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January 14, 2017 - The Gr. II Prix Maurice de Gheest (purse €120,000, 2700 meters, eight starters) was expected to be an easy conquest for 1.1/1 Equinoxe (3m Texas Charm-Pelagie) and 2.2/1 Everest Vedaquais (3m Ready Cash-Spandelle) but both were disqualified, the latter for an early miscue and the former after an impressive victory, presumably for being rough gaited in the lane. Victory was thus awarded to fast-closing 6.9/1 Eridan (3m Ready Cash-Topaze d’Atout) with David Thomain in the irons for harness racing trainer Sebastian Guarato and owner Philippe DeWulf, timed in 1.16kr. Placed second was 30/1 Easy des Racques (3m Rodrigo Jet-Ombre des Racques) reined by J.Ph Monclin and placed third was 5/1 Euro du Chene with Franck Nivard up. The Quinte+ Gr. II Prix de Croix was the day’s co-feature (purse €120,000, 2850 meters). Well respected Treasure Kronos, racing with shoes, and Cobra Bleu was miscue dq’s. 9.3/1 odds barefoot In Vain Sund (5m Revenue-Staro Yasmine) was an impressive rallying winner for Franck Nivard. This pair followed good outer tier flow and surged three wide in the late final bend to just get up for the 1.12.5kr clocked victory, with a quick final fraction (the timed was 1.13.1kr with 500 meters remaining). Daniel Reden trains the winner for Stall Zet. 3.6/1 Carat Williams (5m Prodigious-Miss Williams) took second, beaten a nose, for Gabriel Gelormini and trainer Guarato. Third was the 9/10 favorite pacesetting Traders (5m Ready Cash-Graziella) for David Thomain and owner/trainer Philippe Allaire. 84/1 Tango Negro (5m Infinitif-Lisetta Real) rallied from far back to be fourth for Bjorn Goop, trainer Jerry Riordan and owner Graziano Ceccaroni, with fifth to Tony Gio (5m Varenne-Ilaria Jet) reined by Christophe Martens for Scuderia Bivans SRL and trainer Vincent Martens. The Gr. III Prix du Forez/Prix les Seniors (purse €105,000, 2700 meters, 11 starters) went to 1.12.8kr timed and 5.1/1 odds Anzi des Liards (7g Look de Star-Nausicaa du Sud) with Romain Derieux at the lines for breeder/owner Richard Padovani and trainer David Bekaert. 7/1 Athos des Elfes (7m Ganymede-Lazio du Bourg) was second for trainer Joel Van Eeckhaute and reinsman Franck Nivard. Third was rail hugging 4.2/1 Altesse de Mirel (7f Ready Cash-Ina de Mirel) for trainer/driver Pierre Vercruysse and owner Florence Allera. The winner closed stoutly as the time with 500 meters remaining was 1.13.8kr. A superb Saturday afternoon Paris-Vincennes program began with newly aged three year-olds contesting the Prix de Montreuil (monte, purse €36,000, 2700 meters, 11 starters), with an open-lengths victory earned by 1.3/1 favorite Eiffel Tower (3f Ready Cash-Nouvelle d’Atout). The Alexandre Abrivard teamed filly was clocked in 1.18.2kr and is trained by J-M Bazire for breeder/owner Mme. Ottavia Roffi-Urano. 22.4/1 Etincelle de Rocha (3f Repeat d’Ombree-Rondinara) was the distant second for Matthieu Abrivard and 13.5/1 Extase de la Basle (3f Redea Josselyn-Ibiza de la Masle) was third with Eric Raffin in the irons. Monte performers continued with the Prix de Mauquenchy (purse €90,000, 2175 meters, 10 European starters) and 9/10 favorite Catalogne (5f Cygnus d’Odyssee-Jabadie) prevailed for Mathieu Mottier, trainer Denise Mottier and Ecurie Cheffreville). 7.2/1 Codie de Beaulieu (5f Oyonnax-Melody d’Arcy) closed well for second, handled by J-Y Ricart. Third went to the 6.9/1 and Matthieu Abrivard teamed Chiuricahua (5f Pomerol de Laumac-Phoenix Arizona). Thomas H. Hicks

January 12, 2017 -  Franck Nivard today teamed 11.1/1 Apollon de Kacy (7m Prince Gede-Nefertiti Kids) to victory in the prestigious Gr. III Prix de la Cote d’Azur (purse €150,000, 2925 meters, 16 starters) at Cagnes sur Mer for harness racing owner/trainer Jorgen Westholm of Sweden. The winner raced barefoot in this 1.13.7kr clocking to defeat 15.1/1 Baby Lou Max (6g Gazouillis-Kamaxie) for Nicolas Mortagne and 18.5/1 Radieux (7g Love You-Dordogne) of Italy was third for Pierre Vercruysse and owner/trainer Lutfi Kolgjini. 3.5/1 Balbir (6g Ganymede-Manzir) was fourth for Mickael Cormy, also trainer, and fifth finishing 62.3/1 Shark Attack (9g April Perfect-Step By Step) for owner/trainer/driver Mario Dooyeweerd of Holland. Each of the top five raced barefoot. The Q+ exact order payoff on this race was €59,200 for a €2 wager. The Prix Cagnes sur Mer (purse €50,000, 2925 meters distance handicap, 18 European starters) went to 1.14.3kr timed, 10.3/1 odds Aigle Jenilou (7g Prodigious-Queen Jenilou) that was bred and is owned/trained by Louis Baudron. The winner was reined by Gwenn Junod. 3.1/1 Bering was second for Christophe Martens, 3.6/1 Ut d’Ylea was third for Franck Nivard and distance penalized 5/2 odds Archangel AM (7g Going Kronos-No More Time) was fourth timed in 1.13.8kr for Pierre Vercruysse and trainer Lutfi Kolgjini. The Prix Meteor II for a purse of €40,000 and raced over 2925 meters went to 3/2 favorite Colonel Bond (5g Revel d’Anama-Miss Margaretha). Timed in 1.14.1kr, the Pierre Vercruysse teamed J.P. Ensch trainee defeated twelve rivals. Antoine du Bourg (7g Oyonnax-Pin Up du Bourg) was second for Nicolas Mortagne and 23.5/1 Balthazar Maza (6g Prodigious-Paloma) landed third for Romauld Mourice. Thomas H. Hicks

January 8, 2017 - 17.1/1 Doberman (4m Prodigious-Quietude Mesloise) trained and reined by Franck Nivard, for owner Richard Cohen, won the €120,000, 2175 meters, Prix Crack Series 2016 for harness racing three-year-olds in a blanket finish. The winner now has €254,230 in career earnings. 5.3/1 Diego du Guelier (4m Kepler-Ophelie la Garenne) was a head back in second for Mathieu Mottier driving for owner/trainer Denise Mottier. Third was Draft Life (4f Ubriaco-Maflymede) at 6.6/1 for Eric Raffin and owner/trainer Louis Baudron. The most favored Django Riff (4m Ready Cash) was fifth at 1.1/1 odds and Dollar Macker (4m Saxo de Vandel) ended fourth at 4.3/1, both of these trainer by Philippe Allaire. Today’s Quinte+ was the Prix-Cracks des Cracks 2016 for a purse of €88,000 over 2100 meters autostart. The impressive winner was 1.2/1 Call Me Keeper (7m Pine Chip-Eliza Keeper), trained by Daniel Reden for Stall Zet, and reined by Pierre Vercruysse. Fractions were steady with the finish in 1.11.5kr (1.09.1kr at 1500 to go; 1.10.1kr at the 1000; 1.11.7kr with 500 remaining). The winning pair reached the front at the halfway point and easily handled this field to score for the 10th time, now with career earnings of €476,890. Arazi Boko (10g Varenne-Laura Kemp) at 5.1/1 was second for driver J-M Bazire and 9/1 Beau Gamin (6m Quinoa du Gers-Cadette) landed third for Eric Raffin. Akido (7g Love You) and Orient Horse (9m Abano As) took the fourth and fifth spots. Thomas H. Hicks

Today’s Quinte+ was the Prix de Poitiers at Paris, Vincennes, raced by 17 horses over 2700 meters on the grande piste for a purse of €80,000. The 1.14.5kr timed winner was 12.3/1 Ustar de Vandel (9g Look de Star-Deila de Vandel) racing barefoot for trainer/driver Franck Nivard. The owner is J.O. Raimbault. The 5.5/1 Vacate Money (8f Prodigious-Making Money) was a fast closing second for driver Jean-Philippe Dubois, trainer Philippe Moulin and Ecurie Victoria Dreams. The 18/1 Vasco de Viette (8g Capriccio-Nonette Tivoli) landed third with Gabriel Gelormini aboard. Fractions were evenly rated (1.14.2kr at 1500 meters to go; 1.14.6kr at the 1000; 1.14.8kr with 500 remaining). by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.

December 24, 2016 - The Gr. II Prix Une de Mai (purse €120,000, 2175 meters, ten two year-olds) was won by 1.13.3kr timed and 6.4/1 odds Erming d’Oliverie (2f Scipion du Goutier-Theze d’Oliverie) reined by Franck Nivard for harness racing trainer Franck Leblanc and Ecurie de l’Oliverie. 1.7/1 Epice Turgot (2f Orlando Vici-Kippa Turgot) finished second for J-M Bazire, trainer Fabrice Souloy and breeder/owner Mme. Th. Hoste, owner of Scarlet Turgot. 6.8/1 Ecume de Reville (2f Hand du Vivier-Perle Villetrot) was third best with Eric Raffin up for trainer/owner Frederic Prat, ahead of good gaited 21.2/1 Ere Nouvelle (2f Love You-Kidea) driven by Gabriel Gelormini for trainer Philippe Allaire and breeder/owner Kevin Tebirent. Kidea is a daughter of Extreme Dream from a Workaholic mare that is quite a producer (nine foals, seven money winners including US$4.768mm Ready Cash and US$300k plus winner Upper Class, both by Indy de Vive. The Gr. II Prix Jules Lemonnier (monte, Gr. II, purse €120,000, 2175 meters, eight starters) was the feature of the day and last career start of legendary mare Scarlet Turgot (10f Dahir de Prelong-Noella de Massy) the was 9/10 favorite and ridden by Alexandre Abrivard for Mme Th. Hoste, breeder Christian Hoste and trainer Yannick Alain Briand. She was game on the lead and nipped at the line by winning 3/1 Bellisima France (5f Blue Dream-Quanta Rosa Sun)  handled by trainer/owner Matthieu Abrivard clocked in 1.11.6kr (mile race 1:55.04) off quick fractions (1.09.4kr at 1500 to go; 1.10.9kr at the 1000; 1.12.2kr with 500 remaining), the closing 500 was lightning fast. 25/1 Texas de l’Iton (9g Cygnus d’Odyssee-Iladia de l’Iton) was a game third for trainer Hughes Levesque and jockey Mathieu Mottier. The event was “exceptionnalle” on this Christmas weekend. The Gr. III Prix Constant Herview (purse €105,000, 2850 meters, 11 starters) went to rallying Blue Grass (5f Ready Cash-Princesse Natacha). Racing barefoot, the Gabriel Gelormini reined winner is trained by Philippe Allaire for breeder/owner Christophe Toulonge and was timed in 1.13.7kr off even fractions. This 19.6/1 odds winner defeated 6.4/1 Baladin Hongrois (5g Bon Conseil-Relodie Hongroise) handed by trainer Arnaud Desmottes. Third was 19/1 Arlington Dream (f Ready Cash-Ialla Chairchamp) with Yoann Lebourgeois driving for trainer Allaire and owner Frederic Sauque. Fourth was 8.4/1 Archangel AM (6g Going Kronos-No More Time) with Pierre Vercruysse up for trainer Lutfi Kolgjini and Stall Behall. The Prix Strasbourg (purse €88,000, 2700 meters, 13 starters) went to 14/1 Ustie Haufor(8f Niky-Lara du Houlbet) clocked in 1.14.4kr for Charles J. Bigeon and breeder/owner/trainer Christian Bigeon. 3.8/1 Une Serenade (8f Gazouillis-Moonlight Serenade) was next for Eric Raffin and 8.4/1 Univers de Daidou was third for trainer/driver Thierry Duvaldestin. Today’s opening round of a superb holiday Paris-Vincennes program was the Prix de Luynes (purse €55,000, 2700 meters, 18 starters) and the 1.13.2kr winner was 15/1 Carlo de Carsi (4g Ismael du Pont-Orence de Carsi) for owner/trainer Jean Michel Baudouin and driven by Jean-Michel Bazire. 30.1/1 Cristal River (4m Quaker Jet-Olga de la Grenne) took second for Gabriel Gelorminim trainer Sebastian Guarato and owner Gerard Manzi. Third was 5.1/1 Carenza Turbo (4m Ganymede-Poesie de Vigne) with Eric Raffin up for trainer Fabrice Souloy and Ecurie Turbo. Thomas H. Hicks

December 20, 2016 - Today’s Quinte+ Prix de la Tremblade (purse €66,000, 2850 meters, 15 European starters) went to a charging Vic du Pommereux (7m Love You-Kubrune) timed in Franck Nivard piloted the Sylvain Roger trainee that is owned by breeder Noel Lolic. The 4.1/1 odds winner bested 17/1 Urus (8g Kiwi-Troika de Mai) and J-M Bazire with third to 4.6/1 Ustov (8g Niky-Oh Maron)  driven by David Thomain, trained by J-P Thomain and owned by breeder Roger Francois Dubois. Shadow Gar (5f Pine Chip-Lady Killer Gar) won the €55,000 purse, 250 meter Prix de Fos Sur Mer at 26.4/1 odds. David Thomain teamed this winner for Italy’s famed trainer/owner Pietro Gubellini timed in 1.15.4kr off even fractions albeit Shadow Gar closed swiftly after 1.16.5kr rate with 500 meters remaining. 2.1/1 Bauloise Haufor (5f Kool du Caux-Hotesse des Pres) was second for Ch.J. Bigeon and breeder/owner/trainer Christian Bigeon. Third went to 7.8/1 Seibella Park (5f Varenne-Grandera Park) with Franck Ouvrie driving for trainer Salvatore Minopoli and owner Team Minopoli. The day’s feature event was the monte Prix Pierre Giffard (purse €85,000, 2850 meters, 12 European starters). 44.7/1 longshot winner was Ursa Major (8f Ganymede-Good Way). P.Ch. Jean was in the irons for trainer St. Provoost and owner Ecurie Danover. 10/1 Tripolla (9f Sancho Panca-Garivane) was a close econd and third went to Frank Nivard ridden Volcan d’Occagnes (7g Quido de Goutier-Hermina Beauces) at 4.8./1 odds. Race time was 1.14.4kr off even fractions, the rate with 500 meter to go was 1.14.9kr. The Prix de Sable Sur Sarthe (purse €46,000, 2100 meters autostart, 18 four year-old starters) went to 1.12.7kr quick-timed and 21.6/1 odds Cherif Griff (4m Orlando Vici-Qualane Griff). Pierre Vercruysse reined the Sebastian Guarato trainee for breeder/owner Ecurie Griff. 19.8/1 Callicot du Vivier (4g Repeat Love-Kalika du Vivier) was second with Yoann Lebourgeois driving for trainer Yves Boireau. Jean-Pierre Dubois owns this one that was bred by legendary Jean-Yves Lucuyer. 16.3/1 Crusoe d’Anama (4g Ni Ho Ped d’Ombree-Jarifa d’Em) was home third for Tony LeBeller and trainer Mme. Aude Lemoine. Thomas H. Hicks

Today’s Gr. III Harness Racing Prix Auguste Francois (monte, purse €110,000, 2175 meters, 13 starters) went to quick-stepping, 1.12.1kr timed, 3.6/1 odds Veloce du Banney (7g Quaro-Jiva du Banney) with Franck Nivard up. The Franck Leblanc trainee is owned by Ecurie du Grand Buisson. Second was the outside surging 2.8/1 Attentionally (6f Jasmin de Flore-Intentionally) for jockey David Thomain and breeder/owner/trainer Paul Viel. 4.3/1 Safari Dream (10g Gai Brillant-Le Memoria) was third for Yoann Lebourgeois. Today’s Quinte+ was the Prix Guy Lux – Prix d’Enfants Sans Noel (purse €85,000, 2850 meters, 18 starters) and the 1.14.7kr timed, 4.9/1 Valse d’Avignere (7f Look de Star-Hermine d’Avignere). Owner/trainer Thierry Duvaldestin teamed the winner. 11.1/1 Vulcania de Godrel (7f Memphis du Rib-Julietia) was second for Eric Raffin and third was 73.3/1 Saphir du Perche (10g Espeyrac Sur-Icoulina du Perche) for Anthony Barrier. Two year-olds contested the Prix des Camelias (purse €40,000, 2700 meters, 12 starters) and the 1.17.2kr timed easy winner was 3.6/1 Estella Love (2f Love You-Shucca-Goetmals Wood). Franck Ouvrie teamed the Yves Boireau trainee that Jean-Pierre Dubois owns and his Ecurie Dream With Me bred. Dam Shucca was a winner of US$226,000 and from the Kimberland mare Hucca. 19.6/1 Elisione Mag (2f Quaker Jet-Perle du Ravary) was second for David Thomain. Third was 8.5/1 Evolution (2f Love You-Upper Class) with Gabriel Gelormini aboard for trainer Philippe Allaire. Blue Story (5f Opium-Loumana Flor) won the Prix les Mathes-La Palmyre (purse €80,000, 2175 meters, nine starters) at 1.8/1 for reinsman Pierre Levesque and trainer Thomas Levesque. The 1.13.9kr clocked winner bested 4.3/1 Carla Love (4f Royal Lover-Querida de Vonna) handled by trainer J-M Bazire with third to 7.9/1 Baileyse (5g Opus Viervil-Lance de Fouches). The Prix de Blanquefort (purse €58,000, 2100 meters autostart, 17 European starters) went to barefoot trotting 3.3/1 odds Pancottina Bar (7f Varenne-Valuta Lavic). Roberto Andreghetti teamed the fast-closing  Vitale Ciolota trainee that Scuderia Stecca SRL owns. The winner was clocked in 1.12.5kr off quick fractions (1.09.1kr at 1500 to go; 1.10.6kr at the 1000, 1.12.6kr at 500 meters remaining.). Second was 1.6/1 favorite Jetset (7f Juliano Star-Superlet) with trainer Johan Untersteiner up for Sweden’s Lars Melin. 14.2/1 Venise Girl (7f Oxford du Rib-Mafanzas Girl) was third for breeder/owner/trainer/driver Yves Dreux. The €55,000 purse Prix de Villers Cotterets (2100 meters autostart, 15 European starters) went to 1.13kr timed 60/1 odds Alexane d’Urzy (6f Coktail Jet-Oree Bourbon) with Alexandre Abrivard up. L.Cl. Abrivard trains the winner that Ecurie Augiustin Normand owns. 9.3/1 Arpege de Camaran (6g Pine Chip Wood-Nuit Bleue) was next for J-M Bazire and 8.4/1 Agrippa Mesloise (6f Jasmin de Flore-Jessie Mesloise) was third for trainer/driver Pierre Belloche. Lightly raced three year-olds met late in the program and Defi Dream (3m Royal Dream-Quclea MIP) won the Prix Chambly (purse €36,000, 2200 meters, 15 starters) at 3.4/1 odds. The well-bred Fabrice Souloy trainee is owned by Ecurie Mexique Ranch and was driven by J-M Bazire. Quinte+ Winners in FR – Cho Oyu Vedaquais and Victoria de Marzy December 13, 2016 On Monday at Paris-Vincennes was the Prix de Danze (purse €50,000, 2175 meters, 13 starters) went to 1.13kr timed and 2.7/1 Cho Oyu vedaquais (4g Saxo de Vandel-Rotonde) scored for Franck Nivard. Thierry Duvaldestin trains the winner that was bred by Jean Francois Guay. 12/1 Chiquito d’Arc (4m Pomerol de Laumac-Juninia d’Arc) took second for Mathieu Abrivard. Third was 10.6/1 Cristal Pierji (4g Otello Pierji-Louisiane Pierji) with trainer Mickael Cormy up. The Tuesday Quinte+ was at Cabourg in the form of the Prix des Calceolaires (purse €42,000, 2850 meters, 16 European starters). The 30.7/1, 1.14.5kr timed winner was Victoria de Marzy (7f Kool de Caux-Lovelie de Marzy) with Sebastian Ernault up for owner/trainer B.R.  Plaire. Noway’s 39/1 Yankee’s Photo (8m SJ’s Photo-Yankee Tracer) took second for Francois Lecanue and trainer Bjorn Gulbranen. Third was 14/1 Une de Villetot (8f Canada-Oste) with owner/trainer Sebastian Baude at the lines. Thomas H. Hicks  

The heavily favored Bold Eagle (5m Ready Cash-Reethi Rah Jet) rallied four wide at top stretch from his third position in the second tier to easily take the €120,000 purse Grand Prix du Bourbonnais (Gr. II, 2850 meters, 17 starters) at Vincennes for harness racing reinsman Franck Nivard timed in 1.12.7kr (fractions 1.13.7kr at 1500 to go; 1.13.4 at the 1000, 1.13.3kr with 500 meters remaining). He won for 29th time in 34 career starts now for €2,239,300 earned. Trained by Sebastien Guarato for owner Pierre Pilarski, the winner was bred by Jean-Etienne Dubois.    Bold Eagle earned a Prix d’Amerique start today, along with Norway’s Lionel (6m Look de Star-Aurora Sign) and Voltigeur de Myrt (7m Opus Viervil-Myrtille des Bois) that were second and third for their teamsters Mathieu Abrivard and Lorenzo Donati. 31/1 Bird Parker, Timoko, Moving On and Princess Grif were next after original fifth finishing Bolero Love was disqualified. Timoko was first to the front and then raced in the pocket. His inside pegs stretch move was empty this day in the quick finishing late sprint to the line. Thomas H. Hicks  

VINCENNES, Paris - The French harness racing governing body, Le Trot, played host to representatives from numerous countries involved in the purchase and breeding of Trotteur Francais at Vincennes over the course of the weekend of December 2nd - 4th, where each country's Horse of the Year was celebrated and 15 drivers from the member countries participated in the Prix des Recontres Internationales. Alan Richardson and Ricky Hanson from Ireland and John Foy from Great Britain attended to collect their awards on Friday evening for Vichy Du Moem (World Record Holder over 2 miles) and Sulky Du Blequin respectively, with John competing in the race on Saturday afternoon along with Sean Kane from Ireland, who is currently working at Grosbois Training Centre in France. The celebratory weekend began with an awards dinner for the TF voted as the Horse of the Year in each of the member countries, held at Hippodrome de Vincennes (Vincennes Racecourse). Ireland's winner, Vichy Du Moem and Great Britain's Sulky Du Blequin were both celebrated. The weekend culminated with the Prix des Recontres Internationales on Saturday afternoon, which featured drivers from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Holland, Hungary, Ireland, Malta, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and the Ukraine. Sean Kane (Ireland), found himself at the reins of the betting favourite, Tornado De L'Ocean, and although the duo looked threatening throughout, the competition proved to be too strong in the stretch, with Sean finishing a respectable fifth. John Foy (Great Britain), drew an outsider who raced in midfield throughout, before galloping on the final bend which resulted in automatic disqualification. The race was won by the French driver, Franck Nivard, driving Service Secret, with Balazs Juhasz from Hungary and Sire De La Creuse finishing second and Rick Wester from Holland and Tonio Du Vivier finishing third. Both drivers were grateful for the opportunity to drive at Vincennes and to represent their countries on an international stage, and it is hoped that this event will continue to include British and Irish drivers for many more years to come. A full replay of the race can be seen here - by Sarah Thomas, for Harnesslink

Service Secret (10g Look de Star-Kalamita) took today’s Prix des Recontres Internationale (purse €22,000, 2100 meters autostart, 15 starters) with harness racing driver Franck Nivard up representing France. The 5/2 favorite scored in 1.15.9kr to survive in a close finish with 4.1/1 Sire de la Creuse (10g Ildo de Fleurac-Hanna de la Creuse) handled by Hungary’s Balazs Juhasz for trainer J.F. Senet. Third was 18/1 Tonio du Vivier (9g General du Pommeau-Melba du Vivier) with Rick Wester up. This international drivers contest is an annual fixture during the winter meet at Vincennes. Saturday’s Prix de Saint Georges de Didonne (purse €90,000, 2850 meters, 18 starters) went to 9/10 betting favorite Avenir de Blay (6g Hooper-Mirabelle de Blay) with breeder/owner/trainer Tony LeBeller aboard. Timed in 1.14.6kr this winner defeated 16/1 Aulis du Courtilfe (6g Buvetier d’Aunou-Miss du Courtille) with J-M Bazire driving and third finishing 34/1 Au Clair de Lune (6g Capriccio-Queen de Beaulieu) The Gr. II Prix Vourasie (purse €80,000, 2200 meters, 13 two year-old fillies) went to a very impressive 34/1 Elea Madrik (2f Goetmals Wood-Duelea Madrik). Trainer William Bigeon teamed the winner for owner Cl. Guedj. 7/10 favorite Epice Turgot (2f Orlando Vici-Kippa Turgot) was next to the line for driver J-M Bazire. Fabrice Souloy trains this second place finisher for owner Mme. Th. Hoste. Third was 31/1 Elite du Ruel (2f Timoko-Romance du Ruel) handled by David Thomain for trainer Franck Anne and owner/breeder Annick Bazin. The winner was clocked in 1.15.3kr with a quick finishing kick. Thomas H. Hicks

November 20, 2016 - 8.6/1 Anna Mix (6f Ludo de Castelle-Ires) rallied in spectacular fashion for harness racing driver Franck Nivard and owner/trainer Franck Leblanc to get up in the final strides and win the Gr. II Grand Prix de Bretagne (purse €120,000, 2700 meters, 18 international starters). Anna caused a false start, as she has done in the past, but with a little handler help got away on a second try, albeit many lengths behind the field. After 600 meters she had only one horse beaten and then began moving forward with cover in the third tier. She entered into contention, second over in tier three, late in the final bend and began a steady surge that nailed 4/1 Propulsion (5m Muscle Hill-Danae) and driver Orjan Kihlstrom (trainer Daniel Reden and owner Stall Zet) nearing the line. 24/1 Princess Grif (7f Varenne-Fauve Grif) was third for Roberto Andreghetti (trainer Fabrice Souloy, owner Azienda Agricola Biasuzzio. The top three earned an automatic qualification to the Prix d’Amerique, as will the top three finishers in the remaining B’s. 7.3/1 Bird Parker (5m Ready Cash) was fourth for pilot Anthony Barrier and fifth was 219/1 outsider Trebol (9m Hot Blues), frome Spain, with trainer Gabriel Angel Pou at the line. The winner was timed in 1.13.1kr off even fractions (1.13.3kr at 1500 to go ; at the 1000, 1.13.5kr at 500 to go). Replays : #15 Anna Mix ; #6 Propulsion ; #13 Princess Grif ; #16 Bird Parker ; #9 Trebol Thomas H. Hicks  

November 11, 2016 - Agoura du Goutier (6f Jardy-Olympe Pierji) at 11.5/1 odds took this evenings Prix Gemma (purse€46,000, 2850 meters, 16 starters) with harness racing driver Franck Nivard up. The winner increased his career earnings to €155,710. 3.4/1 Anais d’Olaine (6f Gogo-Melodie d’Olaine) was second and third was 17.5/1 Alite de la Cote (6f Quaker Jet-Kelite Jet) with David Thomain driving. Race time was 1.14.6kr. The featured Prix Titan (monte, purse €50,000, 2200 meters, 14 starters) went to 1.14.6kr clocked and 6.1/1 Carlo de Carsi (4g Ismael du Pont-Orence de Carsi) with Francois Legadeuc in the irons for trainer/owner Jean Michael Baudouin. 5.5/1 Cocktail Winner (4m Magnificent Rodney-Pipinela) took second for Alexandre Abrivard and owner/trainer L.Cl.Abrivard. Third went to 8.9/1 Cook Star (4m Look de Star-Originalite) reined by Eric Raffic for breeder/trainer Sebastian Guarato. On the weekend action moves to Wolvega for the Prix des Geants Pays Bays (purse €61,600, 2100 meters autostart, 11 starters) that has attracted a solid field that includes Solea Rivelliere, BBS Sugarlight, Ustinof du Vivier, Rocky Winner, Booster Winner, Rod Stewart, Coldtown and Diamond. Thomas H. Hicks

October 28, 2016 - Featured harness racing action this evening was at Mons Ghlin including the Quinte+ Grand Prix de la Toussaint for aged international performers, as well as two other upper class events. The Mons Ghlin feature was the Grand Prix de la Toussaint (purse €100,000, 2300 meters autostart, 16 aged international starters, quinte+ wagering). Timed in 1.12.4kr the winner was 1.3/1 odds barefoot Anna Mix (f Ludo de Castelle-Ires) with Franck Nivard at the reins. Anna Mix is owned and trained by Franck Leblanc. In the fast class field 17.3/1 Solea Rivelliere (10f Calife des Noues-Heloa Rivelliere) was second for trainer/driver Philippe Daugeard. Third was 13.2/1 Booster Winner (5m Love You-Gaille Viretaute) for teamster Dominik Locqueneux and the beaten field included Swedishman and Ave Avis, Shiraz Brodde (7g Love You-Stephanie Brodda) took the Grand Prix Paris-Turf Belgique at Mons Ghlin (purse €48,000, 2850 meters autostart, 15 international starters). The Roberto Andreghetti piloted 17/1 longshot was clocked in 1.13.6kr for trainer Vincent Martens and owner Olof Brodin AB. 1.7/1 favoritre Bazir Dimanche (8g Orlando Vici-Storer Meslosa) was second for Dominick Locqueneux, trainer Robert Bergh and Stall Dimanche, 5,8/1 Bullseye (8g Love You-BWT Spirit) landed third for Rik Depuydt ahead if Michael Nimczyk’s King of the World, Big Headache (6g EL Mikko-Southwind Roselle) at 11.7/1 took the Prix Champagne Moet (purse €12,000, 2300 meters autostart, 16 international starters) timed in 1.13.5kr for trainer/driver Philippe Daugeard. Timo Hulkkanen owns the winner. Second was 35.5/1 Seyffwnstein (7g November-Brenda) with veteran Jos Verbeeck up for Team Neuhat and trainer Conrad Lugauer. 4.9/1 Ordalia (8f Cherokee Chef-Pat River VL) was third for trainer Salvatore Campalo, ahead of 6.3/1 Butler (5m Ready Cash-Odyssee d’Isques) for Clement Duvaldestin and trainer/owner Anders Lindqvist. Also at Mons Ghlin was the Prix Finale GP des Geniteurs (purse €40,000, 2300 meters autostart, 10 male three year-old starters). 2.6/1 favorite Jack Lj (3g Otello Pierji-Tell Me More) scored timed in 1.17.3kr for Rik Depuydt, Ecurie Lj and trainer Mme, C. DeSoete. 4.3/1 Jointness Sidney (3m Look de Star-Super Sidney) took second and third went to 3/1 Janus Boshoeve. Thomas H. Hicks  

Bold Eagle (5m Ready Cash-Reethi Rah Jet), off at 1/10 odds, held off determined 7.9/1 Bolero Love (5m Love You-Orelady) to win the Gr. I Championnat Europeen for harness racing 5 Year-Olds (purse €100,000, 2100 meters autostart) clocked in 1.13.8kr off slow fractions at Paris-Vincennes. Franck Nivard teamed the Sebastian Guarato trained winner that Pierre Pilarski owns. Jean-Etienne Dubois bred Bold Eagle, now with 28 wins in 32 starts for €2,155,300 earned. Bold Eagle and Bolero Love traded the lead on several occasions before Bold Eagle took over in the second lap and appeared to draw clear mid-stretch until Bolero Love surged late for Gabriel Gelormini to get within a half-length on the line. Guarato trains Bolero Love for owner Mme. Mauriette De Sousa. Ecurie D bred Bolero Love. Third was 15/1 Baltic Charm (5m Password-Ilikovo) that closed strongly for Eric Raffin, trainer Guarato and owner St. Szwarc. Jean-Philippe Dubois bred Baltic Charm. 62/1 Nelson Nora (5f Muscles Yankee-Lindy’s Holiday) was fourth for Bjorn Goop and 53/1 Booster Winner (5m Love You-Quille Viretaute) landed fifth for Mathieu Abrivard and trainer Guarato. The top three in this contest were bred by the Dubois family and Sebastian Guarato trains them all. Sire Ready Cash’s offspring had quite a rainy evening at Vincennes as the three Gr. I events all went to sons of Ready Cash, Bold Eagle in the Championnat European for 5 Year-Olds, Readly Express in the Grand Prix de L’UET and Django Riff in the Championnat European for 3 Year-Olds. The Quinte+ Prix Bohemia also went to a five year-old Ready Cash son, Cash Gamble. Thomas H. Hicks

The October 5th Meslay du Main Quinte+ featured Grand Prix Anjou Maine (purse €100,000, 2875 meters, 17 International starters) went to 1.3/1 Call Me Keeper (6m Pine Chip-Eliza Keeper) timed in 1.13.7kr for harness racing driver Franck Nivard, trainer Daniel Reden and Stall Zet, the owner. 18.8/1 Duke Of Greenwood (6m Otello Pierjiu-Nikki Groenhof) was second for Dominik Locqueneux and trainer Peter J. Strooper. The 34/1 longshot Anette du Mirel (6f Laetenter Diem-Lisa du Mirel) was third with Mathieu Abrivard up for trainer Anders Lindqvist and owner/breeder Mlle. Anette Holmgren. 11/1 Quick Fix was fourth for Pierre Vercruysse and fifth was 2.2/1 Briac Dark for trainer/driver Franck Anne. Verso de Made (7g Lord du Pin-Miranda) was a 74.7/1 upset winner of the Prix Agem (purse €32,000, 2875 meters, 18 starters) on the Enghien card, the Pick5 event. This 1.16.4kr timed winner was teamed by Pierre Vercruysse for owner/trainer J.M. Souici. 1.9/1 favorite Urisalane (8f Jet Fortuna-Lea Picoulerie) was second ahead of 20.2/1 Viking de Pilet (7g Kuadro Wild-Indra du Pilet). The October 4 Vincennes feature was the Prix Lilius (monte, purse €70,000, 2850 meters, 14 European starters) and the 1.14.1kr winner was 4.4/1 odds Bambina du Parc (5m Nicolas Maria-La Fille du Parc) with Mathieu Abrivard up for Ecurie des Baux. 30/1 Brut de la Cote (5g Kepler-Umbra Mai Fu) with P-Y Verva up for trainer Sebastien Guarato. Even-money favorite Catalogne (4f Cygnus d’Odysse-Jabadie) was third for Mathieu Mottier and trainer Denise Mottier. Thomas H. Hicks

Bold Eagle (5m Ready Cash-Reethi Rah Jet) eased to the front, set tepid fractions, and then raced home to easily capture the €240,000 purse Gr. I Criterium des 5 Ans at Paris Vincennes today. Harness racing driver Franck Nivard teamed the 1.14kr timed winner owned by PierrePilarski, trained by Sebastian Guarato and bred by Jean Etienne Dubois. Off at 1/10 odds Bold Eagle recorded his 27th career win in 31 starts for €2,110,300 earned. 10.5/1 Belina Josselyn (5f Love You-Lezira Josselyn) raced well to be second for trainer/driver J-M Bazire and owner/breeder Yvan Bernard. Third was 12.9/1 Baltic Charm (5m Password-Ilikova) with Eric Raffin up for trainer Guarato, owner St. Szward and breeder Jean Philippe Dubois. Bolero Love and Briac Dark were fourth and fifth with second choice Bird Parker an early breaking dq. The undercard included wins in Groupe races by Django Riff, Dawana, Tornado Bello Cere Josselyn and Aubrion du Gers. J-M Bazire won two of the days’ six Groupe contests. Thomas H, Hicks

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