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The incomparable Mack Grace SM heads a strong field for the 110,000 euro Gran Premio Societa Campo Mirafiori, an Italian national group one for horses 5years and older at Turin on Sunday. It is the champion stallion's first appearance since he made a cameo appearance in the Prix d'Amerique at Vincennes, which was, as expected a good deal too far for the Italian speedster, who is all but invincible at home at distances under 2100m. To date the Antonio Porzio-trained son of unheralded US export CC's Chuckie T and Ambro Grace has amassed 1,286,719 euros following 46 victories from 92 attempts which included an amazing 17 out of 18 prior to his Prix d'Amerique failure. Indeed, he had a stellar 2013, in which he won 11 group races last year including six at group one level including the Grand Slam jewel Lotteria di Agnano final for the second time. But all his major wins have been at home, although with his record over multiple heat races on the same day, you would think a race like Sweden's Elitloppet would be right up his ally. This is a superb field for this year's renewal of the Turin classic, with top French trainers Fabrice Souloy (Marielles) and Thierry Duvaldestin (Pascia' Lest) fronting up with their Italian-bred charges which are now trained from their Normandy bases. Marielles won the group one Gran Premio Nazioni on this track in November, beating French champ Timoko and has been competing in France during the Winter Meeting, where she picked up several decent checks, including one for third in the prestigious Prix de Bourbonnais. She also raced under saddle in the World Championship for monte, the Prix du Cornullier, although she galloped. Pascia' Lest, a former Italian Derby winner, is coming off some super form in France, where he ran second to Univers de Pan in the Grand Criterium Nice-Matin in early March. The son of Varenne also ran third twice in French group twos at Vincennes in the just completed Winter Meeting, which speaks volumes for his potential ability at the very highest level. Napolean Bar is another with more than half a million euros in winnings from 12 wins from 42 starts, including six at group level. This son of Varenne was second in last year's Lotteria final and also has some very credible French form with a group two runners-up and a fifth placing in the Criterium Continental , the year it was won by French superstar Timoko (2011). He has just come back from a brief excursion to France, but was second in his last Italian start, to none other than Mack Grace SM. The other with perhaps a chance in this is Cantab Hall stallion Owen CR, another with French experience, a winner of seven of his 42 start, 4 at group level for 537,219 euros with an uncanny ability to get in the money in the big races. He won the GP Giorgio Jegher last year, which although his only win in 2013 was one of 11 top three placings including eight runners-up checks. GRAN PREMIO SOCIETA CAMPO MIRAFIORI Turin, Italy 2014-04-06 Group 1 Nat 1600m  110 000 euros 1 Owen Cr (h Cantab Hall - Boemia Cr) Dr: Pietro Gubellini Tr: Pietro 2 Marielles (m Kick Tail - Egida Play) Dr: Franck Nivard Tr: Fabrice Souloy 3 Napoleon Bar (h Varenne - Dalmazia) Dr: Giampaolo Minnucci Tr: Catello Savarese 4 Mack Grace Sm (h CC's Chuckie T - Ambro Grace Sm) Dr: Roberto Andreghetti Tr: Antonio Porzio 1 5 Pascia' Lest (h Varenne - Superiors Sun) Dr: Enrico Bellei Tr: Thierry Duvaldestin 6 Orione Degli Dei (g Conway Hall - Elissa Dei) Dr: Mauro Baroncini Tr: Mauro Baroncini 7 Probo Op (h From Above - Elimara) Dr: Edoardo Moni T Tr: eam Moni 8 Oibambam Effe {m Classic Photo - Etna Sec) Dr: Andrea Guzzinati Tr: Salvatore Carro 9 Newyork Newyork (h Supergill - Viola d'Amore) Dr: Lorenzo Baldi Tr: Lorenzo Baldi 10 Pace del Rio (h Varenne - Urbem d'Asolo) Dr: Santo Mollo Tr: Santo Mollo by David Sanders, for Harnesslink.com

Consistent Univers de Pan (6m Kenya du Pont-Gypsilore-Pan de la Vaudere) led virtually all the way to win today's 200,000e UET Masters Series Gr. I Grand Criterium de Vitesse at Cagnes sur mer by a comfortable three lengths. Trainer/driver Philippe Daugeard teamed the favored (1.9/1 odds) winner alertly off the gate and secured the top spot when well supported Triode de Felliere went off stride in battling for the lead shortly after the start. Once on the lead Daugeard rated the pace and his 13 other rivals were unable to serve a strong challenge. Univers de Pan was timed in 1.10kr over the 1609 meter autostart course (one mile in 1:52.63). That time equaled the third fasted in race history (Varenne 1.09.6kr in 2002; Kesaco Phedo 1.09.9kr in 2004 and 1.10kr by Santa Rosa France in 2012). Italy's Pascia'Lest, with Andrea Guzzinati aboard, took the pocket and eventually ended second when he out battled the game mare Vanika du Ruel, who survived an outside journey for Franck Anne to hold third. Italy's Nesta Effe was never in the hunt and finished unplaced. Univers de Pan's victory was his 17th in a solid career and put his earnings at 1,037,530 euros. He's owned by Olivier Horvath and today secured his first Gr. I score. Univers de Pan enjoyed a good winter meet at Paris-Vincennes where he was second in the Grand Prix de France, Prix de la Marne and Prix de Belgique. He was also fifth in the Prix de Selection. Being age six, look for this one to be a factor in future Gr. I races in France and throughout Europe. He proved today that he can leave, rate and sprint home in sprinter distance contests. His pedigree is 73% French trotteur, 27% Standardbred and with a 3.8% inbreeding coefficient. March 9, 2014 Cagnes sur mer, Grand Criterium de Vitesse de la Cote d'Azur (Grand Criterium Nice-Martin), 1609 meters autostart, 14 starters, purse 200,000e, Gr. I International UET Masters Series 1.10kr (1:52.63) 1st Univers de Pan (6m Kenya du Pont-Gypsilore-Pan de la Vaudere), Philippe Daugeard trainer/driver for owner Olivier Horvath, 1.9/1 odds, his 17th career win 2nd Pascia'Lest (5m Varenne-Superiors Sun-Diamond Way), Andrea Guzzinati up for trainer Thierry Duvaldestin and owner Samuele Querci, 18/1, (Italy) 3rd Vanika du Ruel (5f Jardy-Jacarandine-Vroum d'Or), Frank Anne driver/trainer, 8.8/1 odds, earning now €1,015,350 4th Aisle Stand (7f Scarlet Knight-Twisterella-Super Arnie), 116/1 odds, Jos. Verbeeck up for trainer Ronny Kuiper, (Sweden) 5th Quoumba de Guez (10f Urfist des Pres-Vanina de Mareuil-Neron Grandchamp), J-M Bazire trainer/driver, 14/1 odds, career earnings now €1,155,569 Note that Pascia'Lest represents significant American pedigree as his dam, Superiors Sun, is a daughter of Superiors Crown (Speedy Crown-Superior Sweep-Hickory Pride). Superior Sweep won the Old Oaken Bucket, the Lady Suffolk and Kentucky Futurity. Replay of today's Gr. I event can be seen using the link below: http://www.harnesslink.com/International/ 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    

Yohan Lebourgeois steered Vicomte Boufarcaux to victory in today's first leg of the Grand National du Trot series. The Prix de la Ville d'Amiens was contested by 14 starters for 90,000e over 2900 meters (distance handicap). The race also was the Quinte+ race of the day with a jackpot of 5.25 million euros. The winner, a five year-old son of Oh James, is trained by Michael-Jean Ruault and recorded his fourth career win for 270,570e earned. He traveled 2900 meters in 1.14.5kr to defeat Reine Helene as she traveled 2925 meters with Pierre Levesque up. The popular GNT series consists of 14 races, 13 legs held a multiple venues and a final in late November at Paris-Vincennes. Swedishman took the series win in 2013 for Thierry Duvaldestin. March 5, 2014 Amiens, Prix de la Ville d'Amiens GNT, 90,000e, 2900 meters distance handicap, 14 starters 1.14.5kr 1st Vicomte Boufarcaux (5m Oh James-Olympe du Boufard-Eclat de la Crau), Yohan Lebourgeois, 2900 meters, 9.4/1 odds, trainer Michael-Jean Ruault 2nd Reine Helene (9f Instant Gede-Fabuleuse Helene-Triton du Ranch), Pierre Levesque, 2925 meters, 8.5/1, Patrick Martin 3rd Ugo de Nieul (6m Cygnus d'Odyssee-Harmonie de Nieul-Helios des Bois), Romain Derieux driver/trainer, 13/1 Prior Winners 2013 : Swedishman 2012 : Riskaya 2011 : Quif de Villeneuve 2010 : Quoumba de Guez 2009 : Punch du Chenu 2008 : Oasis G 2007 : Orla Fun 2006 : Marathon Man 2005 : Land Danover 2004 : Kazire de Guez 2003 : Jest 2002 : Hugo de Mai 2001 : Gala de Juigne Calendar 2014 5 Mar 2013 : Amiens 26 Mar : Marseille-Borély 9 Apr : Saint-Galmier 23 Apr : Agen-Le passage 21 May : Le Croisé-Laroche 4 Jun : Laval 18 Jun : Marseille-Vivaux 6 Aug : Saint-Malo 3 Sep : Reims 24 Sep : Graignes 15 Oct : Lyon-Parilly 5 Nov : Nantes 19 Nov : Mauquenchy 30 Nov : Paris-Vincennes Olimpia Pan (Italy) took the co-feature Prix de Salon du Chocolat, a European monte event for 28,000e over 2900 meters. 13 starters contested this one and Eric Raffin steered the winner, a six year-old daughter of Brad's Photo, to the win for trainer Vincent Lacroix. She scored in 1.16.7kr for her 14th career victory. March 5, 2014 Amiens, Prix de Salon du Chocolat, European monte, 28,000e, 2900 meters, 13 starters  1.16.7kr 1st Olimpia Pan (6f Brad's Photo-Fight Full-Indro Park), Eric Raffin for trainer Vincent Lacroix, her 14th career win for €119,846 (Italy), 7.1/1 odds 2nd Upsalin des Bose (6g Eros du Rochey-Elvira du Vast-Turquetil), Yohan Lebourgeois up for Franck Harl trainer, 3/1 3rd Tulipe Mika (7f Ideal de l'Iton-Idole Mika-Arnaquer), G. Munnier for Sylvain Roger, 9/1 by Thomas H. Hicks for Harnesslink.com  

The Grand Criterium de Vitesse de la Cote d'Azur, this Sunday at Cagnes sur mer in France, has seen the field reduced to 15 from 21 engaged. The final group will contest for 200,000e in the Gr. I International UET Masters Series event over the 1609 meters autostart course. Sprinters in the field include the young mare Vanika du Ruel for trainer/driver Franck Anne and Italy's Nesta Effe, trained by Holger Ehlert. The race has a rich history of victorious females. Since 1969 the race has seen ten female winners led by five-time victor Une de Mai and single winners Roquepine, Peace Corp, Moni Maker in 2000, Vasterbo Daylight and Santa Rosa France in 2012. The fastest win was posted in 2002 by Italy's Varenne (1.09.6kr), followed by Kasaco Phedo's 1.09.9kr in 2004. The great Ourasi won the event four times, and other North American bred winners include Gum Ball, Crowning Classic, Sea Cove, Express Ride and Spice Island. The entrants are listed below. Note, m=male, f=female. No geldings are eligible ; for 4-10 year-olds that earned over 160,000e  15 Starters Horse, Sex/Age, Driver/Trainer, Earnings in euros Olona Ok (Italy), 6f, tba/D. Zanca, 386,445 Aisle Stand (Sweden), 7f, tba/Ronny Kuiper, 375,748 Unabella Perrine, 6f, Franck Ouvrie/J-F Mary, 379,966 Amaru Boko (Sweden), 7m, Robert Bergh/also trainer, 413,492 Amour d'Occagnes (Holland), 7m, Christophe Martens/Vincent Martens, 544,730 Twist des Caillons, 7m, Eric Raffin/H. Hardy, 567,780 Napolean Bar (Italy), 7m, tba/C.E. Hollmann, 585,187 Triode de Felliere, 7f, Anthony Barrier/J-P Marmion, 710,590 Marielles (Italy), 8f, Roberto Angreghetti/Fabrice Souloy, 730,414 Pascia'Lest (Italy), tba/Thierry Duvaldestin, 760,682 Univers de Pan, 6m, tba/Philippe Daugeard, 947,530 Vanika du Ruel, 5f, Franck Anne/also trainer, 987,360 Quinoa du Gers, 10m, Franck Nivard/Fabrice Souloy, 994,343 Nesta Effe (Italy), 7m, Roberto Vecchione/Holger Ehlert, 1,058,928 Quoumba de Guez, 10f, J-M Bazire/also trainer, 1,145,569 by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com  

The highly regarded sprinter classic, the Grand Criterium de Vitesse de la Cote d'Azur, takes place Sunday at Cagnes sur mer in France. There are 21 international contestants that have been engaged in this 200,000 euros Gr. I International UET Masters Series event over the 1609 meters autostart course (one mile). Last years' winner Timoko will not defend his title. A number of noted sprinters are in the field including the young mare Vanika du Ruel for trainer/driver Franck Anne and Italy's Nesta Effe. The entrants are listed below. Note m=male, f=female. No geldings are eligible to this race for 4-10 year-olds who have earned over 160,000 euros Horse, Sex/Age, Trainer, Earnings in euros Quoriace Stop, 10m, Anders Lindqvist, 165,990 Rebecca des Champs, 9f, S. Cingland, 243,370 Tango Somolli, 7m, C. Mathe, 313,140 Saphir de Fille, 8m, H. Ph. Gautier, 338,240 Olona Ok (Italy), 6f, V. Lacroix, 379,609 Aisle Stand (Sweden), 7f, Ronny Kuiper, 375,748 Unabella Perrine, 6f, J-F Mary, 379,966 Amaru Boko (Sweden), 7m, Timo Nurmos, 413,492 Amour d'Occagnes (Holland)m 7m, Vincent Martens, 544,730 Quarlos, 10m, M. Dabouis, 554,600 Twist des Caillons, 7m, H. Hardy, 567,780 Napolean Bar (Italy), 7m, C.E. Hollmann, 585,187 Santa Rosa France, 8f, J-L Bigeon, 705,950 Triode de Felliere, 7f, J-P Marmion, 710,590 Marielles (Italy), 8f, Fabrice Souloy, 730,414 Pascia'Lest (Italy), Thierry Duvaldestin, 760,682 Univers de Pan, 6m, Philippe Daugeard, 947,530 Vanika du Ruel, 5f, Franck Anne, 987,360 Quinoa du Gers, 10m, Fabrice Souloy, 994,343 Nesta Effe (Italy), 7m, Holger Ehlertm 1,058,928 Quoumba de Guez, 10f, J-M Bazire, 1,145,569 by Thomas H. Hicks for Harnesslink.com  

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      

Tornade du Digeon (7f Jag de Bellout-Herland du Terme-Kimberland) took today's featured 85,000e Prix du Chesnay at Paris-Vincennes. Trainer J-M Bazire directed the winner to her fourth victory, raising career earnings to 132,751e. She scored in 1.13.4kr over 2850 meters to win by a length over favorite The de Chine reined by J.L.C. Dersoir with veteran Starter du Rib home third for Mathieu Abrivard. February 18, 2014 Paris-Vincennes, Prix du Chesnay, 85,000e, 2850 meters, 13 starters 1.13.4kr 1st Tornade du Digeon (7f Jag de Bellouet-Herlane du Terme-Kimberland), J-M Bazire trainer/driver, 4.9/1, her fourth career win 2nd The de Chine (7g Blue Eyes America-Heparine-Tak Tak), J.L.C. Dersoir trainer/driver, 1.5/1 3rd Starter du Rib (8g Ganymede-Jiviga-Sancho Panca), Mathieu Abrivard for Joel Hallais and Ecurie Rib, 11/1 The Quinte+ Prix de Fontainebleau caught my attention on the card, as 18 European contestants were at the start in this 56,000e event over 2700 meters. The result proved to be a monumental upset, so much so that there were no exact order winning tickets. Grobois based Nicolas Roussel directed Priest Prav to a 26/1 upset win in 1.14.7kr. The son of Pine Chip defeated another Italian invader, Palomar LB with Pietro Gubellini aboard at 98/1 February 18, 2014 Paris-Vincennes, Prix de Fontainebleau, 56,000e, 2700 meters, 18 starters, European males 1.14.7kr Fractions: 1.13.5kr at 1500l 1.14kr at 1000; 1.14.9kr at 500; 1.14.7kr at finish 1st Priest Prav (5m Pine Chip-Ginny Grif-Lemon Dra), Nicolas Roussel up, owned by breeders Scuderia Lainate Nord Snc.26/1, (Italy), his eighth career win for 81,573e 2nd Palomar LB (5m Varenne-Gilly Lb-Supergill), Pietro Gulbellini trainer/driver for owner A&C Borsani, 98/1, (Italy) 3rd Versus (5m Niky-Mille Etoiles-Goetmals Wood), Franck Ouvrie for Thierry Duvaldestin trainer and owner Mme. C. Berthou, 12/1 The odds of the top five were 26, 99, 13, 20 and 10/1 respectively and that resulted in the aforementioned no exact order winning tickets, unusual but reflective of the big field, well-classified characteristics of the Q+. The top five, in any order of finish, paid over 23,000e. by Thomas H. Hick, for Harnesslink.com

The third of the French Triple Crown races during the Winter Meet at Paris-Vincennes takes place next Sunday. The Grand Prix de Paris, a Gr, I International UET Masters Series event for 400,000e is one of my favorites. The marathon is raced over 4150 meters (2-9/16 miles) over the grande piste. 26 were entered on the first engagement as listed below in order of lifetime earnings. Worth watching are Roxane Grif, Up And Quick, Yarrah Boko, Tiego d'Etang, a number of monte specialists including Vision Intense and surprise (to me) entrant Royal Dream. Anything can happen and likely will. 26 partants - Corde à gauche UET Masters Series - Groupe I International, 400.000e- 4150 m - Grande piste Horse, Age/Sex, Trainer, Life Earnings Rombo Di Cannone, 4m, G. D'Alessandro, 114934€ Turquoise Blue, 7f, S. Prevoost, 174780€ Titi Quick, 7m, C. Casseron, 225350€ Taormina d'Em, 7f, J-P Allix, 307190€ Spirit Beji, 8m, S. Prevoost, 334956€ Rockfeller Center, 9m, Jean Baudron, 338440€ Unabella Perrine, 6f, J-F Mary, 379966€ Une Fille d'Amour, 6f, C. Raimbaud, 509440€ Le Cannibale (Finland), 8m, Fabrice Souloy, 535609€ Son Alezan, 8m, Franck Leblanc, 538520€ Utoky, 6m, Franck Leblanc, 529250€ (a monte winner on February 16) Quela Rive, 10f, R. Donati, 549830€ Quarlos, 10m, M. Dabouis, 554,600€ Soleil du Fosse, 8m, Thierry Duvaldestin, 663180€ Vision Intense, 5f, Philippe Moulin, 670250€ Uhlan du Val, 6m, Cedric Megissier, 693890€ Santa Rosa France, 8f, J-L Bigeon, 705950€ Marielles (Italy), 8f, Fabrice Souloy, 730414€ Roxana de Barbray, 9f, R. Donati, 869828€ Severino, 8m, R. Coueffin, 895500€ Quinoa du Gers, 10m, Fabrice Souloy, 990343€ Up And Quick, 6m, Franck Leblanc, 1078060€ Tiego d'Etang, 7m, Christian Bigeon, 1159980€ Yarrah Boko (Sweden), 9m, Trond Anderssen, 1221577€ Royal Dream, 9m, Philippe Moulin, 1583310€ Roxane Grif, 9f, Sebastein Guarato, 2193118€ by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com  

The three year-old male and female monte rivals were showcased on today's Paris-Vincennes card. Baggio du Chatelet, a three year son of Niky, easily took the 120,000e Prix Edouard Marcillac with Mathieu Abrivard in the irons for trainer Nicolas Raimbeaux, as the less than even-money favorite. He scored by open lengths in 1.14.8kr over a short field, his third career win, now for earnings of 95,750e. The distance was 2175 meters. Well-bred Brooklyn Bridge captured second. February 13, 2104 Paris-Vincennes, Prix Edouard Marcillac, Gr. II monte, males, 120,000e, 2175 meters, 8 starter 1.14.8kr 1st Baggio du Chatelet (3m Niky-Paola du Chatelet-Gobernador), Mathieu Abrivard up for trainer Nicolas Raimbeaux, 0.9/1 favorite, his third career victory. 2nd Brooklyn Bridge (3m Quatre Juillet-Mysterious Valley-Goetmals Wood), Franck Nivard up for trainer Franck Leblanc and owner Ecurie Manuel Garcia 3rd Bazaki Seven )3m Kesaco Phedo-Rani Duophi), F. Lagadeuc up for trainer J-M Baudouin at 9/1 The female division produced another decisive winner at Beauty Turgot scored in 1.15.3kr in the 120,000e Prix Holly du Locton, a Gr. II affair over 2175 meters. She scored over nine rivals for Franck Nivard at the lines for Fabrice Souloy. The good gaited filly was off at 6.2/1 with one of the chief adversaries, Biguglia by Coktail Jet, finishing third behind 12/1 outsider Brise de L'alba, February 13, 2014 Paris-Vincennes, Prix Holly du Locton, Gr. II monte, females, 120,000e, 2175 meters, 10 starters 1.15.3kr 1st Beauty Turgot (3f Hand du Vivier-Quouragane-Korean), Franck Nivard up for trainer Fabrice Souloy, 6.2/1 2nd Brise de l'Alba (3f Quido du Goutier-Celyde la Meritee), Eric Raffin up for William Bigeon trainer, 12/1 3rd Biguglia (3f Coktail Jet-La Faisanderie), Jonathan Carre up for Frederik Plat trainer, 3.8/1 The mid-week car also included the Gr. III Prix de Nevers, a 110,000e event over 2850 meters. This event was the Quinte+ race of the day with a special single-day 10 million euro jackpot. Bold-striding Uppercut Orange took the win in 1.14kr at 6.5/1 odds, his sixth career win for over 240,000e earnings. The six year-old son of Jag de Bellouet closed relentlessly to defeat Ulf du Noyer and Ultimate du Rib. J.L.C. Dersoir trains the winner with his wife capably at the lines. February 13, 2014 Paris-Vincennes, Prix de Nevers, Gr. III, 110,000e, 2850 meters, 15 starters, Quinte+ special jackpot 10 million euros 1.14kr 1st Uppercut Orange (6m Jag de Bellouet-Mimi d'Abeille-Workaholic), Mme. C. Hallais-Dersoir in the irons for J.L.C. Dersoir trainer, 6.5/1, his sixth lifetime win. 2nd Ulf du Noyer (6m Love You-Pagoda-Gai Brillant), Franck Nivard up for Thierry Duvaldestin trainer, 2.8/1 3rd Ultimate du Rib (6g Dahir de Prelong-Kara Pellois-Sancho Panca), Michel Lenoir up for trainer Joel Hallais, 24/1 by Thomas H. Hicks for Harnesslink.com  

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

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  

The Prix Jean Le Gonidec, an international group two sprint race for 5YOs begins a big week of racing at Vincennes with no less than five group races spread over three days of action as the Winter Meeting heads into its final three weeks. Former Italian Derby winner Pascia'Lest heads an international contingent of two Italians and a Swede who will take on the cream of the French V-crop in this 120,000 euro race over 2175m on the grand piste. Varenne, the Italian superstar who was the last horse from Italy to win the Prix d'Amerique, is the sire of both the Italian entrants, Pascia'Lest and Princess Grif and both are trained in France, the former by Ready Cash's trainer Thierry Duvaldestin and the latter by Fabrice Souloy, who has a large international clientele in his superb facilities at Haras de Ginai. Pascia'Lest Italian career included wins in the Group one GP Allevatori, GP Giovanardi, GP Nazionale alongside the Derby and a clutch of group twos including the Fyraaringseliten for 4YOs at Solvalla. But the racing in Vincennes is much tougher, and though he finished third in the Prix Marcel Laurent to Victoire in February, he finished down the track in the Prix du Bourbonnais against the elite older horses and then could only manage seventh against his age-group in the Criterium Continental, won again by Victoire. Princess Grif is a dual group one winner in Italy, with wins in the Prix de Milan and GP d'Europa and she also ran a brave third in Save The Quick's world record setting European Championship for Mares last year. Encouragingly she was fifth last start against most of this field in the Prix de Croix at Vincennes. Sixth in that race was the Swedish horse System Performance, a mare by former-Hambletonian winner Scarlet Knight who is trained by one of Sweden's top trainers Stefan Melander. System Performance was an outstanding 3YO in Sweden, winning the prestigious E3 Langa over a similar distance at Eskilstuna, and was runner-up in the sprint equivalent on the way to a record of six wins and two placings in her first nine starts. She has had only one win in 19 starts since although she has regularly placed and her sixth placing was her best in three starts in during the Winter Meeting. Criterium Continental winner Victoire will be a short odds favourite for this race. Danielle Mottier's daughter of Kitko has won three of four big races this Meeting, her only failure being when she galloped while taking on the older horses in the Prix de Belgique. She will face stiff competition from the two who crossed the line with her in the Criterium Continental, Louis Baudron's son of Love You, Village Mystic, a group one winner and very consistent performer and, one of the generation's big improvers Viking de Val. Eric Lambertz' son of Baccarat du Pont has only recently made group company, and has recorded a sixth, third and second in his three Winter Meeting starts. Also in the field is the once dominant force of this generation, Franck Anne's Vanika du Ruel, a four-time group one winner. She raced without success in the Prix d'Amerique and will appreciate the return to age group company after racing against the world's elite in all the B races and the PDA. But realistically, she has struggled here too, with a second placing in the Prix de Wazieres in April last year, her best effort in 12 months - and she hasn't won since December 2012. PRIX JEAN LE GONIDEC Vincennes 06/02/14 Group II Euro 2175m 5YOs 120 000 euros 1 Vicomte Boufarcaux (5h Oh James - Olympe du Boufard) Dr: Yoann Lebourgeois Tr: Michael Jean Ruault 2 System Performance (5m Scarlet Knight - Hermit Lady) Dr: Franck Ouvrie Tr: Stefan Melander 3 Voyage de Reve (5h Password - Kiocalba) Dr: Julien Dubois Tr: Philippe Moulin 4 Volcan d'Urzy (5h Password - Jabotte d'Urzy) Dr: Jean Philippe Dubois Tr: Philippe Moulin 5 Viking de Val (5h Baccarat du Pont - La Forge de Val) Dr: Eric Lambertz Tr: Eric Lambertz 6 Vaux le Vicomte (5h Nahar de Beval - Nina du Beauvoisin) Dr: Jean Michel Bazire Tr: Jean Michel Bazire 7 Vive Daidou (5m Ouragan de Celland - Orange Douce) Dr: Thierry Duvaldestin Tr: Thierry Duvaldestin 8 Princess Grif (5m Varenne - Fauve Grif) Dr: Mathieu Abrivard Tr: Fabrice Souloy 9 Vigove (5h Gazouillis - Govive) Dr: Pierre Vercruysse Tr: Franck Leblanc 10 Vipsie Griff (5m Gros Grain - Ojipsie Griff) Dr: Pierre Yves Verva Tr: Sebastien Guarato 11 Village Mystic (5h Love You - Netchka d'Orgeres) Dr: Louis Baudron Tr: Louis Baudron 12 Victoire (5m Kitko - Juventa Blue) Dr: Mathieu Mottier Tr: Danielle Mottier 13 Pascia' Lest (5h Varenne - Superiors Sun) Dr: Jos Verbeeck Tr: Thierry Duvaldestin 14 Vanika du Ruel (5m Jardy - Jacarandine) Dr: Franck Anne Tr: Franck Anne by David Sanders for Harnesslink..com

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