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The 6.9/1 mild long shot, Evangelina Blue (6f Speedy Blue-Happy Blue) stormed home in deep stretch to win today’s Gr. I monte Prix des Centaures (purse 200,000€, 2200 meters, nine starters) at the Hippodrome Paris-Vincennes Sunday. Mathieu Mottier was the jockey for owner/trainer J.Ph. Mary as Evangelina Blue won for the eighth time in 29 career starts, now for 621,500€ earned. Race time was 1.12.1kr and the winner was clocked in 1.11.7kr over her final 500 meters. The race fractions follow (1.06.4kr with 1500 meters remaining; 1.09.5kr at the 1000; 1.12.8kr at the 500 meters to go mark). To watch the race replay, click here. The 8/10 favorite Feeling Cash (5m Ready Cash-Royale Star) was a game second for Eric Raffin, trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Carlos Lerner. 8.8/1 Gospel Pat (4m Uriel Speed) was third with David Thomain in the irons for trainer Allaire. 18/1 Goforme de Houelle (4f Icare de Pouline) was fourth for Adrien Lamy and trainer/owner/breeder Franck Leblanc. Evangelina Blue by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink    

The 5YO crop play a supporting role to the Group One classique Criterium des 4 Ans with two Group two races, both worth 120,000 euros, the Prix Jean Gauvreau a monte over 2175m and the Prix Albert Demarcq an "atelle" or under harness race over 2850m, sandwiching the marquee event of the day. Jean-Philippe Dubois' super mare Vision Intense is a 4/3 on favourite on early markets for the Prix Jean Gauvreau which is race 5 on Saturday's card, as she makes a return to under saddle racing after a meritorious third in the group two Prix Henri Levesque in the bike to Voltigeur de Myrt, who is second-favourite in the other 5YO group race today. Vision Intense will be ridden as usual by Nathalie Henry and any placing in the race will push the daughter of Prodigious over the 800,000 euro mark in earnings. You will get good odds on any of the others, should she go into one of her occasional gallops as she did in costly fashion in the first of the monte group ones this year, the Prix des Centaures, which was won by Valdice de Mars , who lines up again here. Loic Groussard's daughter of Lynx de Bellouet will be ridden by champion jockey Yoann Lebourgeois and was paying 7/2 on the early market. Powerful player Ecurie des Charms stallion Valroy (First de Retz) and Yves Dreux's Varum Boy (Baccarat du Pont), who is making his first group start after solid recent form, are also well supported at 3/1 and 4/1 respectively. As mentioned previously Voltigeur de Myrt is the early 2/1 second-favourite for the Prix Albert Demarcq, for the same age group, but under harness, which is race 8 on the card and has drawn a closely matched field of nine. The winner of last year's Criterium des 4 Ans was super last time out notching his first win since last year's classique for trainer Roberto Donati and is a good chance here with a similar performance, with the other big guns of the generation such as Village Mystic, Victoire and Vanika du Ruel bypassing the race. Edging him in the favouritism is Eric Lambertz' Viking de Val (3/2) who was second in the Prix Henri Levesque, but Villeroi (9/4), whose baby sister Agneska is in the Criterium des 4 Ans, and two sons of Jag de Bellouet in Vulcain de Vandel (5/2) and Very Nice Marceau (3/1) also well supported. PRIX JEAN GAUVREAU Vincennes 03/05/14 FR Group II monte 2175m 5YO 120,000e 1 Valse de Reve (m Mister President - Nouba Houba) Anthony Barrier Tr: Nicolas Roussel 2175 2 Victoire Smiling (m Memphis du Rib - Kediva) Damien Bonne Tr: Damien Bonne 2175 3 Vol de Nuit (h Goetmals Wood - Manon Lescaut ) Camille Levesque Tr: Mike Lenders 2175 4 Vie des Neuf Clos (m Obrillant - Lola des Neuf Clos) Matthieu Abrivard Tr: Sebastien Hardy 2175 5 Viva Jenilou (m Phlegyas - Louve Jenilou) Franck Nivard Louis Baudron 2175 6 Valroy (h First de Retz - Leda d'Occagnes) Alexandre Abrivard Tr: Jean Michel Bazire 2175 7 Varum Boy (h Baccarat du Pont - Hawai Girl) Eric Raffin Tr: Yves Dreux 2175 8 Volga Saltor (m Fleuron Perrine - Glory d'Ariane) David Thomain Tr: Daniel Bethouart 2175 9 Voriane de Guez (m Jet Fortuna - Oriane de Guez) Olivier Touvais Mickael Tourteau 2175 10 Vic du Boisnant (h Gazouillis - Ode du Boisnant) Pierre Yves Verva Tr: Bruno Bourgoin 2175 11 Viscaria (m Gai Brillant - Lajounie des Cinty) Francois Lagadeuc Tr: Guillaume Gillot 2175 12 Valdice de Mars (m Lynx de Bellouet - Tiphanie) Yoann Lebourgeois Tr: Loic Groussard 2175 13 Vision Intense (m Prodigious - Intense Action) Nathalie Henry Tr: Philippe Moulin 2175 PRIX ALBERT DEMARCQ Vincennes 03/05/14 FR Group II 2850m 5YO 120 000e 1 Vaisman (h Memphis du Rib - Iula du Douetil) Dr: Franck Anne Tr: Franck Anne 2850 2 Vulcain de Vandel (h Jag de Bellouet - Ophelia de Vandel) Dr: Franck Nivard Tr: Franck Nivard 2850 3 Visite Royale (s Love You - Imagine d'Odyssee) Dr: Julien Dubois Tr: Philippe Moulin 2850 4 Very Nice Marceaux (h Jag de Bellouet - Jolie Fortuna) Dr: Pierre Vercruysse Tr: Gregory Laurent 2850 5 Vive Majyc (s Baccarat - Pont et Mammy Blue) Dr: Cedric Beurel Tr: Louis Baudron 2850 6 Villeroi (h Oiseau de Feux - Pocahontas) Dr: Jean Etienne Dubois Tr: Jean Etienne Dubois 2850 7 Vigove (h Gazouillis - Govive) Dr: Jean Michel Bazire Tr: Franck Leblanc 2850 8 Viking de Val (h Baccarat du Pont - La Forge de Val) Dr: Eric Lambertz Tr: Eric Lambertz 2875 9 Voltigeur de Myrt (h Opus Viervil - Myrtille des Bois) Dr: Eric Raffin Tr: Roberto Donati 2850 by David Sanders, for Harnesslink.com

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  

The 120,000 euro Group II Prix Louis le Bourg over 2850m for 4YOs is the last major monte for the Winter Meeting this Saturday. It is a small but evenly matched race since many of the top monte horses such St Leger des Trotteurs (Gr1) winner Almira Marancourt and runner-up Asana Trembledaise plus Prix d"Essai (Gr1) winner Arca Des Jacquets and runner-up Alexia de Cherisay are absent as are Prix De Vincennes (Gr1) winner Atlessima and Prix Des Elites (Gr1) winner Anastasia Fella who are unavailable due to the Prix de Selection being raced on the same day. Laurent Claude Abrivard's Agrippine was second in the group one Prix De Vincennes in December and was prominent in the Prix de Pardieux until making a gallop on the final turn. The daughter of Hasting with Alexandre Abrivard on board will be right in the mix here. The other two disputing favouritism are Jean-Pierre Dubois' Goetmals Wood filly A Noux Deus, the winner of the group two Prix de Pardieu last start and who will be ridden by Nathalie Henry, and Pierre Coignard's Al Capone Jet, the winner of the Prix Camille De Wazieres , the male equivalent. Both have strong claims in this race, as indicated by the early market in France. Airport was fifth in the group one Prix de Vincennes in December in a very promising first start in a group race. Ake Kristofferssen's son of Love You had a gallop next start but then won his fourth race in just 13 starts in his last start a fortnight ago, and is coming in for some strong support - as is the A Priori, a son of Capriccio , who followed him home in that race. For handicappers looking for an outsider, consider Aston Fly was third in the group one Prix d'Essai but was disqualified in the group one Prix des Centaures. Michael Jean Ruault son of Hermes de Montfort is always among the top five or six in the this age group and in the absence of the aforementioned top Echelon of this generation, could be one to keep onside here. PRIX LOUIS LE BOUR Vincennes 01/03/14 Group II monte 2850m 4YOs €120 000 1 Armio (h Qualmio de Vandel - Nahema) Rd: Philippe Masschaele Tr: Colette Chassagne 2 Astuce du Bas Bosq (m Caballio In Blue - Karlinette) Rd: Damien Bonne Tr: Francois Giard 3 Avireau de Houelle (h Coktail Jet - Irina de la Frette) Rd: Pierre Edo(uard Mary Tr: Franck Leblanc 4 A Priori (h Capriccio - Loctudy) Rd: David Thomain Tr: Jacques Bruneau 5 Airport (h Love You - Pivoine) Rd: Eric Raffin Tr: Ã…ke Kristoffersson 6 Anna Mix (m Ludo de Castelle - Ires) Rd: Franck Nivard Tr: Franck Leblanc 7 Antara Buissonay (m Le Retour - Judelle Buissonay) Rd: Yoann Lebourgeois Tr: Joel Van Eeckhaute 8 Agrippine (m Hasting - Moqueuse) Rd: Alexandre Abrivard Tr: Laurent Claude Abrivard 9 Aston Fly (h Hermes de Montfort - Quie Daidou) Rd: Jonathan Carre Tr: Michael Jean 10 A Nous Deux (m Goetmals Wood - Nina Madrik) Rd: Nathalie Henry Tr: Ronny Kuiper 11 Al Capone Jet (h Jag de Bellouet - Passion de Morgane) Dr: Matthieu Abrivard Tr: Pierre Coignard by David Sanders for Harnesslink.com  

Despite a costly failure in her last race Vision Intense is at 2/5 to win the Prix Paul Bastard on Sunday, a group II for 5YOs at Vincennes, over 2700m for a purse of 120,000 euros. The talented daughter of Prodigious was one of no less than 12 disqualified from the Prix des Centaures, the group one intergenerational monte held a fortnight ago, a race in which only three horses finished the course. She will meet the winner and the third placegetter in that race, Valdice de Mars and Valse Castelets, respectively but the French betting public know that if she stays trotting, she is a class above any of her six rivals in this field, especially under saddle. The Ecurie Victoria Dreams mare has galloped or been DQ'd for irregular gait six times in her 28 race starts, five of those being in her last 11 starts which must be of some concern to a handicapper. She has won 11 of the 22 races in which she has kept her feet moving correctly, and has only four times placed outside the top three. But at monte record is astounding, with seven wins under saddle in 12 monte starts, with four of them being DQs. The only time she has not won a monte race in which she has trotted correctly was in the Prix Olry-Roederer in November, in which she finished fourth after a tardy beginning left her too much to do. She has won the group one Prix De Vincennes and Prix Des Centaures and five other group two montes for earnings of 670,250 euros. The second favourite in the race is the winner of the Prix des Centaures Valdice de Mars, who will be ridden again by top jockey Yoann Lebourgeois for trainer Loic Groussard. The daughter of Lynx de Bellouet has the group one Prix des Centaures and the group two Prix Ceneri Forceninal among her eight wins in 27 career starts for 381,820 euros in earnings. All but six of those starts have been under saddle Joel Hallais' Valse Castelets was the horse that won the Prix Olry-Roederer and has also won two other group two montes, with a third in the Prix de Centaures and three other group two top-three placings and has eight wins in 33 starts for 460,400 euros in earnings. The daughter of Memphis du Rib will be ridden by Jean Loic Claude Dersoir. PRIX PAUL BASTARD Vincennes 2014-02-23 Group II monte 5YOs - 120 000 2700m 1 Vanille du Pont (5m Kesaco Phedo - Leva du Pont) Jk: Thibault Viet Tr: Jean Yves Rayon 2 Velinotte du Derby (5m Lejacque d'Houlbec - Kelinotte du Derby) Jk: Alexandre Abrivard Tr: Sylvain Lelievre 3 Valdu Mag (5h Jam Pridem - Poesie de Chamant ) Jk: Pierre Yves Verva Tr: Bruno Bourgoin 4 Viva Forest (5m Mickael de Vonnas - Java de Bazeille) Jk: Franck Nivard Tr: Fabrice Souloy 5 Valdice de Mars (5m Lynx de Bellouet - Tiphanie) Jk: Yoann Lebourgeois Tr: Loic Groussard 6 Valse Castelets (5m Memphis du Rib - Elide) Jk: Jean Loic Claude Dersoir Tr: Joel Hallais 7 Vision Intense (5m Prodigious - Intense Action) Jk: Nathalie Henry Tr: Philippe Moulin Dave Sanders

Acknowledged master of younger horse training Philippe Allaire will present unbeaten colt Boccador de Simm for both his first group race and first race under saddle in the 120,000 euro group two Prix Edouard Marcillac one of the two feature events on Thursday's Vincennes card. The first group two for B-generation colts under saddle has drawn a field of ten for the 2175m event, headed by Allaire's son of Rieussec, a richly-bred Goetmals Wood stallion who was second in the Criterium des 4 Ans, and from the immediate family of Criterium winners Jam Pridem and Carpe Diem. Boccador de Simm will be ridden by Yoann Lebourgeois and is one of only two colts making their monte debuts, and none of the field has before graced a group race, with most being specifically bred for under saddle racing. Matthieu Abrivard will be aboard the impressive Nicolas Raimbeaux trained Baggio du Chatelet who easily accounted for rising filly monte star Bomba when they met in Vincennes in the Prix de Cholet on January 28. The son of Niky has won both his starts under saddle, vastly improving on his record in the bike which stands at nine starts for one second and a fourth. His dam is by a Prix de Cornulier winner Gobernador from the immediate family of champion monte sire Chef du Chatelet. Thierry Duvaldestin lines up Best des Jacquets who was third in the Prix Cholet, his second start under saddle. His monte debut was a winning one for the son of Coktail Jet who hails from the family of Gros Grain who is the sire of Vipsie Griff, a current multiple group winning monte winner and a runner up in the Group one Prix des Elites. An interesting runner for breeding buffs is Beguin Madrik a son of monte star Paddy du Boison from the powerful Franck Anne stable. Paddy du Boisson won the group one montes the Prix de la Republique and the Prix des Centaures and is one of the last descendants of the famed Phaeton bloodline, which is unique to France. This line, which is distinct to that of the more famous Fuschia (Godolphin Arabian) line descends from a Darley Arabian line which goes through the important thoroughbred stallions Heir of Linne, the famous Eclipse and beyond that to Bartlet's Childers, who brother Flying Childers is the progenitor of the Hambletonian line. It is hanging by a thread in France, but has so for more than forty years, always seeming to produce one more son to carry it on. Jean Michel Baudouin's Best of Jets, a winner under saddle and Pierre Yves Verva's Beautiful Dussac, who has won his only start, also under saddle, are two others to have garnered early support. PRIX EDOUARD MARCILLAC Vincennes 13/02/14 FR Group II monte 2175m 3M 120 000e 1 Bilboy d'Occagnes (h Islero de Bellouet - Ode Pierre) Jy: Mathieu Mottier Tr: David Desclos 2 Brutus la Mesange (h Lilium Madrik - Infante du Buisson) Jy: David Thomain Tr: Gaetan Ligeron 3 Beautiful Dussac (h And Arifant - Olympe de Dussac) Jy: Pierre Yves Verva Tr: Pierre Yves Verva 4 Bazaki Seven (h Kesaco Phedo - Rani Duophi) Jy: Francois Lagadeuc Tr: Jean Michel Baudouin 5 Brooklyn Bridge (h Quatre Juillet - Mysterious Valley) Jy: Franck Nivard Tr: Franck Leblanc 6 Beguin Madrik (h Paddy du Buisson - Quatia Madrik) Jy: Antoine Lherete Tr: Franck Anne 7 Best des Jacquets (h Coktail Jet - Kodessa) Jy: Antoine Wiels Tr: Thierry Duvaldestin 8 Best of Jets (h Magnificent Rodney - Plume Jets) Jy: Eric Raffin Tr: Jean Michel Baudouin 9 Boccador de Simm (h Rieussec - Poupee Charmeuse) Jy: Yoann Lebourgeois Tr: Philippe Allaire 10 Baggio du Chatelet (h Niky - Paola du Chatelet) Jy: Matthieu Abrivard Tr: Nicolas Raimbeaux by David Sanders, 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 Group one Prix des Centaures over 2750m at Vincennes Sunday, is the first of the inter-generational classiques to be raced under the readjusted handicaps designed to address the advantage the younger horses have had in recent years. So great was this advantage seen that few older horses had bothered to sign up for the French trotting equivalent of thoroughbred racing's Weight-For-Age , which is designed to compare the credentials of different crops of horses for breeding purposes. Indeed last year's Prix des Centaures contained a field that was entirely made up of four-year-olds but this time nine of the 15 runners are representatives of the two older crops, making it a highly anticipated race of the ages bringing together the respective stars of Anastasia Fella, Vision Intense and Ulysse. The last time these crops met, in the Prix des Elites last year, Anastasia Fella, aided by the generous 50m advantage was untroubled to win but the next four home were all members of the U-crop including Ulysse in fifth and Ultissimo, who finished second, and in a stunning rate of 1.11.6 (1.55.1MR) for the 2200m. Fabrice Solouy's Ulysse was a disappointing eighth in the Prix de Cornulier after setting the pace, but he does not have to contend with the likes of Roxane Griff or Tiego d'Etang in this, although the son of Love You will have to work very hard to get to his favoured front running role. The third member of the U-crop entered is Utoky, in the famous colours of Comte Pierre de Montesson - of Une de Mai fame - and a not too shabby monte horse himself having won the group one Prix De Vincennes and Prix du President de la Republique. Last year's winner Vision Intense was not in that field, the only V-generation entrants were lesser mares hoping to pick up a classique placing to enhance their breeding value. The Phiippe Moulin-trained daughter of Prodigious was a brilliant winner of the group two Prix Camille Blaisot last start and will start a very warm favourite here, despite the class of the opposition. Valse Castelets was second that day, and is a dual group two monte winner and is one who may also figure in the finish. The other horse who is receiving early handicapping support is Jean-Pierre Dubois beautifully-bred A Nous Deux who is making her first start in a group race after a couple of impressive outings after being switched to saddle recently. The daughter of Goetmals Wood is from Nina Madrik, who was second in the Prix de Jeunes and Prix de l'Etoile and third in the Prix de Selection - the latter two inter-generational races as this one is. She is also from the family of The Best Madrik and several other classique performers. She is trained by Ronny Kuiper and will be ridden by Mathieu Abrivard. PRIX DES CENTAURES Vincennes 09/02/14 FR Group I monte 2175m 4-6 € 240 000 1 Aston Fly (h Hermes de Montfort - Quie Daidou) Jk: Jonathan Carre Tr: Michael Jean Ruault 2 A Nous Deux (s Goetmals Wood - Nina Madrik) Jk: Mathieu Abrivard Tr: Ronny Kuiper 3 Aquarelle de Fael (s Look de Star - Nadia Pierji) Jk: Anthony Barrier Tr: Thierry Duvaldestin 4 Alberic (h Goetmals Wood - Oublies Moi) Jk: David Thomain Tr: Fabrice Souloy 5 Atwood Griff (h Goetmals Wood - Qualane Griff) Jk: Eric Raffin Tr: Sebastien Guarato 6 Anastasia Fella (s Goetmals Wood - Jeanne's Fella) Jk: Franck Nivard Tr: Fabrice Souloy 7 Ultissimo (h Gobernador - Altissima) Jk: Mathieu Mottier Tr: Max Izaac 25m 8 Vaillant Cash (h Offshore Dream - Kara du Redon) Jk: Camille Levesque Tr: Yoann Letellier 25m 9 Ugenie du Citrus (s Meaulnes du Corta - Onna Lisa) Jk: Alexandre Abrivard Tr: Laurent Claude Abrivard 25m 10 Valdice de Mars (s Lynx de Bellouet - Tiphanie) Jk: Yoann Lebourgeois Tr: Loic Groussard 25m 11 Ultima Queen (s Jardy - Maya Day) Jk: Pierre Yves Verva Tr: Virginie Moquet 25m 12 Valse Castelets (s Memphis du Rib - Elide) Jk: Jean Loic Claude Dersoir Tr: Joel Hallais 25m 13 Utoky (h Cygnus d'Odyssee - Epopee) Jk: Damien Bonne Tr: Franck Leblanc 25m 14 Ulysse (h Love You - Loctudy) Jk: Thomas Levesque Tr: Mike Lenders 25m 15 Vision Intense (s Prodigious - Intense Action) Jk: Nathalie Henry Tr: Philippe Moulin 25m Dave Sanders  

With the withdrawal of Texas Charm from the Prix d'Amerique having robbed the great race of one of its great drawcards, French officials are sweating on a decision from the camp of Vision Intense on the rising monte star's participation in the Prix de Cornullier, the world championship of racing under saddle. Vision Intense looked like she might join a select group of winners of the Prix de Cornulier at five years of age, and the first since One du Rib in 2010. The first Prix de Cornulier was actually won by a five-year-old, when Esope, a daughter of three time Prix d'Amerique winner Uranie became the first of the fourteen 5YOS to win the event. However, the youngest ever winner of the Prix de Cornulier was Fandango, who was the only four-year-old to win the great race in 1953 and he repeated the feat at five, before siring two winners, including Prince de Veyes, who also won the race at five, and Querido II, a dual winner and like his sire an outstanding broodmare sire in France. Another epochal broodmare sire in France was Tabriz who was the last of a clutch of six five year-old winners Between 1960 and 1968. But there have only been three since, and with Kaiser Trot winning the first of his three Prix de Cornulier in 1981 and the two since were in Voici du Neil (1992 ) and One du Rib (2007) who won a second in 2010. But Philippe Moulin's daughter of Prodigious has been the absolute star of her generation with victories in the two Group one montes, the Prix de Vincennes and Prix des Centaures and was a brilliant winner of the Prix Leon Tacquet at the beginning of the mont. She is an admittedly poor starter and has several galloping induced omissions on her CV but she would have been one of the favourites if she were to start in the Prix de Cornulier . However, the bible of French trotting Paris-Turf was reporting today that her participation in the showpiece event , is very doubtful. Trainer Moulin , told Paris Turf reporter Emmanuel Ballot that his mare would probably bypass the Prix de Cornulier to focus on the Prix Camille Blaisot on the same of the Grand Prix d'Amérique, where she would face her contemporaries . Then she would then try to win her second Prix des Centaures on February 9 , a race for 4-6YOs and for which she would only get a penalty of 25 meters. Paris Turf said it was not a final decision , but rather the balance leans toward the "non" tonight. by David Sanders for Harnesslink.com   

Philippe Moulin's brilliant mare Vision Intense heads the monte field for the Prix Philippe du Rozier at Vincennes, a race for 4YOs over the sprint 2175m distance on the grand piste track. The daughter of Prodigious has been completely dominant over her crop under saddle having won eight of her 23 starts including the group one montes the Prix des Centaures and Prix de Vincennes and would have made it three if she hadn't been disqualified from the group one Prix du President de la Republique despite crossing the line first for an incorrect gait. She is often a tardy beginner and usually tails the field but has such a powerful finish she can usually overpower the field although she left it too late last time and was a fast finishing fourth to Valse Castelets in the Prix Olry-Roederer in her last start. Valse Castelets has now won seven of her eight races under saddle including three at group two level, and Franck Delanoe's daugher of Diamant Gede will also be at short odds to make it four. Vaquero du Mont has not had a win since March 2012, but has been picking up lucrative place prizemoney including a third in the group one Prix des Centaures and Herve Gille's son of Kaisy Dream is well due a change of luck. Criterium de Jeunes winner Vallaint Cash had his best run under saddle since he ran third in the Saint-Leger des Trotteurs when he again ran third last start. He is an enigma, having won the top two-year-old race the Prix Emmanuel Margouty and then was first past the post in the Criterium des Jeunes but not in a gait which pleased the adjucators. The son of Offshore Dream has been horribly out of form for the past eighteen months, but there are signs that he is finally getting back in the game with new jockey Camille Levesque in the saddle for the third time. Valdice de Mars has risen rapidly through the grades recently and has won at group two level at her first try three starts back while Viva Forest has followed a similar path and was second in that same race. Another with perhaps a chance is former group two winner in the bike Very Look who is having his first monte start. PRIX PHILIPPE DU ROZIER Vincennes 01/12/13 Group 2 monte 2175m 4YOs €120 000 1 Veracity (m Neutron du Cebe - Jovialidade) Rd: Clement Frecelle Tr: Benoit Carpentier 2 Vicomte Boufarcaux (h Oh James - Olympe du Boufard) Rd: Jonathan Carre Tr: Michael Jean Ruault 3 Viva Forest (m Mickael de Vonnas - Java de Bazeille) Rd: Franck Nivard Tr: Fabrice Souloy 4 Vaillant Cash (h Offshore Dream - Kara du Redon) Rd: Camille Levesque Tr: Yoann Letellier 2175 5 Vic du Boisnant (h Gazouillis - Ode du Boisnant) Rd: Pierre Yves Verva Tr: Bruno Bourgoin 6 Vincitore Ermitage (h Epicondyle - Petite Fontaine) Rd: Damien Bonne Tr: Damien Bonne 7 Valdice de Mars (m Lynx de Bellouet - Tiphanie) Rd: Yoann Lebourgeois Tr: Loic Groussard 8 Vestphalie du Mont (m Diamant Gede - Ostia du Mont) Rd: Julien Raffestin Tr: Franck Delanoe 9 Very Look (h Look de Star - Milady Wood) Rd: Alexandre Abrivard Tr: Jean Michel Bazire 10 Valse Castelets (m Memphis du Rib - Elide) Rd: Jean Loic Claude Dersoir Tr: Joel Hallais 11 Vaquero du Mont (h Kaisy Dream - Lacovia) Rd: Anthony Dollion v Herve Gilles 12 Vision Intense (m Prodigious - Intense Action) Rd: Nathalie Henry Tr: Philippe Moulin Dave Sanders    

Although the Vincennes Winter Meeting has been underway for the past few days it  doesn’t get truly going until the Prix Reynolds tonight, a Group II international monte, which unlike many of the big races on the Vincennes track is open to geldings. Indeed this race has been won recently by two of the greatest  geldings to have raced this decade in the recently retired Rapide Lebel and Swedish star Commander Crowe, who will instead by heading to Italy this year to partake in next weekend’s Nazioni , a €308,000 international group one in Milan. It is perhaps fitting that the horse that split their victories in 2011 and 2013 should also be making one of his last visits to the track in this race, as he again lines up in this €120,000 monte over Vincenne’s sprint distance. Picsou Villabon has not won since he took out this very race two years ago and makes his first start back from his stud season atPascal Borderieux’s Haras des Flagues at Geuron, near Bayeux, Normandy. A former winner of the  Group one monte Prix De L'ile-De-France and four Group twos including the Prix de Reynolds, he is one of two entering the last couple of months of their careers in France. French regulations see horses retire at 10, and it is fitting that two members of the P generation are represented in the opening group two race of the Winter Meeting, which fittingly is a monte, in which is where many of this particular crop excelled.   These include outstanding mares  Priscilla Blue (Prix de l’Isle-de-France winner and second in the Prix de Cornulier), Princess Foot (Group one monte winner and placegetter), Paola De Lou (placed in four Group ones including second in Prix de Cornulier), Private Love (a group one winner and placed in the Prix de Cornulier) and Plenty Pocket (Prix de l’Isle-de-France plagetter). The crop has also produced monte stallions at stud including the aforementioned Picsou Villabon, but also Philotenor (St Leger and Prix d’Essai winner), Paddy du Buisson (winner of two group one montes) Prince Gede (Prix de Normandie winner and Prix de Paris in the bike) and  Prince de Montford (placed in four group one montes including the Prix de Cornulier). Other good P-generation males include  Premiere Steed (placed in Prix Cornulier and three other Group ones ) and Pacha du Cap Vert (placed in two group one montes). And while Picsou Villabon is a former Prix Reynolds, the most likely representative of the crop of 2003 to make an impression in this race is Pluto du Vivier. Jean-Christophe Sorel’s gelding has won two monte races in his last five starts (the last one in June) and has actually won five of his sixteen career victories in this his last season – taking his total earnings to over €828,000. But as usual in the Prix Reynolds, there are some outstanding horses in this field including the likely favourite Roxane Griff, who is a group winner over the toughest race of them all, the 4000m Prix De Paris.  Sebastien Guarato’s star mare was also  second in three Group ones including the greatest of them all the Grand Prix d’Amerique plus the Prix de l’Atlantique and Prix Rene Balliere. She will be at very short odds one would imagine. But also likely to be heavily backed is Quarry Bay, another outstanding mare and a genuine star of monte races. Mike Lender’s charge  was second in this season’s Prix du Cornulier, the second richest in race in France, and the greatest under saddle race in the world, the renewal of which is one of the features of this Winter Season at Vincennes. The nine-year-old daughter of Cygnus d'Odyssee was also second in this year’s Group One Prix de l’le-de-France and has earning less than 70,000 euros short of being a millionaire. She was fouled out of her last start, the marathon Prix de la Ville de Caen which was won by Swedish invader Global Manhattan,  and her previous start was tenth in a minor race  in Rambouillet, a conditioning evenrt which saw several topliners such as Texas Charm and Royal Dream get in some prep. But these races were in the bike, and Quarry Bay is a different horse under saddle, and is coming off  two group twos victories in May and April, and a second placing in March. She is going to be very hard to beat with regular rider Camille Levesque aboard. The T generation, the  crop which left the assurances of age group racing this season to mix it permanently with the big guns in open class elite racing is represented by two rising monte stars in Taiga du Rib and Torre Crepin. Taiga du Rib ran third in the Group one Prix De Normandie in 2012. He has been mixing both saddle and bike this season and has been doing far better under saddle, with a win, four thirds and two fourths in his last seven starts, all Group II montes. Torre Crepin was second in the Prix Alfred Lefevre, a Group three  monte on this track late  last month, and all of Bruno Marie’s gelding’s seven career wins have been at Vincennes under saddle. Former Group one Prix des Centaures winner Saphir de Morge is also in the field. Frank Terry’s stallion is having only his third run back after more than a year off and will need to be taken on trust. PRIX REYNOLDS Vincennes  30/10/13   Group II Int monte  2175m 5-10 €120,000 1         Torre Crepin (6g  Capriccio - Lanaka   Franck Nivard) Rd:  Tr:  Bruno Marie          2         Saphir de Morge (7h  Guenor - Folie de Morge) Rd:   Pierre Yves Verva Tr:   Franck Terry          3         Sakura Jiel (7m  Buvetier d'Aunou - Milady Jiel) Rd:   Guillaume Martin  Tr:  Jean Luc Dersoir          4         Petit Javanais (10h  Diamant Gede - Grande Java) Rd:   Yoann Lebourgeois  Tr:  Herve Houel          5         Ratio Thieben (8g  Tenor de Baune - In Brasilia) Rd:   Olivier Touvais  Tr:  Jean Baptiste Bossuet          6         Taiga du Rib (6m  Nice Love - Galinette Cendree) Rd:   Jean Loic Claude Dersoir Tr:   Joel Hallais          7         Picsou de Villabon (10h  Speed Clayettois - Ghiza du Chene) Rd:   Medhy Hadjira Tr:   Patrick Labrousse          8         Pluto du Vivier (10g  Extreme Dream - Iguine du Vivier) Rd:   Mathieu Abrivard Tr:   Jean Christophe Sorel          9         Quarry Bay (9m  Cygnus d'Odyssee - Barcarolle) Rd:   Camille Levesque Tr:   Mike Lenders          10         Risque Tout (8g  Giant Cat - Little Pearl ) Rd:  Julien Raffestin  Tr:  Gerard Paille          11         Roxane Griff (8m  Tenor de Baune - Julia Mesloise)  Rd: Eric Raffin  Tr: Sebastien Guarato       Dave Sanders

It’s highly  likely Ready Cash will be in the headlines again this weekend with three of his progeny being among the first four favourites of taking out the Group I Prix de l’Etoile at Vincennes. One of the great classics of French trotting, the Prix de l’Etoile (3-4-5YO sulky) is one of four races in France which, through handicapping, were originally designed to give breeders a chance to compare the crops. The other races are the Prix des Elites (3-4-5YO monte),the Prix de Selection (4-5-6YO sulky) and Prix des Centaures (4-5-6 YO monte). The introduction of the modern US bloodlines in the 1980s, where around 20 French mares were exported to the United States and their progeny sent back to France (the book closed again in 1991),  has had the effect of making the breed much more precocious and as a result the two sulky races in particular have become dominated by 3YOs. Having to start off a 50 metre handicap, it' hasn’t been since 1997 since a 5YO has won this race when Elvis de Rossignol (Sancho Panca) beat another from his crop Escartefigue (Steed James), with 4YO Fleuron Perrine (Tenor de Baune) third – and a genuine great of French trotting General du Pommeau (Sebrazac) being the first 3YO home in fourth.   Three of these four stallions were from the Fuschia (Godolphin) line, and the other from the endangered Phaeton (non Hambletonian Darley) bloodlines. And it won't be a five-year-old  this year with the only representative of that crop being Unaka (Joyau d'Amour)  who has only had three wins in 55 starts and his having  her first start in a major race despite five.   She will be  hoping to sneak into a top five finish and add some classic credentials to her pedigree page as will the 4YO mares Vigogne du Boulay and Viscaria, who were two of the top 2YOs in their crop, but never went on to fullfil their early promise.  Incidentally it was back in 1993 that a 4YO won this race. Vigogne du Boulay (Defi d'Aunou) in fact won the biggest 2YO race in France, the Group II  Prix Une De Mai, and was  fifth in  Group I Criterium des Jeunes - the first of the Criteriums and raced in February  of the 3YO year - but she has done nothing since. Viscaria (Gai Brillant) is mainly  a monte horse, whose best performance was second in  Group I  monte, the Prix des Centaures. But this is now  a very coveted race for 3YOs and the top three of the generation (and four of the top five) will be fronting up to claim a Group I and add to their breeding credentials. The top of the crop is Axelle Dark who has won seven of her 15 starts(€434,400)  including the Group II Prix Uranie last start, and also won the  Group I Prix Albert Viel in June – and will be the favourite for the race. Avila  downed her paternal half-sister two starts ago and has won six of her 12 starts (€322,000) is trained by Ready Cash’s trainer Thierry Duvaldestin, although is under different ownership to the other pair (Cyril Lelarge).  She won the Critierium des Jeunes, the other Group I so far decided by this generation, making it two from two so far for Ready Cash with his first crop. Ready Cash’s best colt Atlas de Joudes (4 wins) is out of a Love You mare and like Axelle Dark is owned and trained by Philippe Allaire – who of course owns Ready Cash. He has been making mistakes of late and hasn’t won since February, when he claimed the Prix Paul Viel while he was fifth in the Criterium de Jeunes a few weeks later. Akim du Cap Vert (first de Retz) is likely to be the biggest threat to the Ready Cash trio, indeed is the best colt of the generation, having won France’s  top 2YO race, the Group two Prix Emmanuel Margouty in December. He was also second in the Criterium des Jeunes and  his trainer/driver Franck Anne won this same race last year with the brilliant filly Vanika de Ruel (Jardy). The other runner with genuine claims is the Fabrice Solouy’s Goetmals wood filly Anastasia Fella who beat the two Ready Cash fillies home in the top 2YO race for their gender, the Prix Une de Mai, in December. Although that was also her only victory so far, she was second  in her last start, when splitting Axelle Dark and Avila in the Prix Uranie so is capable of an upset. PRIX DE L'ETOILE Vincennes  2150m Group 1, 3-4-5YO  € 240,000 1         Ausone du Kastel (3c Gros Grain – Lancee)  Tr/Dr: Emmanuel Allard    2         Anastasia Fella (3f Goetmals Wood - Jeanne's Fella)   Dr: Franck Nivard   Tr: Fabrice Souloy         3         Almira Marancourt (3f Lilium Madrik – Elmira)  Dr:  David Thomain   Tr: Sébastien Hervalet       4         Atlas de Joudes (3c Ready Cash - Queschua Love)   Dr: Pierre Vercruysse   Tr: Philippe Allaire       5         Avila (3f Ready Cash – Encombevineuse)   Tr/Dr: Thierry Duvaldestin   Tr: Thierry Duvaldestin       6         Akim du Cap Vert (3c First de Retz - Prima du Cap Vert)   Tr/Dr: Franck Anne            7         Axelle Dark (3f Ready Cash - Queen des Charmes)   Dr: Jos Verbeeck   Tr: Philippe Allaire       8         Unaka (5m  Joyau d'Amour - Lena) Dr: Baptiste Masseguin Tr:  Francisco Criado     50m     9         Vigogne du Boulay (4m  Defi d'Aunou - Mona Lisa Jet)   Dr: Eric Raffin   Tr: Franck Harel     50m 10         Viscaria (4m Gai Brillant - Lajounie des Cinty)   Tr/Dr: Guillaume Gillot   Guillaume Gillot     50m by David Sanders for Harnesslink.com

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