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An exceptional racing program highlighted Sunday’s Paris-Vincennes celebration of the Middle East featuring Lebanon and Turkey, as described in a section below. The groupe level races began with the Prix du Pontavice de Heussey (monte Gr. III, 90,000€, 2175 meters, European eligibles). 1.4/1 favorite Boss du Meleuc (9g Lucky Blue-Rafale du Meleuc) scored timed in 1.11.kr for jockey Alexandre Abrivard and owner/trainer Yannick Alain Briand. The winner secured his 20th career win in 70 starts now for 788,100€ earned. The 3.9/1 Mindyourvalue WF (7g Hovding Lavec) was next for trainer Robert Bergh and with Yoann Lebourgeois in the irons. 26/1 Eros de Chene was third for P.Ph. Ploquin with 10/1 Exotica de Retz home fourth. Hippodrome Paris-Vincennes continued its policy of affinity events with a novelty, this the Feast at the 100% Oriental Hippodrome. This 2020 edition presented gourmet tables with couscous, tagines, mint tea, Lebanese and Turkish specialties; dance performances; oriental music; and Bedouin village -the world of the Sahara with carpets, lanterns, copper lamps, veils, palm trees. The atmosphere also entertained the little ones with the free activities of Superdimanche (mini commentators, rodeo racing, pony baptisms (from 1pm to 5.30pm), pedal sulkys, stable tours, workshops pedagogical stake). The race named the Prix de Fete 100% Orientale (purse 43,000€) went to 16/1 Egerie Quesnot (6f Sam Bourbon) with Matthieu Abrivard up timed in 1.14.7kr. This was the day’s Quinte+ race and there were 20 exact order winning tickets that each paid 46,384.20€. The Q+ pool reached 4,935,606€ and over 10,644,000€ was wagered in the race (all wagering pools). Egerie Quesnot The Prix Comte Pierre de Montesson (Criterium des Jeunes Gr. 1, purse 170,000€, 2700 meters, three year olds) was the racing showcase of this day and victory was earned by 1.1/1 favorite Havana d’Aurcy (3f Royal Dream-Avila) as she scored for trainer/driver Jean Michel Bazire for breeder/owner Cyril Lelarge. Havana won for the sixth time in 10 starts now for 253,200€ earned. The 14/1 Hooker Berry (3m Booster Winner-Osaka Berry) was second with Franck Nivard up for trainer Bazire. 9/1 Heartbreaker One (3m Alto de Viette) was placed third due to a rival miscue dq, with Bjorn Goop aboard for trainer Luc Roelens. 48/1 Hora Beji and 10/1 Heavens Pride completed the top five. Havana d’Aurcy Replay - https://www.letrot.com/fr/replay-courses/2020-02-16/7500/6   The Prix d’Orthez (Gr. III, purse 80,000€, 2700 meters, European four year olds) was the next groupe level event and Italy showed up strongly. Even money favorite Always EK (4m Filipp Roc-Nike EK) scored in 1.15.6kr with Bjorn Goop aboard for trainer Alessandro Gocciadoro and owner Scuderia Efflebi, his third win in France and his life earnings are now 104,826€.   The 25/1 stablemate Aramis EK (4m Nad Al Sheba) was next for the same owner and trainer and with reinsman Pietro Gubellini. Gamble River, off at 4.3/1 odds, was third for Eric Raffin, trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Gerard Manzi. Always EK The Prix d’Arras (purse 51,000€, 2700 meters, 16 European starters) saw 1.14.3kr timed and 2.6/1 odds Moni Viking (7m Maharajah-Jeunesse Doree) score gamely for trainer/driver Pierre Vercruysse and owner Jan Lyng. Moni Viking has five wins in 14 outings in France and today lifted his life earnings to 241,041€. 15/1 Dream Cash took second for Gabriele Gelormini up for trainer Jean Michel Bazire. 2.1/1 Desperado (7g Kesaco Phedo) was third, this one also a Bazire trainee, for pilot Alexandre Abrivard, Moni Viking The program completed with the coldbloods competing in the Prix des Trotteurs Sang Froid (purse 18,000€, 2100 meters autostart) with the victory to 10/1 HV Tuuri (10m Turo-HV Kipina) handled by Iikka Nurmonen for trainer Ossi Normonen. HV Tuuri LeTrot, PMO., JMB files/photos by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink  

This Sunday’s Paris-Vincennes harness racing program presented three groupe level contests for youthful trotters. The Gr. II Prix Roquepine (purse 100,000€, 2175 meters, three year olds) saw 5/10 favporite Havana d’Aurcy (3f Royal Dream-Avila) record a 1.13.2kr clocked victory with trainer Jean Michel Bazire aboard for trainer Cyril Lelarge. It was her fifth career victory now for 176,700€ earned. 10/1 Havanaise (3f Ricimer) was a game and close second for pilot F.P. Bossuet and Hora Beji (3f Ni Ho Ped d’Ombree) earned the third check for Alexandre Abrivard. Havana d’Aurcy w J-M Bazire The Gr. II Prix Paul Viel (purse 100,000€, 2175 meters, three year olds) went to 10/1 Heartbreaker One (3m Alto de Viette-Reine Normande) with Bjorn Goop at the lines for trainer Luc Roelens. Timed in 1.14.9kr the winner recorded his third career victory now for 98,350€ in life earnings. The 4/10 favorite Helgafell (3m Charly du Noyer) was second with Eric Raffin driving for trainer Philippe Allaire. Third went to Hooker Berry (3m Booster Winner) with Jean Michel Bazire aboard. Heartbreaker One, Bjorn Goop The Gr. III Prix d’Avignon (purse 70,000€, 2150 meters autostart, four year olds) saw 6.7/1 Gelati Cut (4m Coktail Jet- Variety Cut) score very impressively with Alexandre Abrivard up for trainer R.C. Larue and Ecurie Windcut, his fourth career victory that raised his earnings to 141,920€. Race time was 1.12.4kr. Gelati Cut is one to watch, a great gaited performer. The 1.6/1 favorite Go On Boy (4m Password) was second for Romain Derieux and 2.7/1 Garibaldi (4m Love You) took third for J.Ph. Monclin. Glorissima (4f Royal Dream) was fourth with Etienne Dubois aboard. Gelati Cut  by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink  

Fighter Smart (4m Uniclove-Vicky Cash) took this day’s Quinte+ Prix de Picardie at Vincennes (purse 53,000€, 2850 meters, 14 starters) clocked in 1.13.7. Mathieu Mottier piloted this 25/1 outsider owned by breeder Ecurie Smart to his fourth career win, now for 244,520€ earned.  The 20/1 Fun Quick (4m Carpe Diem) rallied for second with Alexandre Abrivard up and 7.7/1 Fresneaux (4m Timoko) held third for Christophe Martens. The 10/1 Fuego du Houelle (4g Rieussec) and 3.4/1 Foxtrot Sea (4m Olitro) completed the top five and set up an exact order Q+ payoff of 45,859.20€ for a 2€ wager. The Q+ pool was 2,618,606€ and the total of all wagering pools on this race exceeded 5,824,000€. On the undercard was the Prix de Bouville (purse 50,000€, 2100 meters autostart, 11 starters) and the 4/10 favorite Elie de Beaufour (5g Royal Dream-Pignata) proved the punters right with a rallying 1.12.1kr timed score. Eric Raffin teamed the J-M Bazire trainee to his 13th career victory on 17 starts now for 183,150€ earned. The sire was an inspiring Prix d’Amerique winner. The 21/1 Ekiango de Nile (5g Olimede) held second for Matthieu Abrivard and 14/1 Ecurevil Jenilou (5g Village Mystic) was third for pilot Alexandre Abrivard. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

Today’s Grand Prix Three Year Olds (purse 12,855€, 2400 meters, six starters) saw 3.8/1 Flashdance (3f Maharajah-Timberwoods) scored in 1.19.1kr for trainer/driver Rene Aebischer and Ecurie Walton. The 2/5 favorite Freak Of Nature (3f Goetmals Wood) took second for Marc Andre Bovay and third went to 4.4/1 Fakir Fighter (3g Le Touguet) with Marcel Houmbert aboard. The day’s featured event was the Prix Elites (purse 17,140€, 2340 meters autostart, seven starters). The 4.4/1 Drago de Tilou (5f Royal Dream-Haloa Tyss) scored timed in 1.14.8kr with trainer Marc Andre Bovay driving. The 4.2/1 Elattori (4m Love You-Sarattoga) was second for owner/driver Henri Turrettini and third was the 2/5 favorite Dal Cuore (5g Real de Lou) handled by his trainer Adrian Burger. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

Today’s Quinte+ was the Prix Bernard de Quellec (purse 60,000€, 2850 meters, 14 European starters) ay Paris-Vincennes, with victory earned by the 10/1 odds Copernic de Play (6g Giant Cat-Orelie de Play) with owner/trainer Franck Blandic aboard. The winner was timed in 1.13.2kr and recorded his 14th career win in 43 outings. Tinamo Jet (6m Naglo) was second at 1.4/1 for J-M Bazire and trainer Fraqnck Leblanc. 69/1 Best du Hauty (7g Roc Meslois) took third for owner/trainer/driver Olivier Bizoux. 19/1 Cicero Noa (6g Mandarino Blue) was fourth for Pierre Vercruysse ahead of 30/1 Crepe de Satin (6f LeRetour) for Bjorn Goop. The exact order Q+ payoff was 65,973.20€. The Prix de Mehun Sur Yevre (purse 50,000€, 2100 meters autostart, 13 European starters) went to 1.11.6kr timed and 3/5 favorite Dreambreaker (5g Offshore Dream-Brooke Boko) scored for trainer/driver J-M Bazire. 29/1 Diego d’Uka (5g Quido du Goutier) was second for Anthony Barrier ahead of 8/1 Sahara One (6g Raja Mirchi) and driver Conrad Lugauer. The Prix de Givors (purse €50,000, 2700 meters, eight starters) was the backdrop for a 1.9/1 odds victory for Early Dream (4m Royal Dream-Uniformity) driven by breeder Jean Philippe Dubois to his eighth career win in just 14 starts. Philippe Moulin trains this one for Ecurie Victoria Dreams. Race time was 1.14.2kr. The 6/1 Ethien du Vivier (4m Sancho Turgot) was second for Bjorn Goop and trainer Tomas Malmqvist, with third to 5.8/1 Express du Gers (4m Coktail Jet) handled by Franck Ouvrie. Yesterday at Amiens was the Gr. III Grand Prix de la Federation Regionale du Nord (purse 100,000€, 2400 meters, 11 starters) and the 1.12.kr timed victory went to the champion veteran and 4/5 favorite Un Mec d’Heripre (10m Orlando Vici-I Love You Darling) with Franck Ouvrie up. Ecurie d’Heripre owns the Philippe Billard trainee. The 11/1 Venosc de Minel (9g Laetenter Diem) took second for Tony LeBeller ahead of 25/1 Coquin Bebe (6m Rancho Gede) and driver Adrien Lamy. 65/1 Anette du Mirel (8f Laetenter Diem) raced well on the pegs and was fourth for Yoann Lebourgeois and trainer Anders Lindqvist. Fifth was Ultimate du Rib. The beaten field, behind the noteworthy winning speedmaster, also included Dijon that was a miscue dq, Ave Avis, Rocky Winner and Booster Winner. The Amiens Quinte+ event was the Prix de la Ville d’Amiens (purse 32,000€, 2400 meters autostart, 14 European starters) and the 9/2 odds winner was Christo (6g Rieussec-Panacee) handled by trainer Michel Lenoir for Ecurie des Amis. The 37/1 outsider Beppe AM (7g Enjoy Lavec) took second for Tony LeBeller at the lines for trainer Bjorn Goop. Third was Springover (7m Going Kronos) at 5.7/1 and reined by Franck Ouvrie for trainer Peter Untersteiner. 22/1 Ceasar Sisu (6g Cantab Hall) took fourth for Franck Anne. Trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Pierre Pilarski. The 53/1 longshot Primula Brazza’ (9f Oiseau de Feux) was fifth and this triggered one winning Q+ ticket worth 187,467.20€ to that astute player for a 2€ wager. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

Vichenko Chef (7g Chef du Chatelet-Incertaine Mabon) took today’s Quinte+ (jackpot €4 million) €50,000 purse Prix de L’ille-et-Vilaine at Vincennes, in which 18 European participants traveled the 2100 meter course. The winner was timed in 1.12.1kr and Ch. Dreux was the driver and is owner/trainer. Off at 3.4/1 the winner defeated 10.5/1 Viking Dream (7g Iserio-Helfie) and Eric Raffin with third to 6/1 Viking du Pilet (7g Kuadro Wild-Indra du Pilet) and Franck Ouvrie. 37/1 Pike River finished fourth with Antoine Wiels aboard with 165/1 Violine Mourotaise fifth with David Thomain up. Maffioso Face finished eighth in this contest. On this card the monte Prix de Douvres (purse €60,000, 2175 meters, 15 starters with apprentice lad jiockeys) went to 4.5/1 A Mery des Chahains (f Password-Neuit du Plainville) timed in 1.13.8kr for jockey Luca Donati for trainer/owner Cedrik Megissier. 3/2 odds Alexane d’Urzy (f Coktail Jet-Oree Bourbon) was next for Leo Abrivard teaming for L.Cl. Abrivard trainer for Ecurie Augustin Normand. 5.4/1 Aviva Aimef (f Love You-Harmonie du Fosse) was third for Niels Pacha and trainer Mathieu Abrivard. The Europeans contested the €64,000 purse Prix de Bourg-en-Bresse (2700 meters, 12 starters) with Geisha Sund (6f Love You-Kanadia) recording a 1.14.5kr victory at 2.2/1 odds for Dominik Locqueneux up for trainer Robert Bergh and Etoile Sweden HB. Finishing second at 9.5/1 was Rugiada dei Rex (f Cantab Hall-Eternity Rex) with J-M Bazire aboard for trainer Peter G. Norman and owner Arnold Mollema. 6.4/1 Royal Roz (f Filipp Roc-Gressy Roc) landed third in the blanket finish with Mathieu Abrivard trainer and driver for owner Scuderia Sant Eusebio. Defi Dream (3m Royal Dream-Quelea MIP) took the Prix de Vibraye (purse €33,000, 2700 meters, 14 starters) timed in 1.18.2kr with Franck Nivard up. Fabrice Souloy trains Defi Dream that Ecurie Mexique Ranch owns. 39.2/1 Djimmy de Vive (3m Un Amour d’Haufor-Jezira de Mormal) was second for P-Y Verva and third was 27/1 Django Justice (3g Osvaldo Bello-Perle de Meauce). This afternoon Camille Levesque piloted 7/2 odds Bohemian Rhapsody (5f Angus Hall-Bahama) to victory in the €50,000 purse Prix de la Geneuraye over 2700 meters. 14 contested this monte event. The 1.15.2kr winner is trained by Thomas Levesque and owned by Ecurie Pierre Levesque. 74.3/1 Bambolina (5f Kaiser Soze-Sims Thai) was second for Antoine Lamy and trainer Alain Roussel. 52/1 Brise des Noels  was third with 2.4/1 favorite Belebrine fourth for Eric Raffin. This day the runners were at Cagnes-sur-mer and American trainer Mme Gina Rarick saddled a training winner with 18/1 odds King Driver in the €17,000 purse Prix de la Napoule. Mme Rarick has been writing for The Paulick Report with Alan Shuback, a fabulous diary covering her current experiences at Cagnes-sur-mer. It is well worth reading. Congrats to Mme. Rarick. Thomas H. Hicks  

August 26, 2015 - Today’s featured Gr. II Orix Guy le Gonidec (purse €120,000, 2700 meters, 15 starters) went to the Eric Raffin driven Billie de Montfort (4f Jasmin de Flore-Quismy de Montfort) easily by four lengths timed in 1.13.1kr. Sebastien Guarato trains this Philippe Dauphin owned mare that was off as the 4/5 favorite. 21/1 Bahia Quesnot (4f Scipion du Goutier-Queen Ines) was second for reinsman Mathieu Abrivard with third to 16/1 Balva Montaval (4f Magnificent Rodney-Primavera de Lou) driven by Gabriel Gelormini. Also on the afternoon card was the Prix des Cyclamens (€33,000 purse, 2175 meters, 10 two year-old starters) and it was won by 5.1/1 odds Dista Love (2f Royal Dream-Usita Love) driven by Jean-Pierre Dubois, also owner, and trained by Yves Boireau. The 9/10 favorite Deep Purple (2f Prodigious-Ornella Rainbow) was second driven by Jos. Verbeeck for trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Mme. G. Poulsen-Allaire. 33,000 purse, 2175 meters, 10 two year-old starters) and it was won by 5.1/1 odds Dista Love (2f Royal Dream-Usita Love) driven by Jean-Pierre Dubois, also owner, and trained by Yves Boireau. The 9/10 favorite Deep Purple (2f Prodigious-Ornella Rainbow) was second driven by Jos. Verbeeck for trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Mme. G. Poulsen-Allaire. 36/1 Dame du Campdos (2f Uaukir-La Conseillante) was third in the contest clocked in 1.18.1kr. The winner’s dam is a daughter of Goetmals Wood-Carmensite-Florestan. Carmensita, from 12 foals, has produced three winners of $100,000 or more including Marlene 1:58.5 ($296,318) by Goetmals Wood, Tensita Love 1:58.1 ($114,664) by Love You and Amensito 2:00.3 ($104,702) also by Love You. Thomas H. Hicks  

January 22, 2015 - Hip 183, a share of Prodigious (Goetmals Wood-Imagine d’Odyssee) led session two at Arqana Trot’s Prix d’Amerique Sale. JLB Management was the buyer.  Other stallion share were in solid demand – Royal Dream €46,000; Quaker Jet at €45,000; and €40,000 for an Up And Quick share. The latter starts Sunday in the Prix d’Amerique. The broodmare Queen Jet (Viking’s Way-Idole), in foal to Prix d’Amerique winner Royal Dream, brought €40,000. Overall 95 head were catalogued in this session with eight outs and 27 RNA’s, leaving 60 sold for €960,500. Total gross sales for the two sessions to date are €1,644,000 for an average of €10,340. Session three takes place Friday evening as part of EXPO. Thomas H. Hicks

Arqana-Trot completed its three day select yearling sale at Deauville today. 302 French yearling trotteurs sold for €7,206,000, an average of €23,861, 2.2% below prior year for the three session event. 63.6% of the 475 offered actually sold (after outs). Last year 70.5% sold from the 512 offered. Session #3 featured offspring of new stallions and this group of 128 sold averaged €23,000. Hip #398 (Dakota Race), a Texas Charm-Trotting Race filly, led the final session, bringing €100,000 from SCEA Ecurie Le Tremont. Sons of Timoko were next at the top today. Sale summary and final session leader profiles are shown below.     The top 10 of the total sale are shown below: (Vendeur=consignor; acheteur=buyer; high bid in euros) 1. Lot 0371 : DREAM MADRIK ROYAL DREAM / ELITE GÉDÉ Vendeur : Madrik, Acheteur : Neuilly Bloodstock   120 000 € 2. Lot 0115 : DOLCE NOTTE COKTAIL JET / TES AMOURS Vendeur : Brosse, Acheteur : TAIPALE Heikki   115 000 € 3. Lot 0122 : DON'T CRY FOR ME NIKY / USHA DREAM Vendeur : Brosse, Acheteur : SCEA Ecurie Le Trémont   103 000 € 4. Lot 0008 : DREAM ISLAND SAM BOURBON / ISLAND DREAM Vendeur : Brosse, Acheteur : LE BARBEY Christian   100 000 € 5. Lot 0398 : DAKOTA RACE TEXAS CHARM / TROTTING RACE Vendeur : Brosse, Acheteur : SCEA Ecurie Le Trémont   100 000 € 6. Lot 0073 : DERBY DU BIWETZ COKTAIL JET / UNE DU BIWETZ Vendeur : Sassy, Acheteur : Neuilly Bloodstock   85 000 € 7. Lot 0096 : DINGUE DE LOISIR READY CASH / INGODA PIERJI Vendeur : Madrik, Acheteur : ROBERT BERGH TRAVSTALL AB   80 000 € 8. Lot 0030 : DADDY CUT COKTAIL JET / IVIDA Vendeur : Madrik, Acheteur : TOULORGE Christophe   77 000 € 9. Lot 0041 : DALSHIM DU NOYER READY CASH / PAGODA Vendeur : Madrik, Acheteur : Ecurie Thomas Bernereau   75 000 € 10. Lot 0112 : DO IT FOR ME GOETMALS WOOD / SI SEULEMENT Vendeur : Brosse, Acheteur : DENECHERE Richard-William   75 000 €   Thomas H. Hicks

Session #2 at the Argana Trot Sale was expectedly weakened after a solid first day featuring proven stallions, but was comparatively solid. Of the 140 sold from 233 cataloged and 230 offered after outs.  Gross proceeds totaled €2,066,000, almost identical to the 2012 and 2013 sessions #2 of the sale. The average sale price was €14,757, up by 5.4% vs. 2013 and the median also gained from prior year same session. Percent of those sold to the number offered (after outs) increased slightly from the first session. Hip #271, a Sancho Panca colt, led the session at €60,000 with the final bid to Damien Bonne. Several other lots were the source of competitive bidding including most notably lot 331, Djin de Corday a son of Opus Viervil which Michel Gasselin (Normandie Trot) bought for €47,000, as well as Diablo du Noyer (lot 272), a son of Jasmin de Flore sold for €44,000 to Franck Amar (Neuilly Bloodstock) and will be trained by William Bigeon. Tomorrow’s third session should close the sale positively as it features new and emerging stallions such as Royal Dream, The Best Madrik, Texas Charm, Timoko, Rodrigo Jet, Tucson, Severino, Singalo and Treskool du Caux. Summaries over pictured leaders today are presented below. #271 Diable Blanc (m, Dancho Panca-Java Blanche-Viking’s Way), first dam has produced Astre Blanc (€86,680), Un Diablo Blanc (€85,710) and Vif d’Or Blanc (€85,710) and this is the family of Rachmaninov Seven (€418,975) and Historien (€485,457). #272 Diablo du Noyer (m, Jasmin de Flore-Une Et Indivisible-Jag de Bellouet), second dam a winner of €183,914 and dam of 12 foals including Statue of Liberty (€260,130), Jitterbug (€163,314) and Possession (€148,920) #210 Darshan (m, Jag de Bellouet-Tinou Madrik-Ganymede), second dam a semi-classique winner, third dam produced classique winner Sinou Madrik (1,579,299SEK), Tison Madrik (€260,270) and Orelie Madrik (€221,820). by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com

The historic Saint-Legers des Trotteurs meeting kicks off today at Caen with a 2450m UET Masters series race, the time honoured Prix des Ducs de Normandie a group two worth 150,000 euros, in honour of a famous trotteur of the 1920s who won the 1928 Critrerium des 3 Ans and went on to be equally successful at stud. The son of Salam was a prolific broodmare sire, and one his daughters produced the dam of Feu Follet, one of France's most influential sires. Duc de Normandie's influence is still felt today, with last year's Prix d'Amerique winner Royal Dream (Love You) decending from one of the great horse's daughters Rose Marie IV, while two of France's successful sires Copenhagen Cup and Prix de France winner Kool du Caux and Criterium des 4 Ans winner Rolling d'Heripre (Dahir de Prelong) also trace to the great Duc on the maternal line. Rolling d'Heripre is represented by Blooma d'Heripre in the Saint-Leger des Trotteurs which is one of two of France's most famous monte races which are run later today. Indeed it was under saddle that some of Duc de Normandie's descendants excelled with top sire Gai Brillant (Podosis) and Fine Perle (Marpheulin) both being Saint-Leger winners themselves, while the monte millionaire of the 1990s Arcadia (Jiosco) won the Prix du Cornullier. As befitting a race named after one of France's great stallions, some of giants of the game who have gone on to make their mark in the breeding shed feature heavily in the honours roll. Reve d'Udon, a remarkable racehorse in his own right, a Criterium des 5 Ans winner in the bike and a Prix du Cornulier winner under saddle, is the grandsire of none other than Market Share, and he won this race twice in 1989 and 1990. The world's leading sire for the past two seasons, Love You also won the race twice in 2004-2005 and he is represented in the Prix Henri Balliere later in the day by the hot favourite Airport and a second entrant in Aglite Jenilou. Another former Prix de Ducs de Normandie winner is France's champion monte stallion Goetmals Wood who is the sire of top Saint-Leger chance Bomba. The last two seasons the race has been won by Texas Charm, who was the favourite for this year's Prix d'Amerique until injury, while the previous two winners were emerging sire Quaker Jet ( a son of Love You) and Prix d'Amerique winner Oyonnax (In Love With You). Jean-Paul Marmion's Roi du Lupin is the early favourite for this year's renewal, narrowly from Cedric Megissier 's Uhlan du Val and Fabrice Souloy's Quinoa du Gers. Thierry Duvaldesin's tough gelding Swedishman, Christian Bigeon's Tiego d'Etang and Phillipe Moulin's Valse Darling from the Ecurie Victoria Dreams stable are the others in the market. PRIX DES DUCS DE NORMANDIE - Caen 14/05/14 FR Group II Int UET Masters Series 2450m 4-10 150 000 euros 1 Volcan d'Urzy (h Password - Jabotte d'Urzy) Dr: Jean Philippe Dubois Philippe Moulin 2 Sam Gibus (g Jet Fortuna - Harmonie Gibus) Dr: Sebastien Baude Sebastien Baude 3 Radjah de Venel (g Vivaldi de Chenu - Fikla de Venel) Dr: Emeric Bizon Jean Paul Marmion 4 Turbo Jet (h Joyau d'Amour - Elite d'Atout) Dr: Jean Etienne Dubois Jean Etienne Dubois 5 Valse Castelets (m Memphis du Rib - Elide) Dr: Jean Loic Claude Dersoir Joel Hallais 6 Valse Darling (m Prodigious - Fly Darling) Dr: Julien Dubois Philippe Moulin 7 Ramsey du Ham (g Indy de Vive - Ufania du Buisson) Dr: Mathieu Abrivard Yvonnick Dousset 8 Axelle Dark (m Ready Cash - Queen des Charmes) Dr: Jos Verbeeck Philippe Allaire 9 Swedishman (g Gogo - Volgana Thierry Duvaldestin) Dr: Thierry Duvaldestin 10 Talicia Bella (m General du Pommeau - Illicia Bella) Dr: Antoine Wiels Jean Paul Marmion 11 Ru de l'Airou (g Cygnus d'Odyssee - Cour d'Intheville) Dr: Pierre Levesque Patrick Martin 12 Uhlan du Val (h Islero de Bellouet - Indiana Beautiful) Dr: Cedric Megissier Cedric Megissier 13 Quinoa du Gers (h Ganymede - Targa du Chalange) Dr: Franck Nivard Fabrice Souloy 14 Reve de Beylev (h Fortuna Fant - Heloise Poterie) Dr: Eric Raffin Sebastien Guarato 15 Tiego d'Etang (h Chaillot - Harolene) Dr: Christian Bigeon Christian Bigeon 16 Roi du Lupin (g Fleuron Perrine - Helia de Saint Pol) Dr: Jean Michel Bazire Jean Paul Marmion by David Sanders, for Harnesslink.com

Lutfi Kolgjini’s star Raja Mirchi, is seen by many as the heir apparent to another Swedish star with a name reminiscent of Subcontinent royalty, Maharajah. There are many similarities. Both are sons of Viking Kronos, Raja Mirchi out of  a half French mare in Dame Lavec, by Quito de Talonay (Florestan) out of a mare by Speedy Crown,  while Maharajah is out of Chilli Khan by a son of Speedy Crown out of a half-French mare by Tibur. Both are former Swedish Travkriterium winners and both  won big races in France as six-year-olds  to earn their first places in the Prix d’Amerique, Maharajah winning the Prix de Belgique in 2011, finishing second in that year’s PDA while Raja Mirchi won the Prix Tenor de Baune  in 2013 before finishing 11th, a place in front of Maharajah in Royal Dream’s 2013 PDA win. Raja Mirchi has some way to go before he gets close to the “Emperor” but the 2012 Masterkap winner (Swedish Champion) has already won group races in Sweden, France, Norway and Italy  indeed has  something of a point to prove after a disappointing 6YO season, which had started so well, with that Prix  Tenor De Baune victory. But his seven-year-old campaign (which actually started in December) has started brightly with two wins out of last three starts, and though he did not go to France as intended, he will be primed to continue his good run with a great draw in the Olympiatravet qualifier, Group II UET Masters Series at Solvalla which is also the Gold division final of March’s V75 series. He will meet the inform Sanity and his conqueror from last week, Harry Haythrow, the grand warhorse and the up and coming force that is Dreams Takes Time, a Breeders Crown champion  last year in a very good field. Olympiatravet qualifier Solvalla 2014-03-29 Group II UET Masters Series, 2140m 1         Labero Broline (h   Pine Chip - Armbro Natural)  Dr: Erik Adielsson   Tr: Svante Båth               2         Raja Mirchi (h   Viking Kronos - Dame Lavec)   Dr: Lutfi Kolgjini   Tr: Lutfi Kolgjini                3         Sanity (g  Love You - Flash Light)   Dr: Örjan Kihlström   Tr: Malin Löfgren               4         Yanantin Boko (g   Viking Kronos - Ormonne Boko)   Dr: Darren Mizzi   Tr: Olle Alsén           5         Harry Haythrow (g   Rite On Line - Speedy Tilda)   Dr: Peter Untersteiner   Tr: Johnny Johansson             6         Montgomery Gel (h   Jag de Bellouet - Com Nina)  Dr:  Jorma Kontio   Tr: Timo Nurmos                7         Lord Capar (h   Varenne - Foxy'n Rowdy)   Dr: Thomas Dalborg   Tr: Mats Karlsson                8         Dreams Take Time (h   Andover Andover - B.My Honey)   Dr: Johnny Takter   Tr: Lars I Nilsson                9         Francais du Gull (h   Jag de Bellouet - Tantiem Gull)   Dr: Torbjörn Jansson   Tr: Erik Lindegren         Dave Sanders

The weather’s improving in Europe, as Spring arrives and so are the fields, which makes handicapping a little more readable, if not easier. This week there are some nice races at Aby, and we can take heart from some close picks last week, although we did not strike the V75 at Farjestad we got four.  On our single wagers, our  two straight out wins (Archangel AM and Cali Maks) got our money back in Sweden, and our win on the brilliant Univers De Pan in France returned $5.80 for our $2 giving us a final return of $19.90 for our $16. There is nothing of note in France this week in one of the quietest weeks of the year. Good luck this week. V75-1 Silver division   1640m: Draw is all important in these sprint races, and although M.T. Harmony  (10) is a former Breeders Crown placegetter, I don’t like her gate position. Nothing But Class (1) has the pole, but if Claes Boko (5) can get to the front from the five spot, he will be hard to beat. Between these two for mine with 5 first choice. Selection  5 (1) V75-2 Larlingslopp  1640m:   We’ve been following Super Photogenic (3)  for a while, and he has been getting better and better and I think we should stick with him especially from this draw. He has two others inside of him Paramount (2) and Highspeed Call (1) which should be kept safe, so this is our three-way pick.  Selection  1-2-3 V75-3 Klass 1 2140m: Dante Boko (1) was very impressive in the Klass II and steps up here, although the switch in driver from Lutfi to son Adrian Kolgjini is a slight concern – his three wins in a row were with dad.  Still he is a class horse on the rise and should win if he gets the front, which he should do from the draw and is our anchor here. Selection  1 V75-4  Klass II   1640m:  Timo Nurmos looks like he has a nice horse here in Sensational Dream (4), a son of double Prix d’Amerique winner Offshore Dream. He has only had 11 starts, but has won three of them, and placed second three times, including last start where he couldn’t  quite stay with the impressive Archangel AM who looks to be another star on the rise from the Kolgjini barn. He doesn’t face such a challenging prospect here, and from the four hole should get to the front and win this.  Danish trainer Christian Lindhardt, like several in his homeland usually races between Denmark and Norway, and brings his good ones to Sweden. For that reason it may pay to keep Maniaminmiami safe as an alternate after an impressive last start at Aby.  Selection  4 (6) V75-5 Diamantstoet (mares)  2140m: The mares race is a handicap affair with 13-win mare Hanna Banker (10)  the early favourite from the 20m mark. But this is wide open with Valkyria R.O.K. (1), Erica Hall (4) and Bedas Chip (14) the early tote selections – although in a loose field. For an outsider I’ve gone with Bjorn Goop’s drive Broadway’s Finest (9) – and I’m going to put her as my win wager too to try and sneak a nice divvie.  If you want to play safer go with 10.  Selection  10-1-4-14-9 V75-6 Gold division   2640m: This is a very good field, as the top liners start emerging from their winter break. Sanity (4) however has been working through,with the big boys in France, where he has been sensational. With the form he is showing, his superior big match fitness and from this draw, he should be able to account for this field, even of this quality. An anchor.  Selection 4 V75-7 Bronze division  2140m: Roobois (4) and On Hold (11)  look the two strongest here and should be the first two on the ticket, while Leonas Kaiser (1) has won two of his last three and has the pole position. But it’s time to find a nice couple of outsiders to sweeten the pot, and while Royal Dream (2) isn’t the horse of Prix d’Amerique fame, he does have Johnny Takter in the bike, and will pay juicy odds if he can make use of his good draw.  Selection  4-11-1-2 TOTAL COMBINATIONS 60 – Cost $5, +1 alternate $10, + 2 alternate $20 Here are my win wagers for Aby .  SINGLE WAGERS  $2 Race 5  Claes Boko (5) Race 6  Super Photogenic (3)   Race 7  Dante Boko (1) Race 8  Sensational Dream (4) Race 9  Broadway’s Finest (9) Race 10  Sanity (4) Race 11     Roobois (4)

Veteran Rire Mutin took today’s Gr. III Prix de Joinville le Pont, the 80,000€ 2925 meter European event at Cagnes sur mer. Edouard Coubard-Meunier reined and trains the winner of 481,800€ who recorded his 16th career win. The 25/1 longshot scored over favorite Talicia Bella driven by Anthony Barrier for Ecurie J-P Marmion. February 21, 2014, Cagnes sur mer, Prix de Joinville le Pont, 80,000€, Gr. III European, 12 starters, 2925 meters, 12 starters 1.14.3kr Rire Mutin (9g Bijou du Bignon-Miss Mutine-Sancho Panca), Edouard Coubard-Meunier driver/trainer, 25/1, his 16th win for 481,800€ Talicia Bella (7f General du Pommeau-Illicia Bella-Vivier de Montfort), Anthony Barrier for Jean-Paul Marmion, 1.8/1 favorite Quentin Rose (10g Carpe Diem-Gigi Rose-Podosis), Rik Depuydt, 7.3/1 The Quinte+ race of the day went to 16/1 Ugolinviel with teamster Damien Bonne. This pair took the 46,000€ Prix de Saint Pierre Le Cour in 1.14kr to defeat 25/1 outsider Uniave Eren and Pierre Vercruysse. 45,744€ went to holders of exact order 2€ tickets (excluding the jackpot that reached 4.65€ million. February 21, 2014 Enghien, Prix de Saint Pierre Le Cour 46,000€, 2150 meters autostart, 16 starters, Quinte+ 4.65€ million jackpot 1.14kr Ugolinviel (6m Olitro-Ingoaville-Mon Tourbillon), Damien Bonne for Francois Giard and Ecurie Jean-Pierre Viel, his third career win for 115,290€, 16/1 odds Uniave Eren (6g Nil du Rich-Melianthe Erem-Dream of Gold), Pierre Vercruysse up, 25/1 odds Unix des Furges (6g Nuage de Lait-Ottawa d’Orgeres-Gabor Star), Eric Raffin up at 1.8/1  Rapports (pour 2€) Tirelire 4.650.000 € - Numéro plus : 0851   Ordre :       45.744,00€   Désordre :       381,20€   Bonus 4 :       30,80€   Bonus 4sur5 :       14,40€   Bonus 3 :       9,60€     Also on the Enghien card was the Prix de Montsalvy for three year-old females and Ready Cash offspring ended 1-3 with the win going to favorite Bety du Goutier and trainer/driver Thierry Duvaldestin. She took winners’ share of the 38,000€ purse. She’s from a Love You dam, as is third place finisher Bliss Nevele that Philippe Allaire trains. Another nice filly, Babylone Seven, was second for trainer/driver J-M Bazire. February 21, 2014, Enghien, Prix de Montsalvy, 38,000€, 2875 meters, females 1.18.4kr Bety du Goutier (3f Ready Cash-Quety du Goutier-Love You), Thierry Duvaldestin driver/trainer, owner Ecurie Saint-Martin, 1.6/1 odds, her  second win for 40,200€, form 1-1-2 in last three starts Babylone Seven (3f Oiseau de Feux-Nyala-Hermes du Baisson), J-M Bazire trainer/driver, 4/1 Bliss Nevele (3f Ready Cash-Quick Nevele-Love You), Jerome Rualts up for Philippe Allaire, 3.3/1 odds Remember Sunday’s Gr. I classic Grand Prix de Paris, in which 15 top trotters will battle over 4150 meters for the 400,000€ purse. The lineup, with listed drivers, is shown below: Titi Quick (A. Abrivard) Taormin d’Em (T. Le Beller) Son Eleazan (D. Locqueneux) Utoky (Y. Lebourgeois) Solei du Fossè (M. Abrivard) Uhlan du Val (C. Megissier) Santa Rosa France (W. Bigeon) Roxana de Barbray (D. Thomain) Severino (D. Bonne) Quinoa du Gers (F. Nivard) Up And Quick (J.M. Bazire) Tiego d’Etang (Ch. Bigeon) Yarrah Boko (P. Vercruysse) Royal Dream (J. Ph. Dubois) Roxane Griff (E. Raffin) Thomas H. Hicks

Is there a tougher race in harness racing. Certainly not at the elite level. The third leg of the French triple crown, the Prix de Paris, is a monster. Twice around the Grand Piste, twice up the famed monte, the killer rise up the back straight at Vincennes, which separates the pretenders from the contenders in any race at this great track. And these equine superstars can churn through the demands of the 4150m trip in around 2min time - indeed Private Love went under a 2min time when she won in 2010 as did Gobernador in 2001, General du Pommeau in 2002, Insert Gede in 2003 and Jardy went a flat 2.00 rate the third time he won the race in 2007. Vourasie also won the race three times, as did the great Bellino II and some of the true greats of the sport have also saluted the judge including Rooseveldt International Trot winners Jamin in 1960, Une de Mai in 1973, Ideal du Gazeau in 1982 and Lutin d'Isigny in 1984. Three Swedish horses have won the race, the first Piper Club, a son of French export sire Tibur, who is also in the pedigree of the last Swede to win the race, Maharajah in 2011. The third horse was the champion Remington Crown, the only horse to win the race with 100% American bloodlines - although his dam was from a Danish family which had been in Europe since the 1930s. Maharajah also set of a sequence of three wins by horses who were born in 2005 who have dominated the Triple Crown in the past four years. This is the 12th triple crown race since the Prix d'Amerique was won by Ready Cash in 2011. All previous 11 have been won by a foal of 2005, including Noras Bean, the Swedish raider who won the Prix de France two weeks ago. And don't bet against them continuing the sequence again on Sunday. Second favourite Roxane Griff is a former winner of the race, won the monte Prix du Cornulier the week before running a gallant fourth in the PDA, then won her second group one monte of the meeting, the Prix de l'Ille de France on February 2. Fourth favourite and third place getter in the Prix d'Amerique Yarrah Boko is a Swedish bred son of a great French sire in Coktail Jet who now competes for Norway, and is due a win in a big group one. He was bravery personified in the Prix de Paris being one of the three horses which set a sensational 1.03.9k/r for the opening 600m and then stayed on in the straight some 1500m later to finish fourth. "Four kilometers is new for him, but I have a feeling that he manages the distance. We must believe in our horse", said Norwegian trainer Trond Anderssen on Sweden's atg.se website. The other 9YOs in the race include former Prix d'Amerique winner Royal Dream and Roxana de Barbray, trained by ex-pat Italian Roberto Donati, and who was fourth in this event last year. The daughter of Speed Clayttois also ran fourth in that year's Prix d'Amerique in her only start in the great race. Favouritism will go to the rising star Up And Quick in the hands of master driver Jean Michel Bazire, while fourth favourite is Cedric Megissier's Uhlan du Val, who ran fifth and sixth in the Prix de France and Prix d'Amerique, which are fine performances for a young horse in French terms - six is regarded as the entry year for elite level horses after four seasons of age group racing. Fifth favourite is Christian Bigeon's Tiego and he is a really good chance in this, having ran second in this race last year, and ran a great third in the Prix de France a fortnight ago. PRIX DE PARIS Vincennes 2014-02-23 Group 1 4-10 4150m Euro 400 000 1 Titi Quick (7h Extreme Aunou - Gazelle d'Aussy) Dr: Alexandre Abrivard Tr: Clement Casseron 4150 2 Taormina d'Em (7m Cedre du Vivier - Nevadara d'Em) Dr: Tony Le Beller Tr: Jean Pierre Allix 4150 3 Son Alezan (8h First de Retz - Kelle Ile) Dr: Dominik Locqueneux Tr: Franck Leblanc 4150 4 Utoky (6h Cygnus d'Odyssee - Epopee) Dr: Yoann Lebourgeois Tr: Franck Leblanc 4150 5 Soleil du Fosse (8h Jag de Bellouet - Fortune du Fosse) Dr: Mathieu Abrivard Tr: Thierry Duvaldestin 4150 6 Uhlan du Val (6h Islero de Bellouet - Indiana Beautiful) Dr: Cedric Megissier Tr: Cedric Megissier 4150 7 Santa Rosa France (8m Kaisy Dream - Helice France) Dr: William Bigeon Tr: Jean Luc Bigeon 4150 8 Roxana de Barbray (9m Speed Clayettois - Iriane des Enclos) Dr: David Thomain Tr: Roberto Donati 4150 9 Severino (8h Gobernador - Katia de Tillard) Dr: Damien Bonne Tr: Roger Coueffin 4150 10 Quinoa du Gers (10h Ganymede - Targa du Chalange) Dr: Franck Nivard Tr: Fabrice Souloy 4150 11 Up And Quick 6(h Buvetier d'Aunou - Fichtre) Dr: Jean Michel Bazire Tr: Franck Leblanc 4150 12 Tiego d'Etang (7h Chaillot - Harolene) Dr: Christian Bigeon Tr: Christian Bigeon 4150 13 Yarrah Boko (9h Coktail Jet - Big Blue Kitten) Dr: Pierre Vercruysse Tr: Trond Anderssen 4150 14 Royal Dream (9h Love You - Ida Bourbon) Dr: Jean Philippe Dubois Tr: Philippe Moulin 4150 15 Roxane Griff (9m Tenor de Baune - Julia Mesloise) Dr: Eric Raffin Tr: Sebastien Guarato 4150 Dave Sanders

A field of 15 has been set for Sunday's Grand Prix de Paris, the final leg of the France Triple Crown of Trotting. The 400,000€ marathon will be led by resurgent Roxane Griff along with Yarrah Boko, Up And Quick and Royal Dream. Grand Prix de Paris, Gr. I International UET Masters Series, 400,000  4150 meters, 15 starters Horse, Age/Sex, Driver, Trainer, Earnings in euro Titi Quick 7m Alexandre Abrivard, C, Casseron, 225350 Taormina d'Em 7f Tony LeBeller, J-P Alix, 307190 Son Alezan 8m Dominik Locqueneux, Franck Leblanc, 538520 Utoky 6m Yohan Lebourgeois, Franck Leblanc, 549250 Soleil du Fosse 8m Mathieu Abrivard, Thierry Duvaldestin, 663180 Uhlan du Val 6m Cedric Megissier also trainer, 693890 Santa Rosa France 8f Wm. Bigeon, J-L Bigeon, 705950 Roxana de Barbray 9f David Thomain for R. Donati, 869828 Severino 8m Damien Bonne, R. Coueffin, 895500 Quinoa du Gers 10m Franck Nivard, F. Souloy, 990343 Up And Quick 6m J-M Bazire, F. Leblanc, 1078060 Tiego d'Etang 7m Ch. Bigeon driver/trainer, 1159980 Yarrah Boko 9m Pierre Vercruysse, Trond Anderssen, 1221577 Royal Dream 9m Jean-Philippe Dubois, Ph. Moulin, 1583310 Roxanne Griff 9f Eric Raffin, S. Guarato, 2193118 Thomas H. Hicks      

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