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Four out of seven first pick, six out of seven striking a small dividend in the V75 and also one out of two – with a good pointer to the other, at Vincennes, was a better day for WWTE last week. Chapeau 3.72, Blended Bellouet 7.58, Amaru Boko 3.14, Finish Future 5.79 gave us a small profit ($6.28) on our Swedish picks, while you would have lost $1.20 on the $4 spent in France, since Vision Intense was a raging favourite. There was little joy in a $4.65 return for the V75 investment, so I have decided to go a little wider with my picks in future, in an attempt to snare a longer odds leg.   This weekend is the last of the Winter Meeting and March is a traditionally slow month in Europe, with the Scandinavian circuit set to kick off in April. Good luck with this week’s picks. V75-1 Silver division 2140m: Nougat As (5) is a former group II winner who also won his last V75 silver division heat. With Johnny Takter in the bike, a good place early to go for an anchor.  Selection 5 V75-2 Klass II 2140m: This looks between two products of the giant Boko breeding empire and an up and comer with three wins in a row. So Dennis Boko (1), Dante Boko (5) and Arn Hammering (3), are the ones for this leg. Selection 5-1-3 V75-3 Gold division 2140m: I know this is the gold division, but at this time of the year the real stars are either in France or preparing for spring racing after a winter break. Ludde Kolgjini’s royally bred Raja Mirchi (7) was one of those that was in Vincennes and going for a place in the Prix d’Amerique before going amiss. He is back here and a class above these. Should be anchor number two. Selection 7 V75-4 Larlingslopp 2140m: Britt Palema (2) has had two near misses lately and is perfectly drawn to go one better, while the horse who will vie for the lead from the gate, Rajah Press (1) is my choice as an alternate. Selection 7 (1) V75-5 Diamantestoet 2640m: The mares race is a tough one with Broadways Fines (4), Borga Effekt (6) and Global Navigator (13) and Yoga Brick (11) logical choices. For an outsider, Johnny Takter is on Florette Sund (3), who has a nice draw and has been consistent without a lot of luck and is perhaps due a change of fortune.  Selections 4-6-13-11-3 V75-6 Klass I 2640m: Super Photogenic (7) was second last start and is my first pick ahead of the in form Frozen (2) as an alternate. Selection 7 (2) V75-7 Bronze Division 2140m: Viking America (5), Checco Boko (4) and Riff Kronos (11) are the logical choices here. Again I am going for a Johnny Takter drive, from a good draw as my outsider in Zanimede (3) Selection 5-4-11-3 240,000e Prix de Selection (G1) 4-6 2750m: This race has been dominated by 4YOs for the past 30 years, but a recent change in handicapping has brought the older horses right back in the mix here. Univers de Pan (16) and Uhlan du Val (15) have both been plying their trade in exalted company and will be primed to take advantage here. Univers de Pan  was super in the Prix de France when second to Noras Bean and is my pick here. Selection 16 160,000e Prix de l'Union Europeenne (G2) Euro 5-10 3000m: The Swedes have been  on fire this Winter Meeting and there is no reason to think it will change here, with Malin Lofgren’s pride and joy Sanity (9), who is by French supersire Love You, looking up to winning this. One for the longer odds is Franck Leblanc’s Son Alezan (5), who is from a stable which is right on top of its game.  Selection 9 120,000e Prix Louis Le Bourg (G2) 4 2850m: This final monte of the Winter Meeting is missing most of the top horses under saddle from this crop. In their absence I’m going for an up and comer with an in form jockey aboard, in Airport (5) and his brilliant hoop Eric Raffin. Selection 5 TOTAL COMBINATIONS 60 – Cost $5, +1 alternate $10, + 2 alternate $20 Also here are my win wagers from Kalmar and Vincennes. Kalmar SINGLE WAGERS $2 Race 5 Nougat As (5) Race 6 Dante Boko (5) Race 7 Raja Mirchi (7) Race 8 Britt Palema (2) Race 9 Florette Sund (3) Race 10 Super Photogenic (7) Race 11  Viking America (5) Vincennes R4 Univers de Pan (16) R7 Sanity (9) R8 Airport (5)

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

Such trotting luminaries as Scarlet Knight and Commander Crowe have won the Gavle Stora Pris in past years, and even the likes of Prix d’Amerique winner Maharajah has  graced this field with his presence as recently as last year. But the cream of the Swedish elite have been plundering France over the past couple of months with the Lutfi Kolgjini-trained colt Olympic Kronos the latest to stick his hoof in the French cookie jar,  while On Track Piraten was second in the Prix de Plauteau de Gravelle on Thursday. Maharajah and Noras Bean won the two group one classics the Grand Prix d’Amerique and  Prix de France respectively while the likes of the Swedish trained Sanity, Global Manhattan and the ex-pat Beckman all winning big races in France this Winter Meeting. Back home Amaru Boko has looked to be finally fulfilling the potential he showed when winning the Group one E3 final over the likes of Duexieme Picsous, Kadett C.D. and Raja Mirchi in 2010. Then trained by Timo Nurmos, the stallion son of superstar French sire Coktail Jet   was third to Orecchietti and Wishing Stone in the Group one Sprintermasteren Final in 2011 and he has won at Gold Division level in the V75, including a win over Beanie M.M. in the Ego Boys Minne in August 2012. He followed that up with his biggest cheque as an open class horse a few weeks later when second to Sebastian K in the group one Sundsvall Open, a UET Masters Series race but his career stalled the next season with just one small win in 2013. But he returned after a four month break in 2014 in Robert Bergh’s stable and has looked a different horse, racking up three impressive wins in a row. Bergh seems to have found the key to the stallion and although he is attempting the three kilometre trip for the first time, should have the breeding to add the storied distance race to his CV. Montgomery Gel has won four of his last six races but has not won over this distance before, with a second and a third his best efforts  in seven attempts at the 3km staying race. Timo Nurmos usually has Jorma Kontio on board the son of jag de Bellouet but  has engaged top Swedish drive Bjorn Goop. The Swedish champ has driven the gelding nine times previously but the last time was in May last year and he has only won once, on his second drive on the horse in September 2009. Francais du Gull, another son of Jag de Bellouet, was third in this race last year and has the credentials to really test this field while Svante Bath’s Labero Broline (Pine Chip)and Ake Lindblom’s Winning Love (Love You) are also getting support in early markets.. GÄVLE STORA PRIS Gävle 2014-02-22   3140m 33,642 euros 1  Francais du Gull (h   Jag de Bellouet - Tantiem Gull) Dr:   Erik Lindegren   Tr: Erik Lindegren              2 Trustworthy Ås (g   Dream Vacation - Keep the Word) Dr:   Henrik Svensson  Tr:  Henrik Svensson    3 My Golden (m   Adams Hall - Lady Wall Star) Dr:   Kajsa Frick   Tr: Leif Witasp            4 Tidied Accelerator (g   Yankee Glide - Cookout) Dr:   Örjan Kihlström   Tr: Stefan Melander             5  Labero Broline (h   Pine Chip - Armbro Natural) Dr:   Erik Adielsson   Tr: Svante Båth             6  Yanantin Boko ( v   Viking Kronos - Ormonne Boko) Dr:   Olle Alsén   Tr: Olle Alsén    7  Winnng Love (h   Love You - Falin Amber Dance) Dr:   Åke Lindblom   Tr: Åke Lindblom               8   Amaru Boko (h   Coktail Jet - Sue Boko) Dr:   Robert Bergh   Tr: Robert Bergh              9    Kaka (h   November - Elegance Real) Dr:   Torbjörn Jansson  Tr:  Stig H Johansson            10  Lord Capar (h   Varenne - Foxy'n Rowdy) Dr:   Thomas Dalborg   Tr: Mats Karlsson          11 Clear Sign (g   Smok'n Lantern - Atas Nice Sun L) Dr:.   Ulf Ohlsson   Tr: Henrik Svensson              12 Montgomery Gel (h   Jag de Bellouet - Com Nina) Dr:   Björn Goop   Tr: Timo Nurmos     Dave Sanders

Sweden's Noras Bean (9m Super Arnie-Easy Bean-Songcan) rallied from what appeared as hopeless traffic trouble to score on the line in the 400,000e ($545,000US) Gr. I International UET Masters Series Grand Prix de France at Paris-Vincennes. Bjorn Goop teamed the winner for trainer Ulf Stenstromer, owner Stall Asunden HB and breeder M.M. Herlin. Noras Bean, a bit of a surprise starter, scored at 22/1 odds, for his 18th career victory and earnings now of 1,249,899e.  Five competitiors were within a length at the finish, with the winner timed in 1.12.1kr. Univers de Pan, Tiego d'Etang, Yarrah Boko and Uhlan de Val were next in order. Yarrah Boko surged to the front early in a quick pace that slowed when he was covered by the unchecked The Best Madrik. The Best Madrik led the field into the stretch when he tired, boxed Yarrah Boko, and allowed followers to get into the action. Christian Bigeon looked like the winner with Tiego d'Etang until Noras Bean nailed him with Univers de Pan second. Noras Bean has been a steady upper-level competitor throughout his career and has plenty of US pedigree. Second dam Segersnack is by Snack Bar and third dam Giselle K is by Way To Fame. Sentimental choices Ready Cash and Royal Dream made breaks early and were disqualified along with Santa Rosa France. Despite the disqualification, driver Franck Nivard let Ready Cash trot home rapidly but he broke again mid-stretch. This race was his final career start based on statements earlier in the week by his connections. February 9, 2014 Paris-Vincennes, Grand Prix de France, 400,000e, Gr. I UET Masters Series, International, 2100 meters autostart, 13 starters 1.12.1kr Fractions: 1.03.9kr at 1500; 1.09lr at 1000, 1.12.3kr at 500, 1.12.1kr finish 1st Noras Bean (9m Super Arnie-Easy Bean-Songcan), Bjorn Goop up for trainer Ulf Stenstromer, owner Stall Asunden HB andUnivers de Pan (7m Chaillot-Harolene), Philippe Deugeard trainer/driver, 39/1 breeder M.M. Herlin, 22/1 2nd Univers de Pan (6m Kenya du Pont-Gypsilore), Philippe Deugeard trainer/driver, 24/1 3rd Tiego d'Etang (7m Chaillot-Harolene), Christian Bigeon trainer/driver, 39/1 4th Yarrah Boko (9m Coktail Jet-Big Blue Kitten), Pierre Vercruysse, 18/1 5th Uhlan de Val (6m Isero de Bellouet-Indiana Beautiful), Cedric Megissier, 37/1 Disqualified for breaks - Ready Cash, Royal Dream, Santa Rosa France by Thomas H. Hicks for Harnesslink.com    

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

We struck four of the seven in the V75 with Reckless, Dreams Take Time, Finish Future, Twitter ticking the box. But our anchors let us down both leading in the straight only to get run down in sight of the finish. It is finals week for the V75, this week and the key again will be the anchors. In France, brilliant mare Roxane Griff spared our blushes at Vincennes, but in fairness to our other two selections, both were boxed in with nowhere to get out in the straight and were full of running. Brillantissime and Billie de Montfort are two to keep safe in the future. This week has two group ones in France, with the biggest stars of the track on show so it will be a great weekend’s racing. Good luck. V75-1 Silver division Final 2140m: This looks like a race in three with last start winners By Air (9) and Montgomery Gel (3) and impressive German-bred Chapeau (12) likely to hold the key to the opening leg. Selection  9-3-12 V75-2 Klass I, Final 2140m: In form Bear Dancer (6) was an expensive failure last time out when he broke close to the line and should be given a second chance. But there are three others with great credentials in this, so I think we should also include last time winners Uroy  (2), Miss Elaza (4) and Vacqueyras (5).    Selection 6-2-4-5 V75-3 Gold division, Final 2140m: Robert Bergh has certainly worked his magic with Amaru Boko (1) and from the ace draw  looks set to dominate, even though Bjorn Goop’s last start winner Baht Launcher (2) has claims. But we have to find a banker somewhere, and Amaru Boko is my solo pick.  Selection 1 V75-4 V75-Klass II, Final 2140m: Super Photogenic (11) has four wins in five starts, and though he is likely to face stiff competition from the likes of Chip Lane (3) Mellby Brunello (10) and Demo (2), our system demands a single pick somewhere.  So Super Photogenic (11) it is.  Selection 11 V75-5 Elite mares Final 2140m: This looks a tough one and the place to go wide with Stirling Allstar (7),  True Advantage  (12), Italy’s Rugiada Dei Rex   (5), Finland’s Beatasine (10) and Penny Of Man (6) the ones to throw in. Selection 7-12-5-10-6 V75-6 Bronze division Final 2140m: Impressive last start winner Rooibos (1), from the ace draw will probably hand up to Queasy (2), and these two look likely to slug this out, with the latter getting the nod for preference. Selection 2 (1) V75-7 V75 Champions League 2140m: Two international runners Italy’s Ponziopilato Stra    (7)and Netherland’s Absolut Newport  (8) are the two top selections here, although Checco Boko (3) and Kaka A.T. (10) also have claims. But  Ponziopilato Stra is our first choice with Absolut Newport an alternate.   Selection 7 (8) Prix Ephrem Houel 2875m: A 25m handicap on Akim du Cap Vert (9) and Axelle Dark (10)  prises this race wide open.  Coming into the mix are Adio Josselyn (2), Africain (3) and last start winner Alesia d'Atout (6) who looks well placed to make it two in a row. Selection 6 Prix de France 2175m: This will be the grand old champ Ready Cash (3)’s last race start and their will be many a sentimental wager being placed on the richest horse in harness. But with Maharajah deciding to return to Sweden, the stone-cold handicapper will  have his money on Up And Quick (7). Timoko  (2) and Yarrah Boko (9) are others with strong claims in this French  “sprint”.  Selection 7 Prix des Centaures (monte) 2200m: This is the first intergenerational race to feature the reduced handicaps of 25m for the aged contestants. This should make it much easier for the brilliant Vision Intense (15) to go back-to-back in this classique event. Others to have strong claims include Ulysse (14) and Anastasia Fella (6) off the front mark, but Jean-Philippe Dubois’ mare is special.  Selection 15 TOTAL COMBINATIONS 60 – Cost $5, +1 alternate $10, + 2 alternate $20 Also here are my win wagers from Solvalla. SOLVALLA SINGLE WAGERS $2 Race 5  By Air (9) Race 6 Bear Dancer (6) Race 7 Amaru Boko (1) Race 8 Super Photogenic (11) Race 9 True Advantage  (12) Race 10 Queasy (2) Race 11 Ponziopilato Stra     VINCENNES SINGLE WAGERS $2 Sat Race 4 Alesia d'Atout (6) Sun Race 5 Up And Quick (7) Race 6 Vision Intense (15)

The stellar career of the world's richest harness horse Ready Cash will come to an end after the running of the Prix de France at Vincennes on Sunday, a race which he won for the second time last year. Philippe Allaire's superstar is to retire to a fulltime career at stud after making a stunning start while still racing, with his first two crops producing multiple group winners. While the son of Imoko will be the sentimental favourite, the likely first pick of the punters will be runner-up to the absent Maharajah in the Prix d'Amerique Up And Quick. The brilliant son of Buvetier d'Aunou lost few friends in defeat a fortnight ago with a brave run in defeat to the Swede and will be at short odds to make it once better this time. Another likely to get support is Richard Westerink's Timoko, who was a fast-finishing fifth in the Prix d'Amerique without threatening to figure in the finish. The 'sprint' 2100m distance of the Prix de France might suit the son of Imoko better, Timoko won seven races last year, none further than 2400m. He has won at middle distance (2700m) at Vincennes, but only in restricted age-group races and was third in this race last year. Royal Dream was second in the race last year but the richly bred son of Love You has not been anywhere close to form this Winter Meeting. Seven is a recurring number for Jean-Philippe Dubois' former Prix d'Amerique winner. He was seventh in the big race this year and it has now been seven months and seven starts since he finished in the top three. Swedish bred and Norwegian owned and trained Yarrah Boko was flying home for third in the Prix d'Amerique and is not the worst chance in this. The son of Coktail Jet beat most of these home in the Prix de Belgique, and has been in super form, only once finishing out of the top three in his past 12 months racing. Compatriot and reigning Prix d'Ameriqe champion Maharajah has headed home, but Sweden will have a second presence through Noras Bean, who was a fourth in last year's race. The son of highly successful US export Super Arnie, who will have top Swedish driver Bjorn Goop in the bike, won his first start from a six-month break in the V75 at Aby last month and has a good record over the sprint distance. PRIX DE FRANCE  Vincennes 2014-02-09 Group one 4-10 2100m 400 000 euros 1 Noras Bean (h Super Arnie - Easy Bean) Tr: Björn Goop Dr: Ulf Stenströmer 2 Timoko (h Imoko - Kiss Me Coulonces) Tr: Jos Verbeeck Dr: Richard Westerink 3 Ready Cash (h Indy de Vive - Kidea) Tr: Franck Nivard Dr: Thierry Duvaldestin 4 Severino (h Gobernador - Katia de Tillard) Tr: Damien Bonne Dr: Roger Coueffin 5 The Best Madrik (h Coktail Jet - Lady Madrik) Tr: Jean Etienne Dubois Dr: Jean Etienne Dubois 6 Royal Dream (h Love You - Ida Bourbon) Tr: Jean Philippe Dubois Dr: Philippe Moulin 7 Up And Quick (h Buvetier d'Aunou - Fichtre) Tr: Jean Michel Bazire Dr: Franck Leblanc 8 Tiego d'Etang (h Chaillot - Harolene) Tr: Christian Bigeon Christian Dr: Bigeon 9 Yarrah Boko (h Coktail Jet - Big Blue Kitten Pierre Vercruysse Dr: Trond Anderssen 10 Univers de Pan (h Kenya du Pont - Gypsilore) Tr: Philippe Daugeard Dr: Philippe Daugeard 11 Uhlan du Val (h Islero de Bellouet - Indiana Beautiful) Tr: Cedric Megissier Dr: Cedric Megissier 12 Triode de Felliere (m Derby du Gite - Linea de Vandel) Tr: Anthony Barrier Dr: Jean Paul Marmion 13 Santa Rosa France (s Kaisy Dream - Helice France) Tr: William Bigeon Dr: Jean Luc Bigeon by David Sanders for Harnesslink.com  

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

Triskell Pacha, with Franck Nivard up, rallied to win today's Q+ Prix de Langeais at Paris-Vincennes. The seven year-old gelded son of Filio Josselyn defeated 19 rivals to take the winners share of the 85,000 euro purse for owner/trainer David Cherbonnel. The race was contested over 2850 meters with finishers two through five handicapped 25 meters. The winner secured his 11th career win now with earnings of 280,320 euros. The Q+ exact order winning ticket paid 5,455 euros excluding the 3.55 million euro jackpot. January 30, 2014 Paris-Vincennes, Prix de Langeais, 85,000 euro purse, 2850 meters, 20 starters, Quinte+ with jackpot 3.55 euro million  1.14.8kr 1st Triskell Pacha (7g Filio Josselyn-Derose de la Butte), Franck Nivard up for owner/trainer David Cherbonnel, 2.1/1, his 11th career win 2nd Sierra Leone (8f John Arifant-Une d'Havetot), Jean-William Hallais trainer/driver, 11/1, 25 meter handicap 3rd Starter du Rib (8g Ganymede-Jiviga), Mathier Abrivard, 31/1, 25 meter handicap 4th Sissi du Morin (8f Grassano-Haltise du Morin), Philippe Daugeard up, 10/1, 25 meter handicap 5th Tornade du Digeon (7f Jag de Bellouet-Herlane du Terme), J-M Bazire, 4.8/1, 25 meter handicap The Gr. III Prix de Verdun (2700 meters, 11 starters, 105,000 euro purse) for five year-olds was the day's racing feature and it went to Villeroi (5m Oiseau de Feux-Pocahontas-Defi d'Aunou) with trainer Jean-Etienne Dubois aboard. Villeroi recorded his fifth lifetime win and increased earnings to 255,590€ for owner Antonio De Sousa. He defeated the good Love You mare Violetta Mauzin handled by Franck Nivard. January 30, 2013 Paris-Vincennes, Prix de Verdun, Gr. III, 105,000 euros purse, 2700 meters, 11 starters  1.14.4kr 1st Villeroi (5m Oiseau de Feux-Pocahontas-Defi d'Aunou), Jean-Etienne Dubois, 7.8/1, fifth career victory for earnings of 255,590 euros, owner Antonio De Sousa 2nd Violetta Mauzin (5f Love You-Ocely de la Merite), Franck Nivard, 3/1 3rd Vaillant Cash (5m Offshore Dream-Kara du Redon), Mathieu Abrivard, 3/1 4th Voluntary Dream (5m Goetmals Wood-Luna d'Odyssee), Jean-Philippe Dubois, 9/1 5th Viva la Vida (5f Quaro-Perriere), Pierre Vercruysse, 14/1 Holland's Berry's Boy took the Prix Chambery for European males over the 2700 meter grand piste. The six year-old gelded son of Love You scored in 1.14.6kr to increase career earnings to 108,750 euros with his eight lifetime win. Jan-F Van Dooyeweerd trains the winner who scored at 18/1 for reinsman Pierre Vercruysse. This pair rallied to gain a short lead after the field turned into the long stretch and held off a host of competitors for a nose verdict. Italy's Oneghin del Ronco, also by Love You, was second for J-M Bazire and trainer Vincent Tufano. January 30, 2014 Paris-Vincennes, Prix Chambery European males, 18 starters, 48,000 euro purse, 2700 meters 1.14.6kr 1st Berry's Boy (6g Love You-Realy Furniture-Incredible Crafts), Pierre Vercruysse up for trainer Jan-F Van Dooyeweerd, 18/1 odds, eighth career win for 108,750 euros in earnings (Holland) 2nd Oneghin del Ronco (6m Love You-Talia del Ronco-Park Avenue Joe), J-M Bazire up for trainer Vincenzo Tufano, 5/1 (Italy) 3rd Unix des Forges (6g Nuage de Lait-Ottawa d;Orgeres), Eric Raffin, 5.3/1 4th Uvaro Vet (6m Diamant Gede-Harmonie Chery), Bertrand Le Beller, 6.8/1 5th Omas NP (6g Brandy dei Fiori-Franciosa Fgf), Ferdinando Pisacane, 49/1 (Italy) In separate news it was reported that Prix d'Amerique winner Maharajah was returned to Sweden and will not contest the Prix de France. It was also reported that now 11 year-old Commander Crowe has returned to light training in the stable of Fabrice Souloy who stated that the veteran Swedish registered gelded campaigner would only return to the races if physically fit. The coming weekend feature at Vincennes is the 200,000 euro monte Prix de L'Ile de France. Roxane Griff heads the eight horse field, making this her third major event appearance in as many weeks. She won the Prix de Cornulier on January 19 and then raced tough in the Prix d'Amerique last Sunday. Camille Levesque ridden Quarry Bay may be a major competitor in this one. by Thomas H. Hicks for Harnesslink.com  

Sweden's Moving On took today's Quinte+ Prix de Laval at Paris-Vincennes, scoring in 1.15kr over 2700 meters for reinsman David Thomain and trainer Fabrice Souloy. This European contest resulted in a truly European winner in the five year-old daughter of US registered Quite Easy from Kings Blondie (Sweden),she a daughter of Ride The Night (Finland). Quite Easy (Andover Hall-Marita's Victory-Valley Victory) is a half-brother to US winner From Above (Donato Hanover) and his second dam, Miss Marita, also produced Mr. Vic, Passionate Glide, Master Glide and Mr. Cantab. Third dam Keystone Profile produced Act Of Grace. Quite a family! January 28, 2014 Paris-Vincennes, Prix de Laval, European, 68,000€ purse, 2700 meters, 15 starters, Quinte+ 3.45€ million jackpot  1.15kr 1st Moving On (5f Quinte Easy-Kings Blondie-Ride The Night), David Thomain, 13/1. Fabrice Souloy trainer, IC Equine AB owner 2nd Vadapolina (5f Quaro-Miska des Rondes-Extreme Aunou), J-M Bazire driver/trainer, 2/1 3rd Vignia la Ravelle (5f Diamant Gede-Jirania la Ravelle-Bassano), Tony LeBeller, 4.8/1 4th Vita Bourbon (5f Love You-Kamara Bourbon-Cezio Josselyn), Mathieu Abrivard at 7.5/1 French turf press noted several outcomes from Sunday's Prix d'Amerique. Philippe Allaire reported that his Ready Cash would make his final career start in the upcoming Prix de France and would then be permanently retired to stud duty. His initial crops have been excellent. Trainer Franck Leblanc stated that Up And Quick would contest both the Prix de France and Prix de Paris and would then head to stud duty for the season. Stefan Hultman, trainer of Maharajah, said he would make a decision Friday on the Prix de France. Up And Quick The Prix d'Amerique visit by David McDuffee and trainer Richard Norman triggered speculation concerning a future European campaign for Bee A Magician, to follow in the hoof-steps of Moni Maker and her victory in France over a decade ago in 1999. by Thomas H. Hicks for Harnesslink.com  

After Texas Charm's win in yesterday's Prix de Bourgogne (his 14th career win now with earnings of 1,106,350 euro), over 2100 meters autostart, the point standing for the three "B" qualifiers is as follows: 1er Triode de Fellière 18 pts 2e Uhlan du Val  18 pts 3e Texas Charm 13 pts 3e Up And Quick  6 pts 4e Tiego d'Etang 6 pts 5e Ready Cash 4 pts 6e Soleil du Fossé 3 pts 7e Marielles 3 pts 8e Roxane Griff 2 pts 9e Treskool du Caux 2 pts   Texas Charm and driver Julien Dubois may take the family heritage to the world's truly classic trotting event. Jean-Pierre Dubois and sons Jean-Etienne and Jean-Philippe combined have four Prix d'Amerique victories. Texas Charm has two wins in 2013 timed at 1.10kr or better. Based on yesterday's win and special strong finish after a three-wide move against then leading pacesetter Timoko, one can believe that the six year-old son of Cygnus d'Odyssee can extend to the 2700 meter distance. Some observers believe 2014 will reveal a changing of the guard of the world's best trotters with Ready Cash, Royal Dream, Timoko, Roxane Griff and The Best Madrik having perhaps lost a step. But don't count out Ready Cash quite yet. Franck Nivard usually finds a strategically advantageous spot for his veteran, now with earnings of 4,282,300 euro and 40 victories, and he raced well yesterday despite being close to the exceptionally fast early fractions. It was also reported today that Italian sprinter Mack Grace SM will not contest the Prix d'Amerique. He's won 12 straight and may wait to meet the challenge of the Gran Criterium du Vitesse at Cagnes-sur-mer in early March, at the mile distance autostart, and after the European top Echelon have battled in the Prix d'Amerique, Prix de France and Prix de Paris, each two weeks apart starting with January 26. by Thomas H. Hicks for Harnesslink.com       

A storied trotting horse farm announced this week that it will stand recently retired Elitloppet winner Iceland in 2014 and also offer semen of Prix de Paris and Prix de France winner Maharajah. Allevamento Toniatti, operated for over 450 years in Italy, stands or provides semem for Credit Winner, From Above, Gigant Neo, Gruccione Jet, Igor Font, Ken Warkentin, Legenday Lover K, Naglo, Park Avenue Joe, Pine Chip and Supergill. Iceland (9m Scarlet Knight-Grandezza Ri-Probe) was a winner of over US$1.49 million and took a record of mile rate 1:52.5. His most notable wins were at age 4 the Gunnar Nordins Lopp, at 5 the C.Th. Ericssons Memorial and Solvallas Jubileumspokal and at age 6 the Elitloppet. His sire Scarlet Knight (Pine Chip-Ruby Crown) was the first European trained winner of the Hambletonian and his dam descends from the maternal family of Spinster Hanover. Maharajah (8m Viking Kronos-Chili Khan-Giant Chill) is still racing and sports earnings in excess of 19.1 million SEK, 29 wins in 55 career appearances, and a mile rate record of 1:53.1. He's been a classic winner since age 3 (winner of Svenskt Travkrierium among others). At age 4 he captured the Grand Prix de l'UET and the Svenskt Travderby, at age six he was second in the Prix d'Amerique and Prix de France and won the long distance Prix de Paris. At age 8 he won the Olympiatravet and in 2013 is preparing for another chance at the Prix d'Amerique. In fact, on December 26 Maharajah takes the next step toward Vincennes in January when he leads, as favorite, Solvalla's Lindahls Gold Final (Gr. II UET Masters Series, 2140 meters autostart, 300,000SEK to the winner). The field sets up as follows: Oasis Bi, B. Goop Maharajah, O. Kihlstrom Harry Haythrow, P. Untersteiner Winning Love, C.E. Lindblom Francais du Gull, E. Lindegren Perfectly Enough, E. Adielsson Rakas, P. Lennartsson B.W.L. Champion, Johnny Takter by Thomas H. Hicks for Harnesslink.com  

While the second of the B races on the road to the Prix d'Amerique, the Prix du Bourbonnais (Group 2, 120,000 euros) has brought the superstars of French harness racing out in force tonight, Sweden's biggest gun, Maharajah, may still get another shot at the World's greatest race despite a disappointing run in the Gavle Stora Pris three weeks ago. But Annika Lindblom, Projectleader of Travkompaniet, 'the Emperor's' owner said there was nothing amiss with the horse, who has been plagued with fetlock problems throughout his career, after the race. "The veterinary was pleased with him and he is ok in the training," Ms Linblom told Harnesslink. "Of course last race was a little bit of a disappointment but maybe he needs a couple of races before he is in shape again. Last race was only the third time he been at a racetrack since May!" As for a shot at the Prix d'Amerique, in which the great horse finished second in his first attempt in 2011, Ms Lindblom says Travompianet's connections have not made a final decision. "Well, the answer about the Prix D´Amerique is that we have not decides anything," she said. "We take one race at the time for Maharajah and We Will See after every race. "Next race for him will be in V75 in Gothenburg next Saturday , If he is okay in the training." Maharajah, who is trained by Stefan Hultman, has not previously entered the B races before the final race in January, the Prix de Bretagne, and it was a win in the 2011 renewal that earned him a place in that year's Grand Prix d'Amerique, where he finished a gallant second to Ready Cash, who like himself is an 8-year-old. The pair repeated the result the next week in the group one €400,000 Prix de France before Maharajah went on a week later to win the group one Prix de Paris (also €400,000), over the marathon 4175m trip around Vincennes with Ready Cash not fronting. But his old rival, who has won two Prix d'Amerique's and finished second last year will be making his first start at the Winter Series in this year's Prix de Bourbonnais, a race he has won two years in a row. Indeed Thierry Duvaldestin's son of Indy de Vive has a formidable record in B races. He has also won the Prix De Bourgogne (2100m) the last three times in a row, o won the Prix de Bretagne (2700m) at his second attempt in 2011 after galloping in his first ever B race in the 2010 renewal. In fact the only B race Ready Cash has not won is the Prix de Belgique (2850m), in which he finished third in his only attempt in 2012. He fronted up a fortnight later and won his first Prix d'Amerique. Last year's Prix d'Amerique winner Royal Dream has been patiently handled in his career by Jean-Etienne Dubois' Ecurie Victoria Dreams stable. Under the astute guidance of trainer Philippe Moulin, the son of Love You won seven on the trot when he began his career as a 4YO, all in provincial company and he did not make a start at Vincennes until late in his 5YO year. Even then he did not race in good company until he had fully matured as a 6YO in the Prix Tenor de Baune where he broke 50m from the line after he had drawn up alongside eventual winner Lana Del Rio and Ready Cash, who was subsequently disqualified. As a seven-year-old Royal Dream won the 2012 Prix de Belgique which gave him a ticket to that year's Prix dAmerique where he ran a promising sixth. He subsequently won his first group race, the Prix de France a fortnight later. Later that year he finished second in all three early B races, the Prix de Bretagne, Prix Du Bourbonnais and Prix de Bourgogne, before missing the Prix Belgique on his way to a stunning victory over Ready Cash in the Prix d'Amerique. He ran second in the Prix de France to Ready Cash and has been lightly raced the rest of the year with only six appearances, for a win and a second. He has had two warmup races in the provinces but he will be focussed on this, although not likely a favourite at this stage of his preparation. Rising star Timoko has had a stellar year with seven wins in 15 starts at the highest level and Richard Westerink's Imoko stallion might be nearing the level he needs to be to mount a serious challenge to Ready Cash, who was an easy victor in the UET Masters Series final, the last time they met. Ecurie Victoria Dreams and Moulin also have a second big gun in their arsenal with Texas Charm another from the impressive T generation, which is not far behind the quality of the much vaunted R crop. Texas Charm also has a victory over Timoko this year and has earned just under a million euros. The talented son of Cygnus d'Odyssee has won the Group one Prix Vincennes under saddle and group one Prix Rene Balliere in the bike and a clutch of group twos in both disciplines. There are plenty of other good horses in the field including world record breaking mare Save The Quick, recent Prix de Bretagne winner Uhland du Val and third placegettter Tiego d'Etang and former Italian Derby winner Pascia'Lest - who is in the same stable as Ready Cash. And with the big guns focusing on a bigger race in the last weekend of January, they could well provide an upset. Dave Sanders

Main Wise As (7m Yankee Glide-Desert Flower K-Sierra Kosmos) has been retired after an excellent career that began in Italy (where he was registered) and then extended throughout Europe. Owned by Scuderia Wise H. Sas and trained by Mike Lenders for the Pierre Levesque stable, the international top-class campaigner earned 1,447,964 euro (US$ 2,006,010). That makes him the second highest earning offspring of Yankee Glide, behind Passionate Glide's US$2,060,447 and above the highest earning North American son of Yankee Glide, that being Glidemaster with US$1,968,023. Major wins and placings on the resume of Main Wise As include the Gran Criterium (Memorial Piero Biondi) victory at age two, the Gran Premio Italia and Trearingsseliten at three, and the Prix Rene Balliere at age six. He was also second in the 2012 Prix de France and third in the 2013 Prix d'Amerique behind Royal Dream and Ready Cash. by Thomas H. Hicks 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

Today (Thursday)  the prestigious Winter Meet began at Hippodrome Paris-Vincennes and runs through March 3, 2014. A host to France and international trotting events highlight the program including the Four B’s that produce qualification for the Prix d’Amerique, the monte classic Prix de Cornulier plus the Criterium Continental and Prix Tenor de Baune. The dates of major races are shown below: Nov. 16 – Prix de Bretagne Dec. 1- Grand National du Trot (GNT) Final Dec. 7 – Prix de Bourbonnais Dec. 8 – Criterium 3 Ans Dec. 22 – Criterium Continental Jan. 1 – Prix de Bourgogne Jan. 5 – Prix du Calvados Jan. 12 – Prix Tenor de Baune Jan. 15 –Prix de Belgique Jan. 19 – Prix de Cornulier Jan. 16 – Prix d’Amerique Feb. 2 – Prix de L’lle dr France and Prix de la Marne Feb. 9 – Prix de France and Prix des Centauran Feb. 16 – Criterium des Jeunes Feb. 23 – Prix de Paris Mar 3 – Prix de L’Union European and Prix de Selection Today’s racing action was a fitting start to the Winter Meet, as it showcased the Gr. II monte Prix Reynolds over 2175 meters for a 120,000 euro purse. The great international sulky star mare Roxane Griff (8f Tenor de Baune-Julia Mesloise) made a sweeping move around the final bend and scored easily,  drawing clear to win in 1.11.3kr albeit she drifted wide toward the stands in the late stages. Eric Raffin rode the winner, defeating Quarry Bay (9f Cygnus d’Odyssee-Barcaroile) and Camille Levesque. Sakura Jiel (7f Buvetier d’Aunou-Milady Jiel) was third with Guillaume Martin aboard. The co-feature was the Gr. III Prix des Cevennes (European) for 110,000 euro over the 2700 meter grande piste.  Contenders Soleil du Fosse and the Robert Bergh handles Kadett CD made disqualifying miscues opening the way for a win by the Christian Bigeon trained and driven Tiego d’Etang (6m Chaillo-Harolene-Vroum d’Or) in 1.13.7kr. He defeated the SWE invader Sanity(7g Love You-Flash Light-Mack Lobell), handled by Franck Ouvrie for Stall Sanity and trainer Malin Lofgren, and the classy FR mare Santa Rosa France (7f Kaisy Dream-Heloise France-Blue Dream) with Wm. Bigeon up. The other important monte event on the card was the Prix de Bellerive over 2700 meters and for a purse of 72,000 euro. Air de Marne (3g Corot-Hydre de Marne) scored narrowly for Alexandre Abrivard in 1.17.1kr over Aquarelle de Fael for Franck Nivard with Al Capone Jet taking third for Damien Bonne. Monte action plays a significant role during the Winter Meet, culminating in the  700,000 euro Prix de Cornulier one week before the Prix d’Amerique. by Thomas H. Hicks for Harnesslink.com  

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