind pacesetter Timoko (Jos. Verbeeck up) who faded to ninth after a very fast pace (race time 1.10kr, mile rate 1:52.63) in which he parked Vanika du Ruel and Franck Anne. Ready Cash had no excuse and was unable to close on the leaders in the late going and held off fourth place finisher Tiego d'Etang. Timoko took the field to the first 600 meters in a mile rated time of 1:45.55 and held the pace to 1:49.25 with 1000 meters to go in the 2100 meter autostart contest (1-5/16 miles). Race summary follows showing the top 10 order of finish. Vincennes - Prix de Bourgogne, 120,000 euro purse, 2100 meters autostart, Gr. II International UET Masters Series, 17 starters, Quinte+ 1.10kr (mile rate 1:52.63, race time 2:27.10) Fractional times: 1.05.6kr at 1500; 1.07.8kr at 1000; 1.09.7kr at 500 meter to go post 1st Texas Charm (6m Cygnus d'Odyssee-Kamela Charm-Coktail Jet), Julien Dubois up for Ecurie Victoria Dreams and trainer Philippe Moulin, odds 2.1/1 2nd  Triode de Felliere (6f Derby du Gite-Linea de Vandel-Cezio Josselyn), Anthony Barrier up for J-P Marmion 3rd Ready Cash (8m Indy de Vive-Kidea-Extreme Dream), Franck Nivard aboard for owner Philippe Allaire, Thierry Duvaldestin trainer 4th Tiego d'Etang (6m Chaillot-Herolene-Vroum d'Or), Ch. J. Bigeon up for trainer Christian Bigeon 5th Roxane Griff (8f Tenor de Baune-Julia Mesloise-Sancho Panca), Eric Raffin driving for trainer Sebastien Guarato 6th Marielles (7f Kick Tail-Egida Play-Waikiki Beach), Matthieu Abrivard up for trainer Fabrice Souloy 7th The Best Madrik (6m Coktail Jet-Lady Madrik-Biesolo), Jean-Etienne Dubois aboard 8th Up And Quick (5f Buvetier d'Aunou- Fichtre-Quiton du Coral), J-M Bazire up for trainer Franck Leblanc 9th Timoko (6m Imoko-Kiss Me Coulonces -And Arifant), Jos Verbeeck driving for Richard Westerink owner/trainer 10th  Univers de Pan (5m Kenya du Pont-Gypsilore-Pan de la Vaudere), Philippe Daugeard driver/trainer by Thomas H. Hicks for Harnesslink.com   

French superstar Ready Cash is going for a shot at history Sunday, attempting to become the first horse to win four Prix de Bourgogne's a row. Philippe Allaire's stallion was seventh in the Prix du Bourbonnais last start but French handicappers have him at a little more than even money to achieve the feat over the 2100m journey from a mobile start. At present Ready Cash is equal to the great Ourasie on three wins in the event, the former star of Jean Rene Gougeon achieved the feat between 1988-90. Ourasie went on to win an unprecedented four Prix d'Amerique. And as an omen to Ready Cash's attempt to emulate him in January, he achieved the feat with three wins in a row, a miss and then a fourth win. Ready Cash also won three Prix de Amerique, and missed last year, so is on track to repeat it. But first he has to negotiate the Prix de Bourgogne, against what is a dream lineup, with 17 of the world's best trotters including last year's Prix d'Amerique winner Royal Dream and the rising stars of sport, the likes of Timoko, Texas Charm, Tiego Etang and Up and Quick - and the dark horse, The Best Madrik. There are no less than six millionaires in the race, three within a win or two of that total, and all but one having earned over 700,000 euros. It says volumes for the quality of the field, that that horse, Triode de Felliere, is the sixth choice of handicappers, despite beating most of this field in the Prix du Bourbonnais last time of asking. And a great mare such as Roxane Griff who was second in the Prix d'Amerique only two seasons ago, and has a Group I Prix de Paris on her stellar CV and a Group II winner two starts ago is a 34/1 chance. But that win was in the monte Prix Reynolds at the start of the Winter Meeting, and the brilliant daughter of Tenor de Baune is perhaps eyeing the Prix du Cornullier, the greatest race under saddle, a week before the Prix d'Amerique. PRIX DE BOURGOGNE Vincennes 29/12/13 FR Group II Int 2 100 4-9 120 000 1 Ready Cash (h Indy de Vive - Kidea) Dr: Franck Nivard Tr: Thierry Duvaldestin 2 The Best Madrik (h Coktail Jet - Lady Madrik) Dr: Jean Etienne Dubois Tr: Jean Etienne Dubois 3 Timoko (h Imoko - Kiss Me Coulonces) Dr: Jos Verbeeck Tr: Richard Westerink 4 Royal Dream (h Love You - Ida Bourbon) Dr: Jean Philippe Dubois Tr: Philippe Moulin 5 Vanika du Ruel (s Jardy - Jacarandine) Dr: Franck Anne Tr: Franck Anne 6 Texas Charm (h Cygnus d'Odyssee - Kamela Charm) Dr: Julien Dubois Tr: Philippe Moulin 7 Tiego d'Etang (h Chaillot - Harolene) Dr: Charles Julien Bigeon Tr: Christian Bigeon 8 Roxane Griff (s Tenor de Baune - Julia Mesloise) Dr: Eric Raffin Tr: Sebastien Guarato 9 Reve de Beylev( h Fortuna Fant - Heloise Poterie) Dr: Dominik Locqueneux Tr: Sebastien Guarato 10 Roxana de Barbray (s Speed Clayettois - Iriane des Enclos) Dr: Anne Francoise Donati Tr: Roberto Donati 11 Triode de Felliere (s Derby du Gite - Linea de Vandel) Dr: Anthony Barrier Tr: Jean Paul Marmion 12 Univers de Pan (h Kenya du Pont - Gypsilore) Dr: Philippe Daugeard Tr: Philippe Daugeard 13 Renommee d'Obret (s Buvetier d'Aunou- Dixie L'Aventure) Dr: Franck Ouvrie Tr: Philippe Emmanuel Trible 14 Marielles (s Kick Tail - Egida Play) Dr: Mathieu Abrivard Tr: Fabrice Souloy 15 Up And Quick( h Buvetier d'Aunou - Fichtre) Dr: Jean Michel Bazire Tr: Franck Leblanc 16 Santa Rosa France (s Kaisy Dream - Helice France) Dr: William Bigeon Tr: Jean Luc Bigeon 17 Kadett C.D. (h Scarlet Knight - Kiss Of Life) Dr: Robert Bergh Tr: Robert Bergh by David Sanders for Harnesslink.com 

Sunday Hippodrome Paris-Vincennes hosts the third “B” leading to the Prix d’Amerique. Many of the top international trotting stars will be in action in this Gr. II UET Masters Series International event over 2100 meters autostart for a purse of 120,000 euro. The lineup sets forth as follows: Ready Cash, Franck Nivard The Best Madrik, Jean-Etienne Dubois Timoko, Jos. Verbeeck Royal Dream, Jean-Philippe Dubois Vanika du Ruel, Franck Anne (four year old mare) Texas Charm, Julien Dubois Tiego d’Etang, C.J. Bigeon Roxane Griff, Eric Raffin Reve de Beylev, Dominik Locqueneux Roxane de Barbray, Mme. A.F. Donati Triode de Felliere, Anthony Barrier (winner Prix du Bourbonnais) Univers de Pan, Philippe Daugearde Renommee d’Obret, Franck Ouvrie Marielles (Italy), Mathieu Abrivard Up And Quick, J-M Bazire Santa Rosa France, W. Bigeon Kadett C.D. (Sweden), Robert Bergh From this group will likely come several contenders for the 93rd edition of the Prix d’Amerique that could join Uhlan du Val (winner Prix de Bretagne), Victoire (winner of Criterium Continental), Sweden’s Maharajah plus Italy’s Mack Grace SM if they join the field of 18. Winners of the Prix de Bourgogne since 1990 Year Winner Driver Réd.Km. 2014       2013 Ready Cash Franck Nivard 1'10'' 8 2012 Ready Cash Franck Nivard 1'10'' 6 2011 Ready Cash Franck Nivard 1'11'' 5 2010 Olga of Biwetz Jean-Michel Bazire 1'12 "6 2009 Meaulnes du Corta Pierre Levesque 1'11'' 4 2008 Meaulnes du Corta Pierre Vercruysse 1'12 "7 2007 Kesaco Phedo Michel Lenoir 1'10 "8 2006 Kazire of Guez Stéphane Delasalle 1'12 "8 2005 Jag BELLOUET Christophe Gallier 1'11 "9 2004 Kesaco Phedo Jean-Michel Bazire 1'11 "9 2003 Insert Gede Yves Dreux 1'12 "2 2002 Insert Gede Yves Dreux 1'12 "6 2001 First of Retz Pierre Levesque 1'13 "9 2000 Giant Cat Nicolas Roussel 1'13 "1 1999 Moni Maker Jean-Michel Bazire 1'12 "5 1998 Aunou challenge Jean-Etienne Dubois 1'13'' 0 1997 Abo Volo Jos Verbeeck 1'15 "3 1996 Happiness Tillard Jean-Claude Hallais 1'16 "3 1995 Vourasie Bernard Oger 1'13 "6 1994 Vourasie Bernard Oger 1'14 "9 1993 Uka Champs Thierry Leveau 1'15 "1 1992 Ursulo Crouay Joel Hallais 1'14 "3 1991 Success Rozoy Roger Baudron 1'14 "8 1990 Dream Udon Yves Dreux 1'16 "3   Thomas H. Hicks  

Brillantissime (2m Ready Cash-Ivre du Victorie-Buvetier d'Aunou) took today's Gr. II Prix Emmanuele Margoty (120,000 euro purse, 2175 meters) for trainer Philippe Allaire and reinsman Joseph Verbeeck. He just lasted over stablemate Bird Parker, also a son of Ready Cash, handled by Pierre Vercruysse and Franck Anne's Bolide de Gueron in a closely contested event. The winner scored in 1.14.7kr for his fourth victory in the early stages of what may be a promising career and the same may be said for the next two on the line. Three European eligible upper class races were on the undercard. The winners were from mares by Royal Prestige, Workaholic and Speedy Somolli, all US exports that made a lasting impact on European trotting pedigrees. Results of the four featured races are shown below. Prix d'Ambrose (Q+, 54,000 euro purse, 2700 meters, European, 18 starters) 1.13.4kr 1. Nefertite del Rio (6f Varenne-Zeudia-Royal Prestige), Alexandre Abrivard up, odds 15.7/1, trainer L-C Abrivard, 15th career win for earnings 232,082 euro; 2. Tiva de la Frette (6f Indy de Vive-Kiva de la Frette), Franck Nivard up was second; 3. Soline de Fontaine (7f Vivaldi de Chenu-Jecarine de Mee), Anthony Barrier driving for third Prix Emmanuel Margoty (120,000 euro purse, 2175 meters, Gr.II) 1.14.7kr 1. Brillantissime (2m Ready Cash-Ivre de Victoire-Buvetier d'Aunou), Jos. Verbeeck up, odds 2.5/1, trainer Philippe Allaire, Owner F. Sauque, 4th career win for 140,150 euro earnings; 2. Bird Parker (2m Ready Cash-Belisha-Fakir du Vivier), Pierre Vercruysse driving, trainer Philippe Allaire, owner Mme. El. Allaire; 3. Bolide de Gueron (2m Cygnus d'Odyssee-Olivia), Franck Anne driver/trainer was a good third Prix Sans Dire Qui (105,000 euro purse, 2700 meters, European monte) 1.13.2kr 1. Nene' Degli Ulivi (6g Uconn Roc-Maureen Lobell-Speedy Somolli), Alexandre Abrivard up, trainer Vincent Lacroix, owner Joe Cachia (Malta), 22nd career win for 336,696 euro earnings; 2. Un Team de Nacre (5m First de Retz-Lagune de Nacre-Dream With Me), Damien Bonne aboard ended second; 3. Ugo de Nieul (5m Cygnus d'Odyssee-Harmonie de Nieul), Romain Derieux driving, also trainer, was third Prix de Compiegne (62,000 euro purse, 2700 meters, European) 1.15.1kr 1. Uppercut Orange (5m Jag de Bellouet-Mim L'Abeille-Workaholic), J.L.C. Dersoir trainer/driver, Ch. Berqeier owner, 4th career win for 163,570 euro earnings; 2. Uzo Josselyn (5m Love You-Lezira Josselyn), Dominik Locqueneux up landed second; 3. Un Diamant d'Amour (5g Diamant Gede-Havane de la Motte), Eric Raffin driving earned third money by Thomas H. Hicks for Harnesslink.com            Renaissance Partners LLC   Thomas H. Hicks, Managing Partner   3508 Sahara Springs Blvd.   Pompano Beach, FL 33069   www.renaissancelc.com   renparlc@gate.net   954-971-3555 Tel FL Office   704-844-0600 Tel NC Office   954-415-6369 Cel   704-845-1176 Fax           Experience > Value, Integrity, Performance       The information above and attached, if any, may contain privileged and confidential information intended only for the use of the person(s) named above. If you are not the intended recipient you are hereby notified that any review, dissemination, distribution and duplication of this communication is strictly prohibited. Please notify the sender by email and destroy all copies of the original message. Thank you.        

The Criterium Continental is the season finale for Europe's top entires and mares, a group one over 2100m and for a purse of 240,000 euros. French horses have dominated this event for the past 12 years, with the winners all coming from the Republic in that period including super young sires Prodigious and Love You, who both have progeny in the race. Criterium des 4 Ans winner Voltigeur de Myrt heads a field which includes no less than nine horses who competed in the French classic including second placed Volcan d'Urzy and third placed Vigove and which also includes six of the first seven home which speaks volumes for the quality of this field. Furthermore Vaux le Vicomte, who was third in the Grand Prix de l'UET is also in the field as is Prix de Selection (Group I) winner Village Mystic who won the Prix Octave Douesnel earlier in the meeting, with Voyage de Reve and Vigove, who are also both entered here, following him home. The there is former Criterium 3 Ans winner Vanika du Ruel, who has not won in more than 12 months, and seems to have gone off the boil after sweeping all before her as a juvenile and 3YO, winning four group ones. The favourite though will be Danielle Mottier's mare Victoire, who is starting to live up to the promise she showed when third in the Criterium des 3 Ans, this time last year. She beat much of this field, including the internationals, in the Prix Marcel Laurent at the beginning of the winter meeting, and then followed it up next start with a win in the Prix Ariste Hemard. The last non-French horse to win this event was the German superstar Abano As, and this year there is another German-bred entry Indigious (German Breeders Crown winner), who is a son of previous winner Prodigious. Coincidentally, he is trained in Sweden by Stig Johansson, who also trained Abano As for a time in his career, although he won the Criterium Continental from the stable of Gerd Holtermann. Sweden is also well represented by Dreams Take Time (Grosser Preis Von Deutschland, Group I), and the well performed System Performance (E3, Group I winner) and Porthos Amok (Swedish Travderby runner-up). Italian Derby winner Pascia' Lest who is now trained in France by Thierry Duvaldestin is another who is hoping to make the switch from 1000m sprint racing to success on the unique test which is Vincennes, and this shorter distance will suit his breeding. A son of Italian former Prix d'Amerique winner Varenne, and very talented, he is one of the early favourites for the race although it remains to be seen whether he can reverse the perception that horses with predominantly US bloodlines struggle to cope with the undulating test which is Vincennes with two downhill and one testing uphill sections. Another international runner with claims is Italian group one winner, Princess Grif, who was a brave third to Save The Quick in the European Mares Championship at Solvalla, which was won in World Record time. She is also now in a French stable, that of Fabrice Souloy. CRITERIUM CONTINENTAL Vincennes 22/12/13 Group I Euro 2100m 4YO €240 000 1 Princess Grif (4m Varenne - Fauve Grif) Dr: Franck Nivard Tr: Fabrice Souloy 2 Village Mystic (4h Love You - Netchka d'Orgeres) Dr: Louis Baudron Tr: Louis Baudron 3 Vanika du Ruel (4m Jardy - Jacarandine) Dr: Franck Anne Tr: Franck Anne 4 Victoire (4m Kitko - Juventa Blue) Dr: Mathieu Mottier Tr: Danielle Mottier 5 Pascia' Lest (4h Varenne - Superiors Sun) Dr: Enrico Bellei Tr: Thierry Duvaldestin 6 Voltigeur de Myrt (4h Opus Viervil - Myrtille des Bois) Dr: Dominik Locqueneux Tr: Roberto Donati 7 Vera Pierji (4m Otello Pierji - Odyssee Pierji) Dr: Thierry Duvaldestin Tr: Thierry Duvaldestin 8 Vaux le Vicomte (4h Nahar de Beval - Nina du Beauvoisin) Dr: Jean Michel Bazire Tr: Jean Michel Bazire 9 Dreams Take Time (4h Andover Andover - B.My Honey) Dr: Johnny Takter Tr: Lars I. Nilsson 10 Porthos Amok( 4h Orlando Vici - Baroness Amok) Dr: Eric Raffin Tr: Stefan Melander 11 Indigious (4h Prodigious - Indication) Dr: Erik Adielsson Tr: Stig H. Johansson 12 Votka Bleue (4m Jasmin de Flore - Joyeuse Bleue) Dr: Anthony Barrier Tr: Emmanuel Ruault 13 Voyage de Reve (4h Password - Kiocalba) Dr: Julien Dubois Tr: Philippe Moulin 14 Volcan d'Urzy (4h Password - Jabotte d'Urzy) Dr: Jean Philippe Dubois Tr: Philippe Moulin 15 Viking de Val (4h Baccarat du Pont - La Forge de Val) Dr: Eric Lambertz Tr: Eric Lambertz 16 System Performance (4m Scarlet Knight - Hermit Lady) Dr: Franck Ouvrie Tr: Stefan Melander 17 Vigove (4h Gazouillis - Govive) Dr: Pierre Vercruysse Tr: Franck Leblanc 18 Viva Island* (4m Goetmals Wood - Island Dream) Dr: Jean Pierre Dubois Tr: Jean Pierre Dubois by David Sanders for Harnesslink.com   

Well the V75 winners were all in the horses mentioned in selections last week even though both our first choices were scratched from race one, the danger Stelton, the only other horse mentioned got up. We got four others first pick, and the other two legs were covered too. So we’ll try and do it again this week, in what is a tougher task, with the poorer fields on offer at Bergsaker – with the top horses all taking a mid-winter break, or heading off to France. Speaking of which, we will also take a look at  the two group twos at Vincennes, where the action is really hotting up as the Winter Season gets into full swing. Bergsaker V75-1 Silver division 2140m: A tough one to pick with several chances including Berlusconi (9), Calvados  Crane (4), Lord Rock (2), BBS Mandarino (1) and Flip A Coin (6). 9-4-1-2-6 V75-2 Klass II 2140m: Mellby Brunello (2) is a home town specialist and from this draw should make the lead and dominate. An anchor for me.  2 V75-3 Klass I 1640m: Another tough one to sort out with Trailing Edge (5), Global Legislation (3), Persos Smokie (7) and Beeboop Lady (4) the ones to have on the ticket for mine. 5-3-7-4 V75-4  3YOs 2140m: Potemkin (9) and Bakers Ransom (3) are two that stand out for me in this race, with the latter, who has won three from five, probably the first choice with the other an alternate. 3 (9) V75-5 Dubbelcupen Final 2140m: This is a coldblood race and you know my rule here, stick to the favourites. The guides say Troll Victor (3) is the one to beat so he’ll do me. But as always with coldbloods, its fingers crossed. 3 V75-6 Bronze Division 1640m: Amiral d’Inverne (11)  with picket fence form looks a shot’s eye but Tresor d’Inverne (3)  has been racing in higher company while Manstone’s Classic (4) is well placed to do well here. 11-3-4 V75-7 Zoogins Lopp 2640m: Four wins in a row has Ultralum (6) on top of the picks but keep Aaron Boko (1) safe as an alternate.  6 (1) Vincennes Race 3: 120,000e Prix Une De Mai (Group 2): Four outstanding fillies should dominate this race in Be My Girl (10) and Brindille de Mai (4),  Billie De Montfort (5) and Bassana De Marlau (5). I think that Be My Girl and Brindille de Mai are the two who will be there at the finish, and I’m picking that Franck Anne will edge out Phillipe Allaire’s mare, so it’s No 4 for me, Brindille de Mai (4). Race 5: 120,000e Prix Jules Lemonnier (Group 2): This is a fantastic monte field with the likes of Prix de Cornullier winner Singalo (12), runners-up Quarry Bay (10) and Save The Quick (13)and up and comer Utoky (3) in the field. But my pick is one of the R-generation’s giants, who has taken up under the saddle racing after a three-year-break recently – with a brilliant win in the Prix Reynolds, Roxanne Griff (14). Win wagers Bergsaker Race 5:  Berlusconi (9), Race 6:  Mellby Brunello (2) Race 7:  Trailing Edge (5), Race 8: Bakers Ransom (3) Race 9: Troll Victor (3) Race 10: Tresor d’Inverne (3)   Race 11: Ultralum (6) Vincennes Race 3: Brindille de Mai (4). Race 5: Roxanne Griff (14).  

It is the turn for the top 2YO fillies to stake their claim for juvenile supremacy in the Prix Une De Mai at Vincennes on Saturday, a group two over 2175m for 120,000 euros. Heading the field is Be My Girl who won both the two major preparatory races in some style. She won the Prix Marcel Dejean and Prix Vourasie untouched after leading all the way in what were commanding performances. A beautifully striding royally-bred daughter of Love You out of a mare by Extreme Dream (the damsire of Ready Cash), this horse could be another superstar out of the powerhouse Philippe Allaire stable. But hold your horses, there are two unbeaten fillies yet to test her, including the equally brilliant Brindille de Mai, one of the most impressive fillies to have raced this season. Brindille de Mai is from the first crop of Repeat Love, and is another tall long-striding filly, who won the Prix Gerda in incredible fashion, powering ahead by to spread eagle the field, leading by a dozen or more lengths as they turned into the straight and then coasting to the line. She is rated very highly by her trainer, Frank Anne, who is a master of 2YO training, having produced another juvenile wonderkind last year in Vanika de Ruel. And then there is another wizard with youngsters Sebastian Guarato, who has a great number of 2YOs in work, and Billie de Montfort is one of his best. A compact bay daughter of Jasmin de Flore, Billie de Montfort is unbeaten in four starts and likes to dominate from the front, and even at this early age has shown an ability to accelerate several times in a race to keep in front and kick in the straight. And then there is Bassana de Marlau, who bears the stamp of her sire Sam Bourbon, who also has three in the corresponding colts race, amazing for a first season sire. She blew the field off the Vincennes track at her last start in a very fast 1.15.6kr of a - the third impressive win in a row after a mistake in her first start. One of Jean Pierre Dubois's incredible breed and will also give Be My Girl a good run for the cash. Others who may figure in the finish include Balade de Blary who is rated behind Brindille de Mai by Frank Anne, but the daughter of Qualmio De Vandel is still a handy filly who will be there and thereabouts in the finish. Fabrice Souloy also has a nice filly in Beauty Turgot, another filly with that typical long reaching French gait. The daughter of Hand Du Vivier was second in the Prix Marcel Dejean after leading early and handing up to Be My Girl, and showed courage to fight back when challenged by Bergame Madrik, a daughter of Prince d'Espace who has picked up big cheques in both major prep races. PRIX UNE DE MAI Vincennes 2013-12-21 FR Group II 2F 2175m €120,000 1 Brindille Mika (2f Nahar de Beval - Noblessemika) Dr: Sylvain Roger Tr: Sylvain Roger 2 Baraka de Bellou (2f Prodigious - Oilifina) Dr: Pierre Vercruysse Tr: Adrien Pereira 3 Baileyse (2f Opus Viervil - Lance de Fourches) Dr: Matthieu Verva Tr: Christian Douillet 4 Brindille de Mai (2f Repeat Love - Katoune) Dr: Franck Anne Tr: Franck Anne 5 Bassana de Marlau (2f Sam Bourbon - Jessie de Vonnas) Dr: Jean Pierre Dubois Tr: Patrick Chevrier 6 Billie de Montfort (2f Jasmin de Flore - Quismy de Montfort) Dr: Eric Raffin Tr: Sebastien Guarato 7 Balade de Blary (2f Qualmio de Vandel - Garine d'Occagnes) Dr: David Thomain Tr: Franck Anne 8 Beauty Turgot (2f Hand du Vivier - Quouragane) Dr: Franck Nivard Tr: Fabrice Souloy 9 Bergame Madrik (2f Prince d'Espace - Houlba de Pouline) Dr: Jean Michel Bazire Tr: Jean Michel Baudouin 10 Be My Girl (2f Love You - Ornella Rainbow) Dr: Jos Verbeeck Tr: Philippe Allaire by David Sanders for Harnesslink.com 

The Prix Emmanuel Margouty (120,000 euros) is the season's climax for the top 2YO trotting colts in France. A Group II event (there are no Group I races for 2YOs in France), it is held over the 2175m sprint distance on the Grand Piste (great track) at Vincennes, and is the start of a stunning weekend of racing at the Temple du Trot. Brillantissime and Bolide de Gueron have shared honours in the two major lead up races to the Prix Emmanuel Magouty, the Prix Ourasi and Prix Louis Cauchois, respectively. Bolide de Gueron is one of two outstanding juveniles in Franck Anne's stable, the other being the undefeated Repeat Love filly Brindille de Mai, who goes around in the female equivalent, the Prix Une de Mai the following day. An outstanding tall muscular dark bay, the son of Cygnus d'Odyssee was a brilliant winner of the Prix Louis Cauchois in late October, winning the opening rush to get control of the race while Brillantissime settled back into fourth in after losing out the initial duel. Philippe Allaire's son of Ready Cash cruised up to get on Bolide de Gueron's wheel as the they came around the final bend, but could not make any impression as the pair sprinted seven lengths clear of the remainder, headed by Best Of Sly, a colt by Sam Bourbon out of Sebastien Guarato's stable. A month later, in the Prix Ourasi, Jos Verbeeck on Brillantissime took the early lead and then took the trail behind Brutus de Bailly, with Bolide de Gueron parked one over. Brutus de Bailly galloped as they approached the top of the straight, handing Brillantissime the lead, and he and Bolide de Gueron slugged it out down the straight, with Brillantissime responding to the challenge. So, on the surface, it appears that this pair have an advantage over the rest of the field, and Franck Anne, who is the acknowledged master of 2YO identification in France certainly holds his colt Bolide de Gueron in the highest of esteem. Brillantissime is the latest star from the powerful Allaire stable, and another from boom sire Ready Cash who has already made a huge impression with just two crops on the ground. Allaire also has another Ready Cash son in the race in Bird Parker who absolutely flew home to win the Prix des Jacinthes at Vincennes on December 8 and is an improver who may figure in the finish. Guarato's Best Of Sly was third in both those prep races, and he was not more than a length and half in arrears of them in the latter race, and was held up for a run. If he gets handy he could certainly make things interesting. Interestingly, he is one of three colts from the first crop of Sam Bourbon in the race, a remarkable feat for a first season sire, even given the backing of the Dubois family's breeding empire. The other Sam Bourbon colts are both owned by Jean Pierre Dubois, Bioness and Black Gold and you never count out horses from the master breeder, trainer, driver. PRIX EMMANUEL MARGOUTY Vincennes 20/12/13 FR Group II 2175m 2YOM €120,000 1 Banjo d'Or h (2c Norginio- Kita du Cernon) Dr: Baptiste Masseguin Tr: Francisco Criado 2 Bye Bye Somolli (2c Millenium Wood- Karesse de Vrie) Dr: Loic Le Guerch Tr Loic Le Guerch 3 Bioness (2c Sam Bourbon-Quiradelle d'Hilly) Dr: Louis Baudron Tr Patrick Chevrier 4 Bingo Star h (2c Look de Star -Rosiris) Dr: Mathieu Abrivard Tr: Lucien Swita 5 Black Gold (2c Sam Bourbon-Seldovia) Dr: Jean Pierre Dubois Tr: Patrick Chevrier 6 Bocage d'Ortige (2c Mirage Du Goutier-Providence Dortige) Dr: Eric Raffin Tr: Sebastien Guarato 7 Brutus de Bailly (2c Niky - Ninon de Bailly) Dr: Jean Michel Bazire Tr: Bruno Bourgoin 8 Bird Parker (2c Ready Cash-Belisha) Dr: Pierre Vercruysse Tr: Philippe Allaire 9 Best Of Sly (2c Sam Bourbon-Quinella Aimef) Dr: Pierre Yves Verva Tr: Sebastien Guarato 10 Brillantissime (2cReady Cash-Ivre De Victoire) Dr: Jos Verbeeck Tr: Philippe Allaire 11 Bolide de Gueron (2c Cygnus d'Odyssee -Olivia) Dr: Franck Anne Tr: Franck Anne by David Sanders for Harnesslink.com 

Today's exceptional card at Paris-Vincennes drew a fine crowd of trotting enthusiasts and children for the Journal of Mickey entertainment. The trotting featured Criterium 3 Ans (Gr. I, 2700 meters, 240,000 euro purse) was won by 18/1 upsetter Aladin d'Ecajeul (3m Quaker Jet-Nancy d'Ecajuel-Halimede) driven by Eric Raffin for owner Philippe Dewulf and his trainer Sebastien Guarato. Raffin had the winner close to the leaders throughout and sprang loose in the lane for a 1-1/2 length victory over Ausone du Kastel (3m Gros Grain-Lancee-Courlis du Pont), a 13/1 shot handled by J-M Bazire. Alesia d'Atout (3f Defi d'Aunou-New York Jet-Halimede-Elite d'Atout-Sugarcane Hanover) at 81/1 was placed third after a disqualification of Aldo des Champs. The winner scored in 1.14kr. Sire of dam of two of the top three finishers, Halimede, is a son of Buvetier d'Aunou from Udames by Quioco. Seven of the 15 starters, including the favorites, were disqualified for breaks (Axelle Dark, Alizea du Kastel, Avenir de Blay, Atlas des Joudes, Akim du Cap Vert, Avila and Aldo des Champs). The co-featured Prix Octave Douesnel (Gr. II, males age four, 2700 meters, 120,000 euro purse) went to 5/1 odds Village Mystic (4m Love You-Netchka d'Orgeres-Full Account) and driver, trainer, owner, breeder Louis Baudron. He led much of the way to score in 1.14.3kr, his 10th career win for earnings of 521,000 euro. The 23/1 Voyage de Reve (4m Password-Kiocalba-Coktail Jet) was second for driver Julien Dubois, trainer Philippe Moulin and owner Ecurie Victoria Dreams. Vigove (4m Gazouillis-Govive-Hetra Vert)) was a challenging third at 10/1 for teamster Pierre Vercruysse and trainer Franck Leblanc. Today's opener at the Temple of Trot, on a bright, sunny afternoon, was the Prix de Parthenay (monte, three year-old females, 2700 meters, 46,000 euro purse) and Ms. Nathalie Henry won it with A Nous Deux (3f Goetmals Wood-Nina Madrik-In Love With You). Ms. Henry rode the winner perfectly and steadily, rallying to win in 1.16.2kr for trainer Ronny Kuiper, owner Jean-Pierre Dubois and breeder Ecurie D. Altesse du Surf (3f Chaillot-Lady du Surf-Boy du Pre) was placed second for jockey Martial Viel and Altair des Brouets (3f Quiz des Brouets-Luanda des Brouets-Quadrophenio) landed third for Jonathan Vanmeerbeck. The Prix Jacinthe (2700 meters, two year-olds, 38,000 euro purse), contested during a gorgeous sunset, proved a bit of redemption for Ready Cash as sire, after his favored foals went offstride in today's feature. In this one, Bird Parker (2m Ready Cash-Belisha-Fakir du Vivier) scored at 12/1 for patient reinsman Pierre Vercruysse as the pair circled nearly all of the field to win in 1.16.3kr. Philippe Allaire trains the winner for owner Mme. Elisabeth Allaire. Brutus de Bailly (2m Niky-Nino de Bailly-Carnac) was second for reinsman J-M Bazire with Borjal (2m Memphis du Rib-Jaldemosa-Vrai Lutin) landing third for trainer/driver Franck Anne. The winner's name Bird Parker relives my memory of legendary jazz musician Charlie "Bird' Parker who performed and recorded in Paris during his short but accomplished life as developer of "Bebop" and an icon of the hipster sub-culture. Parker was described as an uncompromising artist and intellectual, not just an entertainer, as illustrated by his recording "Bird in Paris - The Complete French Tour Recordings". Perhaps the name will live on with the trotting namesake Bird Parker. by Thomas H. Hicks for Harnesslink.com   

It is rare for a harness racing filly to win the Criterium des 3 Ans - there have only been five winners in the last 40 years, although it was won by the brilliant Vanika de Ruel last year and three of those winners have been in the past ten years. But this A-generation is so dominated by fillies that there is the possibility that the first three home in Sunday's Criterium des 3 Ans could be one of the fillies who have dominated every one of this crop's "Classique" races. In fact you have to look as far back as 1975 to find fillies finishing one-two-three in this race when Gamellia beat home Garinella and Girl Blanche. But for the first time this year, all six group one races - the Criterium de Jeunes (Avila), Prix Albert Viel (Axelle Dark), Prix d'Etoile (Avila), and the monte races the Prix des Elites (Anastasia Fella), Prix d'Essai (Arca Des Jacquets) and the Saint-Leger des Trotteurs (Almira Marancourt) - have been won by a filly. The seventh could very welll fall to either Fabrice Souloy's Anastasia Fella, or Philippe Allaire's brilliant duo Axelle Dark or Avilla who is trained by Thierry Duvaldestin and who provided the first three home in both the Prix Reine Du Corta and Prix Annick Dreux, the two 3YO fillies races earlier in this Winter Series. Franck Anne's Akim du Cap Vert and Vincent Collard's Africain have finished second and third respectively to Aladin d'Ecajeul (Prix Abel Bassigny) and Aldo Des Champs (Prix Jacques De Vauloge) in both 3YO male races of this Winter Series, which were run in quicker times than their female equivalents, suggesting that the colts might be catching up. But so far no colt has managed to top this trio when it counted in the bike - Matthieu Abrivard's Aldo Des Champs was second in the Prix Albert Viel, while Allaire 's two colts Atlas de Joudes was third in the Prix de l'Etoile and Artiste de Joudes managed a third in the Criterium des Jeunes although has done little since and will be at long odds. Interestingly, three of Allaire's entrants are by Ready Cash, who is making his first start of the Winter Series the day prior in the Prix de Bourbonnais. The only other stallions with more than one entrant, is another whose first crop are 3YOs, Quaker Jet and Goetmals Wood. As it stands the fillies have all the black type, withAvila having two group one wins to her credit, with victories in the Criterium des Jeunes and Prix de l'Etoile while her stablemate Axelle Dark won the Prix Albert Viel. Anastasia Fella was second in the Prix de l'Etoile and won the Prix des Elites under saddle and has also seemingly gone up a gear since that win, having been unbeaten since and will be favourite for this race. Axelle Dark and Avila will also be at single figure odds, while Akim de Cap Vert and Aldo de Champs will be the colts carrying most of the wagering money and the most likely to strike a blow for male pride. CRITERIUM DES 3 ANS Vincennes 08/12/13 FR Group 1 3YOs 2700m €240 000 1 Avenir de Blay (3c Hooper - Mirabelle de Blay Tony Le Beller Tony Le Beller 2 All Feeling (3c Otello Pierji - Quelle Cerencaise Christophe Martens Mickael Lemercier 3 Ausone du Kastel (3c Gros Grain - Lancee) Dr: Jean Michel Bazire Tr: Emmanuel Allard 4 Alberic (3c Goetmals Wood - Oublies Moi) Dr: David Thomain Tr: Fabrice Souloy 5 Africain (3c Oardo - Kamine) Dr: Yann Gerard Tr: Vincent Collard 6 Alesia d'Atout (3f Defi d'Aunou - New York Jet) Dr: Mathieu Mottier Tr: Dominique Mottier 7 Artiste de Joudes (3c Prodigious - Memory de Joudes) Dr: Pierre Vercruysse Tr: Philippe Allaire 8 Alizea du Kastel (3f Quaker Jet - Kalida Jet) Dr: Emmanuel Allard Tr: Emmanuel Allard 9 Aladin d'Ecajeul (3c Quaker Jet - Nancy d'Ecajeul) Dr: Eric Raffin Tr: Sebastien Guarato 10 Aldo des Champs (3c Prince d'Espace - Noumea des Champs) Dr: Matthieu Abrivard Tr:Matthieu Abrivard 11 Atlas de Joudes (3c Ready Cash - Queschua Love) Dr: Dominik Locqueneux Tr: Philippe Allaire 12 Anastasia Fella (3f Goetmals Wood - Jeanne's Fella) Dr: Franck Nivard Tr: Fabrice Souloy 13 Akim du Cap Vert (3c First de Retz - Prima du Cap Vert) Dr: Franck Anne Tr: Franck Anne 14 Avila (3f Ready Cash - Encombevineuse) Dr: Thierry Duvaldestin Tr: Thierry Duvaldestin 15 Axelle Dark (3f Ready Cash - Queen des Charmes) Dr: Jos Verbeeck Tr: Philippe Allaire Dave Sanders

Vanika du Ruel is the richest 4YO in French trotting but Franck Anne's star has had a less than stellar 2013 and gets a chance to get back to winning ways in the Prix Ariste Hemard, a 2700m group two for 4YO mares at Vincennes on Saturday. As a 3YO she was without peer, winning the two Criteriums (des Jeunes, 3 Ans) and also picking up the Prix Albert Viel and Prix De l'Etoile as other group one trophies to go with a swag of 3YO group two victories as she won 11 out of her first 17 races. She started off the year with a start in the Prix d'Amerique, a rare foray for a 4YO mare, but things have not gone right since. In fact she has not won in over 12 months, and this year she has found horses to beat her in all the major races culminating in a very disappointing Criterium des 4 Ans where she finished down the track. She reappeared for the first time in six months in the Prix de Bretagne a fortnight ago, and that was always a big ask against the mature horses, and she finished ninth. But back among her age group and gender, and she should be able to get back to winning ways. Danielle Mottier's Victoire won the group two Prix Louis Tillaye earlier in the meeting and is a horse in good form. The Kitko mare was third in the Criterium des 3 Ans last year, and has amassed an impressive record of nine wins in 24 starts and has only been five times out of the money . Thierry Duvaldestin has another strong competitor in Vive Daidou who won the Prix Guy le Gonidec in August, against a similar field to this. He has galloped inhis last two outings but if he trots all the way he will be a factor in this. The trainer of Ready Cash also has former group one runner up Vera Pierji (Prix de l'Etoile) in this field and although she has not won since her sole group two victory in the Prix Guy Deloison in August last year, she had a fourth last start, and she is not running against the colts this time. Emmanuel Ruault's Votka Bleue has been rising the ranks impressively lately and may be a factor, while Jean Pierre Dubois fronts up with one of his immaculately bred mares in Viva Island (Goetmals Wood-Island Dream), who has been winning as she likes in provincial company and may be ready to step up. 07/12/13 FR PRIX ARISTE HEMARD (G2) Vincennes 2 700 4F 120 000 Vincennes 2013-12-07 Prix Ariste Hemard € 120 000 N:r Plac. Häst Härstamning Kusk Tränare Tid Dist. Pris 1 Vanina des Baux (Orlando des Baux - Lune de Talonay) Dr: Marion Hue Tr: Marion Hue 2700 2 Version Star's (Prince d'Espace - Planete Rapide) Dr: Bernard Piton Tr: Emmanuel Varin 2700 3 Vive Majyc (Baccarat du Pont - Mammy Blue) Dr: Louis Baudron Tr: Louis Baudron 2700 4 Votka Bleue (Jasmin de Flore - Joyeuse Bleue) Dr: Franck Nivard Tr: Emmanuel Ruault 2700 5 Viva Island (Goetmals Wood - Island Dream) Dr: Jean Pierre Dubois Tr: Jean Pierre Dubois 2700 6 Vive Daidou (Ouragan de Celland - Orange Douce) Dr: Thierry Duvaldestin Tr: Thierry Duvaldestin 2700 7 Vera Pierji (Otello Pierji - Odyssee Pierji) Dr: Mathieu Abrivard Tr: Thierry Duvaldestin 2700 8 Victoire (Kitko - Juventa Blue) Dr: Jean Philippe Mary Tr: Danielle Mottier 2700 9 Vanika du Ruel ( Jardy - Jacarandine) Dr: Franck Anne Tr: Franck Anne 2700 Dave Sanders

Hippodrome Paris-Vincennes today hosted three graded events on a well-rounded top-class card. The Prix Joseph LeFosse (Gr. II monte, 120,000 euro purse, 2700 meters) went to the 2/1 second-favorite Ulysse (5m Love You-Loctudy-Extreme Dream) with Thomas Levesque aboard. He covered the classic distance in 1.13.9kr to win for owner Ecurie des Pommiers and trainer Mike Lenders, scoring his ninth career victory for earnings of 444,530 euro. Un Team de Nacre (5m First de Retz-Laqune de Nacre-Dream With Me) was second with Damien Bonne up with 3/2 favorite Utoky (5m Cygnus d'Odyssee-Epopee-Kimberland) third for Franck Nivard. Denmark invader New Line(8g King Conch-Pa'En Igan Frokjaer-PayDirt) took the Prix des Landes (Gr. III European, 110,000 euro purse, 2850 meters) for Pierre Levesque, catch driving the Anders Svanstedt trainee. New Line, the 1.3/1 favorite, won for the 18th time to increase his bankroll to 361,356 euro. He scored easily in 1.14.4kr to defeat Turbo Jet (6m Joyau d'Amour-Elite d'Atout-Sugarcane Hanover) handled by Jean-Etienne Dubois with Quebir de Leau (9g Elcir de Leau-Defensive Gede-Sancho Panca) home third for Franck Nivard. The chestnut trotter led most of the way before drawing clear down the lane. The Prix Urgent (Gr. III Monte, 90,000 euro purse, 2700 meters) went to 1.4/1 favorite Atlessima (3f Rocklyn-Noblessima-Goetmals Wood) with Eric Raffin in the irons for Ecurie Victoria Dreams. Phillipe Moulin trains the winner who scored in 1.15.9kr. Atlessima now sports four lifetime wins for earnings of 135,540 euro. Air de Marine (3g Caroy-Hydre de Marne-Verdict Gede) took second for Alexandre Abrivard, off at 5/2 odds. with Al Capone Jet (3m Jag de Bellouet-Passion de Morgagne-Coktail Jet) third for Matthieu Abrivard. Several other races caught our attention. The Prix de Saint-Aubin-Les Elbeuf (males, 85,000 euro purse, 2700 meters, 13 starters) went to the Matthieu Abrivard driven, 23/1 outsider, Ut Viniere (5m Jasmin de Flore-Oasis Viniere-Quarsenis). He was timed in 1.14kr in what was his sixth win for 224,180 euro career earnings. Up The Green (5m Espeyrac Sun-Neimenine-Cezio Josselyn) ended second for J-M Bazire. The Prix de la Comarque (european, 60,000 euro purse, 2700 meters) produced a victory for Teatro (6m Ganymede-Josette-Arnaquer) handled by Christian Bigeon. Off at 2.6/1 Taetro won for the eighth time good now for 201,410 euro as he scored in 1.13.2kr. Favored Ed You broke stride and was disqualified. Tiva de la Frette (6f Indy de Vive-Kiva de la France-Turquetil) was second for Franck Nivard driving for trainer Franck Leblanc. Trinity Jiel (6f Goetmals Wood-Flaya de Jiel-Ourasi) was third for Joseph Verbeeck at 79/1. The Prix de Beauvoir (females, 44,000 euro purse, 2850 meters) wen t to 19/1 outsider Vicky Love (4f Love You-Oeuvre Choisie-Quadrophenio) with Jean-Etienne Dubois aboard. Jean Baudron owns and trains the winner that defeated 13 rivals in 1.15.4kr for her first win. Venus de Fromental (4f Joker de Rozoy-Quinne du Vivier-Cedre du Vivier) was second at 13/1 for Franck Anne with 82/1 longshot Verona du Chep (4f Ganymede-Kira Pride-Bolide d'Odyssee) third for reinsman Sylvain Roger. The Prix de Mirecourt (female three year-olds, 35,000 euro purse, 2200 meters) was taken by Anais d'Olaine (3f Gogo-Melodie d'Olaine-Vivaldi de Chenu) with Alexandre Dessartre up. The 11/1 outside scored in 1.15.8kr over 43/1 Alma Dream (Lets Go Along-Orneria-Cygnus d'Odyssee) with Julien Dubois aboard for trainer Phillipe Moulin and owner Ecurie Victoria Dreams. Anoella des Landes (3f Paisy Dream-Janoela des Landes) was third for teamster Sebastien Hardy. She was off at 22/1 to complete the list of high-odds placings. by Thomas H. Hicks for Harnesslink.com  

The top 3YO colts will be lining up for the Prix Jacques de Vauloge, the final preparation for the Criterium des 3 Ans on the second Sunday in December. The winner of the first prep race, the Prix Abel Bassigny, Sebastien Guarato’s Aladin d’Ecajuel is the only one of that field from a fortnight ago to not front up again in an effort to earn a place in the biggest race for French 3YOs. The runner up in that race was Akim de Cap Vert, who was only very narrowly beaten by Aladin d’Ecajuel after a titanic struggle in the straight after he had tried to lead all the way. It was still a very good effort and Akim de Cap Vert is still  the highest earning 3YO male in France, and a consistent performer since winning the first group race available to colts,  the Prix Emmanuel Margouty, the premier race for 2YOS of his gender. He has suffered in the shadows of an extraordinary group of 3YO fillies but was second in the group one Criterium des Jeunes and was third in the group one Prix Albert Viel. Franck Anne’s First de Retz colt  started second favourite last time, to Aldo des Champs a son of Aldo des Champs who is trained and driven by Matthieu Abrivard, who finished a distant fourth.  He was however runner up in the Prix Albert Viel (Gr1).  Vincent Collard’s Africain was an encouraging  third in the Prix Abel Bassigny in his first start in group company, and though he was never going to catch the leading pair, he has shown consistent improvement of late and the son of Oardo could be a real contender if this continues. Philippe Alaire’s Atlas de Joudes picked up the  fifth and final placing in the Prix Abel Bassigny after never really getting into the race. He rather surprisingly went out at odds of 23/1 despite being a proven performer on the big stage with a group two win in the Prix Paul Viel, a third placing in the group one Prix de l’Etoile and two other group two second placings. The royally bred colt by Ready Cash out of a Love You mare is bred on a cross we are going to see a lot more of, and should be prominent in the upcoming feature events, even if he may be overshadowed by his imposing paternal sisters, Avila and Axelle Dark, who share the same ownership. Another in the same ownership is  Artiste de Joudes  a son of rising French sire Prodigious, who also went out at juicy odds, perhaps due to his having not continued his early promise. Perhaps he, like many of Prodigious’ get may be better suited under saddle. Another son of Ready Cash, Alto de Viette, a winner of four races, is one of  two newcomers in the field along with Al Capone Jet, a son of Jag de Bellouet,  who has won twice under saddle, and will be keen to show the versatility of his sire.   PRIX JACQUES DE VAULOGE Vincenne 18/11/13 (Gr2) 2700m 3C €120 000 1 Alto de Viette (3c Ready Cash - Mini Ceinture) Dr: Bernard Piton Tr: Peter Derycke  2 Al Capone Jet (3c Jag de Bellouet - Passion de Morgane) Dr: Julien Dubois Tr: Nicolas Raimbeaux  3 Adonis du Goutier (3c Coktail Jet - Quintaescencia) Dr: Dominik Locqueneux Tr: Sebastien Guarato  4 All Feeling (3c Otello Pierji - Quelle Cerencaise) Dr: Christophe Martens Tr: Mickael Lemercier  5 Ausone du Kastel (3c Gros Grain - Lancee) Dr: Jean Michel Bazire Tr: Emmanuel Allard  6 Alberic (3c Goetmals Wood - Oublies Moi) Dr: Eric Raffin Tr: Fabrice Souloy  7 Africain (3c Oardo - Kamine) Dr: Franck Nivard Tr: Vincent Collard  8 Artiste de Joudes (3c Prodigious - Memory de Joudes) Dr: Pierre Vercruysse Tr: Philippe Allaire  9 Aldo des Champs (3c Prince d'Espace - Noumea des Champs) Dr: Matthieu Abrivard Tr: Matthieu Abrivard  10 Atlas de Joudes (3c Ready Cash - Queschua Love) Dr: Jos Verbeeck Tr: Philippe Allaire  11 Akim du Cap Vert (3c First de Retz - Prima du Cap Vert) Dr: Franck Anne Tr: Franck Anne  by David Sanders for Harnesslink.com

The road to the 2014 Grand Prix d’Amerique officially kicks off at Vincennes on Saturday with the running of the first of the  four ‘B races’ the  Prix de Bretagne, which gives the winner a ticket to the great race on the last Sunday in January. The winners prize of €54,000is secondary. Two Swedish horses are among the 13 nominated for the 2700m volt start event, both with varying amounts of French breeding in their pedigree, while there is one Italian bred of pure American stock – the grand old campaigner Main Wise As, who was third in last year’s Prix d’Amerique. Last year’s Prix d’Amerique winner Royal Dream was a nomination for this race but has withdrawn as has highly rated Texas Charm, while Ready Cash has chosen to bypass the race as he did last year, when he ran second to Royal Dream. Ready Cash won the Prix de Breatgne in 2011 on his way to winning the Prix d’Amerique for the second time the following January. But last year’s winner Roxane Griff, the best mare of the stunning R generation is once again back – she was also the runner-up in 2011 – fresh from a win under saddle in the opening semi-classique (Group II) race of the Vincennes Winter Series, the Prix Reynolds. Two well-credentialled  Swedes are in the line up with Anders Lindqvist-trained Pato, a former Swedish Trav-Derby and Trav-Kriterium  winner  who has fouled out of both his starts in France, including last time out at Vincennes recently. But he is a very talented son of Orlando Vici and was bred by the Finnish master breeder Petri Puro, who of course bred Commander Crowe on a similar Franco American cross – a French sire with a dam of pure American bloodlines. Robert Bergh’s Kadett C.D. was second in the Criterium Continental on this track last year, a rare international intrusion into the placegetters of France’s Criteriums. He has won the European Derby (Grand Prix De l'Uet (Gr1)) and the Swedish Breeders Crown and is fashionably Franco-American  bred, being by former Hambletonian winner Scarlet Knight out of a half-French mare. Franck Leblanc’s exceptionally talented young stallion Up And Quick makes first start since his brilliant win in the Criterium des 5Ans in mid-August. He has a strong record of being in the money in big races in both Sweden and France. The field also includes the multi-talented Tiego d'Etang sixth in last year’s Prix d’Amerique and second in the Prix de Paris, but is also a group two monte winner, and the afore-mentioned super Italian-bred Main Wise As, a multiple group one winner in France and Italy, and a place getter in the Prix d’Amerique and Prix de France. The only horse in the race of pure American bloodlines, he has been an outstanding ambassador for the breed. There is also the reappearance of the four-time Group one winning mare Vanika du Ruel who was an  entrant in this year’s Prix d’Amerique at the youngest possible age. Of the older brigade Quoumba de Guez was second in this race last year and is a grand old campaigner while the only representative of the S generation is Singalo, a monte specialist who won this year’s Prix De Cornulier and  has also won the group one Prix de l’Ile-de-France. All his 15 victories have been under saddle. He may be aiming at one last tilt at the big race to add to his already solid stud credentials. The Prix d’Amerque is not a race the S generation has excelled in with only two horses ever competing in it, with Severino’s sixth its best effort. By contrast the R generation has eight representatives in the big race for three winners, two runners-up and another in the top five – which is why the French consider it one of the two greatest generations. The road to the greatest race in trotting starts on Saturday. PRIX DE BRETAGNE Vincennes 16/11/13 FR (G2)  Int 2700m volt 4-9 120,000 1  Pato (SWE) (5h Orlando Vici- She's My Pie)   Dr : Johanna Lindqvist  Tr: Anders  Lindqvist 2 Uhlan du Val (5h Islero de Bellouet- Indiana Beautiful) Dr : Cédric Megissier  Tr: Cedric Megissier 3 Treskool du Caux (6h Kool du Caux-Intervista) Dr : Tony le Beller Tr: Fabrice Souloy 4 Kadett CD (6h Scarlet Knight - Kiss Of Life)  Dr: Robert Bergh Tr : Robert Bergh 5 Up And Quick (5h Buvetier d'Aunou- Fichtre) Dr : Franck Nivard Tr: Franck Leblanc   6 Tiego d'Etang* (6h Chaillot- Harolene) Dr : Christian Bigeon Tr: Christian Bigeon 7 Vanika du Ruel* (4m Jardy-Jacarandine) Dr: Franck Anne Tr : Franck Anne 8 Quinoa du Gers (Ganymede-Targa du Chalange) Dr : Matthieu Abrivard  Tr: Fabrice Souloy 9 Rêve de Beylev (8h Fortuna Fant- Heloise Poterie) Dr : Dominik Locqueneux Tr: Sebastien Guarato 10 Singalo (7h Goetmals Wood- Ingala) Dr : David Thomain  Tr: Louise Baudron 11 Quoumba de Guez* (9m Urfist des Pres- Vanina de Mareuil Dr : Jean-Michel Bazire ) Tr: Jean Michel Bazire 12 Main Wise As* (7h Yankee Glide-Desert Flower K)  Dr : Pierre Levesque  Tr: Mike Lenders 13 Roxane Griff* (8m Tenor de Baune-Julia Mesloise)  Dr : Eric Raffin Tr: Sebastien Guarato "B-races" at Vincennes: Prix ​​de Bretagne - 16 November Prix du Bourbonnais - December 7 Prix du Bourgogne - December 29th Prix de Belgique - January 12 Dave Sanders

The Group two Prix Abel Bassigny at Vincennes today is the first of two preparations for colts on the path to the Criterium des 3 Ans on December 8. The race is something of a commentator’s nightmare with Artiste du Jour, Artiste de Joudes and Atlas de Joudes all in the race, and all having some chance to add another Group two to their CVs in what looks a far more open race than the fillies race earlier in the day. Of the favoured runners, Akim du Cap Vert has been a very consistent performer, although he has had to play second fiddle to the fillies in all the Group one races he has contested this season, with a second place in the Criterium des Jeunes,  a very close third in the Prix Albert Viel and a fourth in the Prix de l’Etoile. He is currently the leading colt on the money-earnings table, in third place overall behind Ready Cash fillies Axelle Dark and Avila. But Franck Anne’s colt by First de Retz has two group twos among five wins, and he has been in the top three in all but five of his 18 starts, with a fourth in a group one the only other time he has completed a race – the other four races were breaks. Mathieu Abrivard’s Aldo des Champs is a late bloomer, but has recently made some very impressive strides, being nosed out for second in the Group one Prix Albert Viel splitting two wins, including the Prix Kalmia at Vincennes in July where he beat five of the horses he meets here – including Akim du Cap Vert. He may even start favourite. Then we have the three tongue twisters, headed by Ready Cash colt Atlas de Joudes who was third in the Prix de l’Etoile at his last start. This was the first good run he had put in since February, after a promising start to his career. If Philippe Allaire has him in that sort of form again he could figure. Allaire’s second horse is Atlas de Joudes, who is by rising star sire Prodigious, a son of Goetmals Wood. He has been placed second and twice third in his last four starts, though he failed in his last start in August. He will need to improve on that to be in this. Artiste du Jour  was second in the Prix Kalmia against most of these horses in May, and he was fourth in the group one Criterium des Jeunes. Frederic Prat’s Chef du Chalet colt  ran second in a minor warm-up race in Chartes a fortnight ago in preparation for this. Franck Nivard will be on Vincent Collard’s Africain (Oardo) whose last start was a win at Vincennes, one of three in 14 outings, and he may be the dark horse. PRIX ABEL BASSIGNY Vincennes  04/11/13 FR (G2) 2175m 3H €120,000 1  Ausone du Kastel  (h Gros Grain - Lancee) Dr: Emmanuel Allard Tr: Emmanuel Allard  2  Africain (h Oardo - Kamine) Dr: Franck Nivard Tr: Vincent Collard  3  Alberic  (h Goetmals Wood - Oublies Moi) Dr: Pierre Levesque Tr: Fabrice Souloy  4  Aladin d'Ecajeul (h Quaker Jet - Nancy d'Ecajeul) Dr: Eric Raffin Tr:  Sebastien Guarato  5  Artiste de Joudes  (h Prodigious - Memory de Joudes) Dr: Pierre Vercruysse  Tr:  Philippe Allaire  6  Aldo des Champs  (h Prince d'Espace - Noumea des Champs) Dr: Mathieu Abrivard Tr: Mathieu Abrivard  7  Artiste du Jour  (h Chef du Chatelet - Ondine du Fournet) Dr: Franck Ouvrie Tr: Frederic Prat  8  Atlas de Joudes  (h Ready Cash - Queschua Love) Dr: Jos Verbeeck  Tr:  Philippe Allaire  9  Akim du Cap Vert  (h First de Retz - Prima du Cap Vert) Dr: Franck Anne  Tr:  Franck Anne  Dave Sanders

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