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The final Grand Prix de Paris draw has 12 international starters engaged for this harness racing  Gr. I UET Masters Series test on Sunday at Paris-Vincennes. The race showcases another battle between Bold Eagle and Timoko in the €400,000 purse event over 4150 meters. If Bold Eagle wins to secure the FR Triple Crown he will become the first to do so in 40 years and he will earn a special monetary dividend for victory. The race goes as race four on the superb card. Thomas H. Hicks

Belina Josselyn (4f Love You-Lezira Josselyn-Workaholic) scored a 1.14.6kr victory in tonight’s harness racing Gr. III Prix Heraclite (€80,000 purse, 2700 meters, 12 European four year-old female starters). The 1.9/1 favorite was teamed by trainer J-M Bazire for Ecurie Yvon Bernard. Bazire and Belina Josselyn closed quickly to score the third straight win, now for career earnings of €121,230. Beautes de Bailly (4f Vivaldi de Chenu-Oceane de Bailly) was second at 14/1 for Franck Nivard for trainer Bruno Bourgoin, with third to Bergame Madrik (4f Prince d’Espace-Houlba de Pouline) at 61/1 for reinsman Francois Lagadeuc.   Beau Gamin (4m Quinoa du Gers-Cadette) staged a rousing stretch drive to win the Prix Camilla (€80,000 purse, Gr. III European for four year-old males, 12 starters) clocked in 1.14.3kr for Eric Raffin. The trainer is Fabrice Souloy for owner Ecurie J. Michel Rancoule. Beguin Meslois (4m Roc Meslois-Ingenlosite) was a 3/1 second for trainer/driver Pierre Belloche ahead of Biwa Nectar (4m Nectar-Nike) at 15/1 for Franck Nivard. The winner increased his lifetime earnings to €225,190. The Vincennes feature this day was the Gr. II Prix Kalmia (€120,000 purse, 2175 meters, nine three year-old starters) and 4/5 favorite Captain Crazy (3m Quaro-Quick Scarlet) was an impressive open lengths winner clocked in 1.12.7kr . He scored victory number five in six career starts for trainer Fabrice Souloy, owner Ecurie le Tremont and reinsman Tony LeBeller. Today’s win increased his earnings to €138,600. Second was Canari Match (3m Extreme Aunou-Ruelle d’Ostral) at 5/1 for Franck Ouvrie ahead of Cocktail Meslois (3m Roc Meslois-Ocarina Mesloise) and trainer/driver Pierre Belloche at 23/1. This day at Hyeres their featured Prix Marisol (€32,000 purse, 2750 meters, 12 starters) went to 4.6/1 odds Tempo de Carless (8m Grisdi de Carless-Joie de Carless) clocked in 1.15.4kr for David Bekaert for trainer/owner Philippe Mortagne. The victory raised the winner’s earnings to €305,580. 9.8/1 Saphir des Loups (9g Millenium Wood-Grais du Debuche) was next for trainer/driver Nicolas Ensch ahead of 5/1 Reve d’Ete (10g Hulk des Champs-Grande Justice) and trainer/driver Junior Guelpa. Thomas Hicks  

February 18, 2015 - The last leg of the French Triple Crown the Prix de Paris takes place Sunday and 14 harness racing  entrants remain following removal of Timoko today, by his connections, from the marathon (4150 meters) test for a purse of €400,000. Roxane Griff leads the career earners with defending champion Up And Quick (J-M Bazire up) hoping to gain redemption from his miscue disqualification in the Prix de France two weeks ago. Texas Charm, Tiego d’Etang and Anna Mix deserve recognition. Thomas H. Hicks  

February 8, 2015 - The Gr. I International UET Masters Series Grand Prix de France (€400,000, 2100 meters autostart, 13 starters) went to 6/1 Timoko (8m Imoko - Kiss Me Coulonces - And Arifant) with Bjorn Goop piloting for harness racing trainer/owner Richard Westerink. This 25th career victory for Timoko increased his earnings to €3,145,478. Timoko was away alertly, yielded to Texas Charm that appeared to be a winner at the top of the stretch with several lengths advantage, and then the game Timoko wore down his rival nearing the line for a narrow victory. The winner was clocked in 1.11.4kr off even fractions (1.10.3kr at 1500; 1.10.8kr at 1000; 1.11kr at 500). Texas Charm (8m Cygnus d’Odyssee - Kamela Charm) was second for 22 year-old Julien Dubois and trainer Philippe Moulin (Ecurie Victoria Dreams owner) with 167/1 outsider Linda de Casei (10f Uronometro - Comtesse Ferm) rallying third for trainer/driver Alessandro Gocciadoro, the one from Italy. 21/1 Tiego d’Etang (6m Chaillot - Harolene) ended fourth for trainer/driver Christian Bigeon with early pegs sitting Maven (6f Glidemaster - M Stewart) fifth at 15/1 for pilot Johnny Takter.  The 4/5 favorite Up And Quick raced second over on the outer for most of the contest and appeared to be struggling before going off-stride off the final turn. Also disqualified for miscues were Vanika du Ruel and Kadett CD. Solvato finished sixth, Severino seventh and  defending champion Noras Bean ended eighth. The race was the Quinte+ race of the day. We’ll be back with coverage of today’s card shortly. Thomas H. Hicks

February 5, 2015 - A field of 13 will contest Sunday’s Gr. I International  UET Masters Series Grand Prix de France. Nine of the starters will race barefoot over the Paris-Vincennes harness racing surface (Maven, Up And Quick, Timoko, Vanika de Ruel, Noras Bean, Napoleon Bar, Linda de Casei, Solvato and Kadett CD). The field will travel 2100 meters from the mobile autostart going for a €400,000 purse.   N° Horse Driver 1 Maven Johnny. Takter 2 Up And Quick J-M. Bazire 3 Timoko B. Goop 4 Texas Charm J. Dubois 5 Vanika du Ruel F. Anne 6 Uhlan du Val C. Mégissier 7 Noras Bean S. Soderkvist 8 Napoleon Bar P. Vercruysse 9 Tiégo d'Etang C. Bigeon 10 Sévérino D. Bonne 11 Linda Di Casei A. Gocciadoro 12 Solvato O. Kihlstrom 13 Kadett C.D D. Locqueneux   Defending champion Noras Bean will be at the start, albeit a likely longshot. Johnny Takter was named to pilot US invader Maven from post one.Noras Bean Thomas H. Hicks  

January 17, 2015 - The Gr. II Prix de Pardieu (€120,000 purse, 2175 meters monte, 13 starters, four year-old females) went to 3/1 Beauty Turgot (4f Hand du Vivier - Quouragane) in 1.13.2kr, after a quick early tempo, with Anthony Barrier in the irons for trainer Fabrice Souloy. The comfortable winner easily dispatched Bianca d’Atout (4f Saxo de Vandel - Geline d’Atout) and Matthieu Mottier at 9/1 and third place Brise de l’Alba (4f Quido du Goutier-Celq de la Meritee) with David Thomain aboard at 15/1 odds. The Quinte+ Prix de Granville (€75,000 purse, 2700 meters, 18 starters) produced an impressive victory for Ugor du Beauvoisin (7m Olitro - Klea du Beauvoisin) for reinsman Alexandre Abrivard and trainer L. Cl. Abrivard. The 11/1 odds winner handled second place Topaze de Landerie (8f Legs des Clos - Oree Line) with Pierre Vercruysse up at 23/1 by two lengths. Tollemont Haufor (8f Ganymede - Mamba d’Haufor) ended third at 6/1 for Christian J. Bigeon. The Gr. II European Prix de Brest (€120,000 purse, 2850 meters, 12 starters) went to the game mare Princess Grif (6f Varenne - Fauve Grif) at 17/1 for Italian teamster Roberto Andreghetti, trainer Fabrice Souloy and owner Azienda Agricola Biasuzzi. The winner, timed in 1.13.9kr, nosed out 5.2/1 Villeroi (6m Oiseau de Feux-Pochahontas) trained by Sebastian Guarato and reined by Gabriele Gelormini. Guarato was also third as trainer with Ustinof du Vivier (7g Look de Star - Melba du Vivier), the 1.4/1 favorite with Eric Raffin up. Repay Merci landed fourth for Anthony Barrier and Triskell Pacha was fifth for Franck Nivard. Lightly raced three year-old males contested the Prix de la Ferte Mace (€42,000 purse, 2200 meters, 13 starters) over the petite course. Pacesetter 1.6/1 favorite Cobra Bleu (3m Fortuna Fant - Nuit Irisee) held on for trainer/driver Pierre Vercruysse for the 1.16.3kr score. Cote Ouest (3m Goetmals Wood -Island Dream  -Coktail Jet) was a fast closing second along the pegs at 8/1 for Joseph Verbeeck, trainer Patrick Chevrier and owner J-P Dubois. The first dam of Cote Ouest, Island Dream, is a great one, having produced Infinitif USD750,093, Viva Island USD374,815, Not Disturb USD373,948 and Rebelle USD100,225. Third today went to 16/1 Colibri de Larve (3m Echo - Sagresse de Larre) for trainer/driver Sylvain Roger.Cobra Bleu Thomas H. Hicks

Timoko (7m Imoko-Kiss Me Coulonces-And Arifant) took today's Elitloppet 2014 Final gate to wire for Bjorn Goop and trained Richard Westerink. The pair covered the 1609 meters autostart course in a sharp 1.09.5kr (1:51.82) to earn the 3SEK million first prize. Timoko now has 22 wins in 60 starts for earnings of 23,285,351SEK. Goop rated the winner effectively with Panne de Moteuri in the pocket throughout and Digital Ink parked out first-over in the death seat. Raja Mirchi raced second over with Maven right behind him. Approaching the last turn Raja Mirchi made an aggressive three wide advance for Lutfi Kolgjini and was rough gaited, eventually making a break that caused Maven minor interference albeit she would likely not have threatened the leaders. Timoko held strong through the line to score by a long length from Panne de Moteur with Delicious and Pascia'Lest next at the finish. Reven d'Amour and Maven were fifth and sixth respectively. The French trotter traces its roots back to the 1981 Elitloppet winner Jorky, through his third dam Vanina B. Timoko has a 3.95% inbreeding coefficient and the family has won classics over nearly 40 years at all distances. Vanina B. (FR) f, 1965 2:02.4  At 5, Winner of Criterium des 5 ans. At 6, Winner of Prix de France, second in Criterium de Vitesse de la Côte d'Azur, Prix d'Amerique. 1975 Jorky (FR)        1:57.3a   $ 1,311,448   58  28- 13- 3        h, by Kerjacques (FR)   - Vanina B. (FR)     At 3, Winner of Criterium des 3 ans. At 4, Winner of Criterium des 4 ans, third in Prix Marcel Laurent. At 5, Winner of Preis der Besten, Prix Marcel Laurent, Gran Premio Delle Nazioni, Prix de l'Atlantique, Criterium des 5 ans, Grote Prijs der Lage Landen, second in Prix de Sélection, Grosser Preis von Bayern, Grand Prix du Sud Ouest. At 6, Winner of Copenhagen Cup, Prix de Paris, Elite-Rennen, Grote Prijs der Lage Landen, Elitloppet, Preis der Besten, Prix de Bretagne, second in Gran Premio Delle Nazioni, Prix d'Amerique, Prix de Belgique, International Trot. At 7, Winner of Preis der Besten. At 8, third in Preis der Besten. At 9, second in Prix d'Amerique. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com                        

Criterium des 3 Ans harness racing champion Aladin d'Ejaceul can re-affirm the mantle of the best of his generation on Saturday at Vincennes with a win in the 240,000 euro Group one Criterium des 4 Ans. While the three-year-old season of the crop of 2000, who all bear the first initial A in their name, was dominated by fillies, such as Axelle Dark, Avilla and Anastasia Fella, the boys have woken from a generational slumber since the turn of the new year, with Aladin d'Ejaceul emerging as the risen star with his victory in the Criterium des 3 Ans in December. Aladin d'Ejaceul is the first of his family to reach such heights, with only the group two winning stallion Phlegyas proving a real stand out. Phlegyas won the Prix Phaeton, which is the major lead up race to the Criterium des 4 Ans, and was second in the group one Criteirum des Jeunes and Prix Paul VIel in a useful career in which he won 279,600 euros. To date he has sired four 100,000 euro winners. Aladin d'Ejaceul's sire Quaker Jet is perhaps the greater strength in the pedigree, a winner himself of the Prix Phaeton and a second placing in the Prix d'Amerique in a career which saw him top his generation in earnings. Aladin d'Ejaceul is from his first crop of which there are already three 100,000 euros earlyu in the four-year-old careers. Quaker Jet is the only stallion with two repesentatives in this race with Jean Etienne Dubois' Agneska, a half sister to top five-year-old Villeroi, the other. It's not surprising when you see that Quaker Jet is bred on a very close cross, similar to many North American standardbreds being by Love You, a son of Coktail Jet out of a mare from the same family as Coktail Jet, which actually comes from a strong US family. While his inbreeding co-efficient is still only 8.357%, which is half of most US standardbreds, it is about double the norm in France. He is the almost quintessential Franco-American with 46.65% French blood and 53.35% US bloodlines. Group one Prix des Vincennes winner Atlessima is second favourite for Jean Philippe Dubois Ecurie Victoria Dreams while Matthieu Abrivard 's Aldo des Champs, a dual runner up in Group one events is is also coming in for strong early support. He has won a group two and is lightly raced with 5 wins in 17starts. The son of Prince d'Espace is one of those typically French horses who gets into the serious money places when the big money is on offer, with a third in the Group one Prix des Selection and a third in the Prix Phaeton two starts back. Fourth favourite is Akim du Cap Vert, Franck Anne's very good stallion son of First de Retz who won the Prix Emmanuel Margouty, the top 2YO race for colts in France and was also second in the Criterium des Jeunes. He has won a group two this year and is more than capable of taking this. Axelle Dark, a group one winning Ready Cash mare who has won more than 530,000 euros is paying 18/1 . She ran second in a very low key race at Kuurne a fortnight ago but handicappers think her best is behind her. CRITERIUM DES 4 ANS Vincennes FR Group I Nat 2850m 4 € 240,000 1 Agneska (m Quaker Jet - Pocahontas) Dr: Gregory Simon Tr: Jean Etienne Dubois 2 Aurea Vikland (m Prince de Montfort - Kettina de Monti) Dr: Christophe Thierry Tr: Guillaume Moinon 3 As Dore (h Coktail Jet - Dragee d'Or) Dr: Dominik Locqueneux Tr: Franck Leblanc 2850 4 Athena de Vandel (m Prince Gede - Maelia de Vandel) Dr: Cedric Megissier Tr: Cedric Megissier 5 Athos des Elfes (h Ganymede - Lazio du Bourg) Dr: Joel Van Eeckhaute Tr: Joel Van Eeckhaute 6 Adio Josselyn (h And Arifant - Queda Josselyn) Dr: Jean Michel Bazire Tr: Hedi Le Bec 7 Almira Marancourt (m Lilium Madrik - Elmira) Dr: David Thomain Tr: Sebastien Hervalet 8 Ausone du Kastel (h Gros Grain - Lancee) Dr: Emmanuel Allard Tr: Emmanuel Allard 9 Africain (h Oardo - Kamine) Dr: Franck Nivard Tr: Vincent Collard 10 Africaine (m Oiseau de Feux - Italienne) Dr: Jean Etienne Dubois Tr: Jean Etienne Dubois 11 Aldo des Champs (h Prince d'Espace - Noumea des Champs) Dr: Matthieu Abrivard Tr: Matthieu Abrivard 12 Astor du Quenne (h Opus Viervil - Qualinka du Quenne) Dr: Pierre Vercruysse Tr: Sebastien Guarato 13 Atlessima (m Rocklyn - Noblessima) Dr: Julien Dubois Tr: Philippe Moulin 14 Alesia d'Atout (m Defi d'Aunou - New York Jet) Dr: Mathieu Mottier Tr: Dominique Mottier. 15 Aladin d'Ecajeul (h Quaker Jet - Nancy d'Ecajeul) Dr: Eric Raffin Tr: Sebastien Guarato 16 Akim du Cap Vert (h First de Retz - Prima du Cap Vert) Dr: Franck Anne Tr: Franck Anne 17 Axelle Dark (m Ready Cash - Queen des Charmes) Dr: Jos Verbeeck Tr: Philippe Allaire Dave Sanders

Last year's winner Neste Effe is the overwhelming favourite for this year's running of Finland's Prix d'Etain Royal one of three UET Masters Series races on Easter weekend, as the European spring-summer circuit hits the track running. The Group one event worth 110,000 euros has been brought forward a couple of weeks this year which surprisingly puts the race head to head with other big international races in France and Norway. Nesta Effe was supreme in the early part of last season, with wins in the opening two of the five Finnish international Group ones for elite aged horses. The Italian-bred stallion son of Sweden's Naglo followed up the win in the Prix d'Etain Royal, with a win in the FInlandia Ajo and a second in Norway's Oslo Grand Prix before a win in a heat of Sweden's Elitloppet highlighted a fine Spring programme. An unplaced effort when hampered for a run in the final heralded two further unplaced starts before being put aside until January when he prepared for an unsuccessful shot at the Prix d'Amerique with a warm up race in Florence Italy. Neste Effe fronted up in Turin in mid February to take out the Italian Group two Gran Premio Mario Locatelli before returning to France where he was unplaced in the Grand Criterium de Vitesse at his last start on March 9. None of the others in this field have been competing at this level and Holger Ehlert's handsome chestnut , who will be driven by usual pilot Roberto Vecchione will be at very short odds, being at less than even money in early markets. Bergsaker trainer Svante Bath's well-performed Quid Pro Quo has been a group one performer since a 2YO when he ran third in the only Group 1 for babies in Sweden, the tongue-twisting Uppfödningslöpning. He followed that up with a win in Italy's Group 1 Orise Mangelli for 3YOs and last year was the Swedish Group one Sprintermasteren final winner for 4YOs. The son of Yankee Glide has also had group one placings in Norway and Germany to prove that travel will not bother him, although just an early 5YO, it is age that might be against the rising star in an aged group one. B.W.L Champion is a veteran journeyman with 20 race wins capped off with a win in Norway's group two Radio Metro Cup last year, his only win in group company in seven seasons on the track. But the 9YO son of Pine Chip is a tough old campaigner and as followers of European trotting know, these guys can keep their speed well into their second decade. Ex-pat Finn Reijo Liljendahl who was Swedish legend Stig Johansson's right-hand man for 35 years until abruptly going out on his own last year at the age of 58 has the classy Monster Drive entered, and the son of Tap In has come in for a lot of support. Other local hopes will be on Jarno Kauhanen's Swedish Import Womanizer, a 10YO roan journeyman who is as tough as old boots And the Finns also have two other local stars in the race, including last season's Finnish TravDerby winner Quite an Avenger who has had two second this term and a former Finnish St Leger winner She Loves You who will have star Swedish driver Johnny Takter hooking up again. The group one winning mare who has won big races in Sweden and raced in France and returned to winning form last start after a long absence. PRIX D'ETAIN ROYAL Seinäjoki 19/04/14 GROUP 1 UET MASTERS SERIES Int 4-12 2100m  €110 000   1         Nesta Effe (h   Naglo - Etna Sec)  Dr:  Roberto Vecchione   Tr: Holger Ehlert     2100         2         Quite An Avenger (v   Quite Easy - Nobes Hanover)   Mika Forss  Dr:  Markku Nieminen     2100         3         Monster Drive (h   Thai Tanic - Kewpie)  Dr:  Per Lennartsson   Tr: Reijo Liljendahl     2100         4         Womanizer (v   Tap In - Sandra Nibs)   Dr: Tommi Kylliäinen  Tr:  Jarno Kauhanen     2100         5         She Loves You (s   Love You - Sj's Shad Roe)  Dr:  Johnny Takter  Tr:  Jörgen Westholm     2100         6         Surprise Lord (h   Classic Response - Beauty Bro)  Dr:  Iikka Nurmonen   Tr: Timo Hulkkonen     2100         7         Prussia (s   Ken Warkentin - Elvezia)  Dr:  Pietro Gubellini Dr:   Tr: Pietro Gubellini     2100         8         Quid Pro Quo (h   Yankee Glide - Hostage)  Dr:  Erik Adielsson   Tr: Svante Båth     2100         9         Pitch Command (v   Scarlet Knight - Magyare Turgot)  Dr:  Jorma Kontio   Tr: Mia Kjellman     2100         10         B.W.L.Champion (v   Pine Chip - Lovely )  Dr: Ville Karhulahti   Tr: Petri Salmela     2100          by David Sanders, for Harnesslink.com  

Veteran campaigner Noras Bean recorded his third straight victory in 2014 today winning the L.C. Peterson-Broddas Minne at Jagersro. The win earned 150,000SEK for owner Stall Asunden HB. Noras Bean took command early, yielded briefly and then led throughout. Under no pressure he drew clear for a two-length win for reinsman Stefan Soderkvist. The 2014 Prix de France winner upped his career earnings to over 11.4SEK million, with his 19th career win in 69 starts. The nine year-old stallion by Super Arnie-Easy Bean-Songcan was timed in 1.11.7kr over the 2140 meter autostart course. The Olympiatravet final is April 26 at Aby and is a usual prep race for the Elitloppet. Mr. Picolit and On Track Piraten finished two-three. Mr. Picolit followed Noras Bean and could not close while On Track Piraten held on well after a grinding outside journey. New Line, Kaffir Face, Lord Capar, Bagley, Juggle Face and Deuxieme Picsous completed the finish order. The top undercard event went to Olympic Kronos teamed by trainer Lutfi Kolgjini. The six-year-old Viking Kronos-Ebony Kronos-Pine Chip stallion scored in 1.12.9kr over 2140 meters autostart in the Silver Division with the winner earning 125,000SEK. Olympic Kronos secured his 14th career victory in 36 appearances. Zinedine Bob and Rico Follo trailed the winner to the wire. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com

Anticipating Sunday's 1609 meters autostart (one mile) Gr. I Grand Criterium de Vitesse, sprinters have emerged at Cagnes sur mer to contest mile distance events. Today three such races took place with two won by Italy's invaders Oronte di Cesato in 1.11.9kr in the Prix de Bologne and Onorio in the Prix de Pise timed in 1.11.7. The other sprinter race, the Prix de Naples, went to Quezio de Cayola in 1.13.2 as that veteran defeated a group of claimers in the Prix de Naples. March 7, 2014 Cagnes sur mer, Prix de Bologne, 25,000e, 1609 meters autostart, 14 starters 1.11.9kr (1:55.68) 1st Oronte di Cesato (6m Allison Hollow-Enzaran-Lurabo Blue), Roberto Andreghetti, 1.9/1 favorite, 20th career win for 93,815e lifetime earned, (Italy) 2nd Okay Dei Ronchi (6g From Above-Filu of Brown-Lemon Dra), Eduardo Baldi, 7.3/1, (Italy) 3rd Only One Glory (6m Ganymede-Eva Kant Gar-Indro Park), Eduardo Moni, 30/1, (Italy) March 7, 2014, Cagnes sur mer, Prix de Naples, 16,000e, 1609 meters autostart, 14 starters 1.13.2kr (1:57.83) 1st Quezio de Cayola (10g Cezio Josselyn-Deesse du Plessis-Sebrazac), Gabriele Gelormini up for trainer/owner Benjamin Goetz, 5.1/1, his 13th win for 318,348e in lifetime earnings. 2nd Quiet du Chene (10g Horse du Chene-Flo du Chene-Florestan), Yannick A. Briand up, 2/1 odds 3rd Sam Turgot (8m Look de Star-Kalinka d'Arbaz-Tarass Boulba), Lorenzo Baldi up, 82/1 4th Quoriace Stop (10m Horse du Chene-Herado Chene-Nobody de Retz), Jean-Christophe Sorel up for owner/trainer Anders Lindqvist, 54/1 March 7, 2014, Cagnes sur mer, Prix de Pise, 25,000e, females, 1609 meters autostart, 11 starters 1.11.7kr (1:55.40) 1st Onoria (6f Pine Chip-Noega-Ghendero), Andrea Forolfi up, 1.7/1, (Italy), her 22nd victory for 91,394e earnings 2nd Olivia di Casei (6f Love You-Zinia di Casei-Lemon Dra), 21/1, (Italy), Andrea Guzzinati up 3rd Orki Dea Dus (6f Conway Hall-Antartide Dus), Enrico Bellei up, 3.5/1, (Italy) 4th Open (6f Uronometro-Zufola), Dominik Locqueneux up, 20/1, (Italy) At Gelsenkirchen in the Prix de la Cote d'Azur, Robin Bakker piloted the Paul Hagoort trained Diamond to victory. The gelded son of Classic Photo, from the Yankee Glide mare Gala dei Bessi, scored in 1.14.9kr over 2000 meters autostart. The top three finishers represented Holland. March 7, 2014 Gelsenkirchen, Prix de la Cote d'Azur, 7,000e, 2000 meters autostart, 14 starters 1.14.9kr 1st Diamond (4g Classic Photo-Gala dei Bessi-Yankee Glide), Robin Bakker for Paul Hagoort trainer, 2.5/1 (Holland), fourth career win for 12,200e 2nd Crazy Lover (5g Ufo Kievitshof-Kathleen Dragon-Super Way), Robbin Bot, 10/1 (Holland) 3rd Dream Well (4f Love You-Resi Bes), Rudolf Pools up, 11/1 (Holland) Gelsenkirchen, Germany by Thomas H. Hicks for Harnesslink.com  

The French Winter Meeting at Vincennes is over but elite group racing continues in the world's richest trotting coutry as the UET Masters Series heads south to Cagnes sur Mer, France for the group one Grand Criterium De Vitesse over a mile (1609) for 200,000 euros Italian-bred horses drew the all important three inside positions on the barrier draw as the final field of 14 was released Friday for Sunday's big race. Former Italian Derby winner Pascia' Lest, now trained in France by Thierry Duvaldestin has the pole position inside another French trained Italian, Marielles, a former heat winner in Italy's biggest race the Lotteria over this distance who is trained by Fabrice Soulouy. The number three pole will be taken Nesta Effe, which was the only one of the trio to race in the Prix d'Amerique this year although she finished 10th. But Holger Ehlert's son of Naglo is a proven sprinter and was in super form this time last year, winning two group ones in Finland in April, the Prix d'Etain Royal Seinäjoki-Race and the Finlandia-Ajo over a mile, and he is also a runner-up in the final of the Lotteria, Italy's greatest race, also over a mile. The other two Italians carry good form from the Winter Meeting with Pascia' Lest second in the Group two Prix Jean Le Gonidec in February over 2175m while Marielles was third in prestigious Prix Du Bourbonnais (Gr2) in December. All three are driven by Italian reinsman Andrea Guzzinati (Pascia' Lest), Roberto Andreghetti (Marielles) and Roberto Vecchione (Nesta Effe). While the three Italians have the inside draws, they also have have to face some of their French vanquishers in their respective races here with Prix Jean Le Gonidec winner Vanika du Ruel drawing the seven hole while Prix du Bourbonnais winner Triode de Felliere, possibly the most improved horse in France over the Winter Meeting, drawing pole four. Franck Anne's Vanika du Ruel was the best horse of her generation at two and three and has a best time over the sprint distance at Vincennes of 1.11.6 (1.55.1MR) when winning the group one Prix de l'Etoile. And Jean Paul Marmion's Triode de Felliere warmed up for this race with a close third in the Prix de Plateau de Gravelle, a Vincennes sprint over 2100m in which he recorded a slick 1.11.3 (1.54.4). But the biggest French danger comes from the horse drawn fifth, Univers de Pan who was beaten by the narrowest of margins in the sprint round of the French Triple Crown,the Grand Prix de France. Philippe Daugeard's son of Kenya du Pont was fifth last start off a 25m handicap in the Prix de Selection, but recorded a slick 1.11.1 (1.54.1MR) for the journey and from the five hole will prove very tough to beat. Sweden's best chance Amaru Boko is the only Scandinavian-based entrant in the rich sprint, but the recent addition to Robert Bergh's stable is in outstanding form with four wins on the trot since coming to the Bergsaker barn. The son of Coktail Jet has a fastest time of 1.10.3 (1.53.1MR) but has to start off the second line. GRAND CRITERIUM DE VITESSE Cagnes sur Mer, France 09/03/14 UET Masters Series Group 1 Int 1609m 4-10 200 000e 1 Pascia' Lest (5h Varenne - Superiors Sun) Dr: Andrea Guzzinati Tr: Thierry Duvaldestin 1609 2 Marielles (8m Kick Tail - Egida Play) Dr: Roberto Andreghetti Tr: Fabrice Souloy 1609 3 Nesta Effe (7h Naglo - Etna Sec) Dr: Roberto Vecchione Tr: Holger Ehlert 1609 4 Triode de Felliere (7m Derby du Gite - Linea de Vandel) Dr: Anthony Barrier Tr: Jean Paul Marmion 1609 5 Univers de Pan (6h Kenya du Pont - Gypsilore) Dr: Philippe Daugeard Tr: Philippe Daugeard 1609 6 Quoumba de Guez (10m Urfist des Pres - Vanina de Mareuil) Dr: Jean Michel Bazire Tr: Jean Michel Bazire 1609 7 Vanika du Ruel (5m Jardy - Jacarandine) Dr: Franck Anne Tr: Franck Anne 1609 8 Quinoa du Gers (10h Ganymede - Targa du Chalange) Dr: Franck Nivard Tr: Fabrice Souloy 1609 9 Olona Ok (6m Varenne - Erreuno Ok) Dr: Dominik Locqueneux Tr: Domenico Zanca 1609 10 Aisle Stand (7m Scarlet Knight - Twisterella) Dr: Jos Verbeeck Tr: Ronny Kuiper 1609 11 Twist des Caillons (7h Jam Pridem - Heyra des Caillons) Dr: Eric Raffin Tr: Hubert Hardy 1609 12 Amour d'Occagnes (7h Diamant Gede - Naomi November) Dr: Christophe Martens Tr: Vincent Martens 1609 13 Amaru Boko (7h Coktail Jet - Sue Boko) Dr: Robert Bergh Tr: Robert Bergh 1609 14 Unabella Perrine (6m Diamant Gede - Minnie Perrine) Dr: Franck Ouvrie Tr: Jean Francois Mary 1609 by David Sanders, for Harnesslink.com    

Master reinsman Jean Micel Bazire steered race favourite Up And Quick to a record-breaking win in the last race of the Triple Crown, the 400,000 euro Grand Prix de Paris on Sunday at the Hippodrome de Vincennes over the marathon distance of 4150 meters, Bazire made his move at the 1000m mark and Franck Leblanc's champion showed devastating acceleration to put a break on the field to give JMB his first group one win in France since 2009. After the Grand Prix of America and the Grand Prix of France, the Grand Prix de Paris Group I was the last of the winter meeting of Vincennes. Fifteen competitors faced the marathon distance of 4150 meters in an attempt to succeed recently retired Ready Cash . Second in the Grand Prix of America won by Maharajah and unplacedin the Grand Prix of France, Up and Quick was the favorite and has consistently been in form for the winter. During this ultimate staying test over two laps of the track Vincennes, things got serious at the start of the last time up the famous climb about 1000 meters from the finish as Jean-Michel Bazire set Up and Quick alight . At this time, the son of Buvetier Aunou placed a devastating acceleration to propel to the lead and is then easily broke away for an easy win in reducing mileage of 1'13'' 8 f 1.13.8 (1.58.4MR/4150m) a new record for the event. Tiego Etang has as usual finished well forsecond before the courageous Roxane Griff . Taormina d'Em and Son Alezan took fourth and fifth places. Up And Quick has therefore gained his second Group I about six months after capturing the Critérium des 5 years crown. Jean-Michel Bazire took to win for the fourth time in his career this prestigious event, he won the 2005, 2006 and 2007 with Jardy but mostly landed his first Group I in France since December 2009 and his victory in Criterium Continental with Rolling deHéripré. In the other group race of the day, the Prix Paul Bastard was also won easily by the favourite Vision Intense from Valdice de Mars and Valse Castelets. The Philippe Moulin trained daughter of Prodigious won the 120,000 euro monte for 5YOs in a time of 1'14"8 or 2min flat for the 2700m journey. GRAND PRIX DE PARIS Gr 1 4 150m 400 000€ 1 Up And Quick (6h Buvetier d'Aunou - Fichtre) J.M. Bazire 2.8/1 1'13"8 2 Tiego d'Etang (7h Chaillot - Harolene) C. Bigeon 8.1/1 1'14"0 3 Roxane Griff (9m Tenor de Baune - Julia Mesloise) E. Raffin 6.8/1 1'14"0 PRIX PAUL BASTARD Gr2 Monté 2 700m 120 000€ 1 Vision Intense (5m Prodigious - Intense Action) N. Henry 1.4/1 1'14"8 2 Valdice de Mars (5m Lynx de Bellouet - Tiphanie) Y. Lebourgeois 6/1 1'14"9 3 Valse Castelets (5m Memphis du Rib - Elide) J.L.C. Dersoir 9.1/1 1'15"3 By David Sanders  

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  

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  

VINCENNES, France - Ici S'ecrit L'histoire. Here history is written. So says the promo material for the Prix d'Amerique. And history certainly awaits Ready Cash on Sunday where he has the chance to win his third race and join the great Roquepine, Bellino II and Uranie. It would also give him the chance to emulate the immortal Ourasi next year with a fourth win. He certainly looked in stunning condition earlier this week at Thierry Duvaldestin's training establishment and the master mentor was confident that his great stallion was in prime condition to win a third Prix d'Amerique. Duvaldestin said his horse was more relaxed and "professional" than he had ever been and that he worked much better than this time last year. Ominous words indeed. But this was not always the way when the horse that was the best of what was emerging as one of the great generations, became a 4YO rogue for owner-trainer Philippe Allaire after winning the Prix Emmanuel Margouty as a 2YO and the Criterium des Juenes and Criterium des 3 Ans at three. So he turned to Thierry Duvaldestin in desperation, and the trainer went back to the basics, treating him like he would any other horse on his impressive training facility at La Ferté-Frênel In Normandy. The method was to treat him like any other on the Duvaldestin property. Given an outside box, with a paddock and a straw filled shelter, he thrived in the natural environment. Duvaldestin started on his family farm with 10 hectares where he built his first barn - where he and his family lived above until five-years ago. In time he has expanded both the number of barns and the size of his property to 80 hectares. It now has seven tracks. An oval grass jogging track, a sand oval main track, three straight tracks cinders, natural and mix natural-fibre and two tracks through the forest for variety. And of his great hope in the world's greatest aged trotting race. "He is more professional," Duvaldestin said. "We have had to push him a little more, he is too much relaxed. The last few weeks we have worked him a little more than other years, we have had to lose weight. "He has had no problem with injuries ever - he was the best horse of his generation at 2,3,4 and older." And now he is doing it all again as a sire being the first horse Duvaldesin believes who has had progeny win group one races while he himself was still winning group one races. But while the likes of brilliant youngsters Avila, Axelle Dark, Brillantisime and Bird Parker will ensure Ready Cash's legacy is in good hands. There is another more immediate matter, as Duvaldestin reminds us. "The goal is Sunday." Ready Cash fact file: 9YO Bay stallion Indy de Vive- Kidea 61 starts 36 wins, Earnings 4,265,500 euros Major victories: Criterium Des Jeunes (Gr1) (3YO), Criterium Des 3 Ans (Gr1), Grand Prix d'Amerique (Gr1) (2011, 2012), Prix De Paris Int (Gr1), Grand Prix De Wallonie (G1) , Prix De Bourgogne (G2) (2012-1, 2012-12, 2011), Prix Du Bourbonnais (Gr2) (2011, 2012), Prix De Bretagne (Gr2) , Prix Charles Tiercelin (G2), Prix Paul Viel (G2), Prix Ovide Moulinet (G2), Prix Kalmia (G2), Prix Pierre Plazen (G2), UET Masters Series final (Prix d'Ete)(G2), Prix d'Ete (2012), Prix Abel Bassigny (Gr2) , Prix Marcel Laurent (Gr2) (2009, 2010), Prix Jacques De Vauloge (Gr2), Prix Doynel De Saint-Quentin (Gr2), Prix Octave Douesnel (Gr2), Emmanuel Margouty (Gr2) (2YO), 2nds Grand Prix d'Amerique (Gr1) 2013, Prix Gelinotte (G2), Grand Prix Du Conseil General(G2), Prix Victor Regis (G2), Prix De Paris Int (Gr1), Prix De Selection (Gr1), 3rds Prix De Belgique (G2), Prix de Bourgogne (G2). by David Sanders for Harnesslink.com  

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