by Thomas Hedlund
Editor’s note: Today’s Elite Race Card at Solvalla starts at 12.45 Stockholm time (06.45 East). The first Elite Race Division goes at 10:28 (east), the second at 10:55 (east) and the final at 11:45 (east). The competitions must be available to watch in North America via the Swedish website www.atg.se.
Alessandro Gocciadoro dominated Saturday’s (May 28) $ 125,000 Sweden Cup at Solvalla and after an impressive wire-to-wire win in the elimination, Gocciadoro drew number 1 in the final, which was important because the other two elimination winners are well-known fast starters.
Officer Stephen (Pastor Stephen) and coach Dion Tesselaar played with the opponents from the lead in the first heat, while Usain Töll (Googoo Gaagaa) used the same recipe in the third elimination.
ALN Two-time NBA MVP Nikola Djokic was in the winner’s circle after Bepi Bis’ elimination win in the Sweden Cup last Saturday at Solvalla.
Gerard Forni Diable de Vauvert (Gabriele Gelormini) came from ninth over to win the 3,140-meter, $ 205,000 Harper Hanover race on Solvalla’s Saturday card.
But when Gocciadoro was the lucky guy in the draw before the final and got post 1 with Bepi Bi (Donato Hanover), pretty much the race results were determined. Bepi Bi managed to defend himself against outside trotting Officer Stephen when the car accelerated at the back stretch and when Gocciadoro had to keep the pace at an unusually low level, Bepi Bi was outstanding in the pouring rain at Solvalla.
NBA star Nikola Djokic entered the winner’s circle with Bepi Bi’s entourage after the comfortable elimination win and the double MVP also appeared in a warm-up heat at Solvalla, riding one of Gocciadoro’s horses competing on Saturday’s competition card.
Bepi Bi came home at a moderate 1: 55.1 miles, but the track became sloppy on Saturday afternoon, due to the heavy rain.
Officer Stephen followed as second ahead of the strong finisher Milliondollarrhyme.
FRENCH STRENGTH IS SHOWN IN HARPER HANOVER
Harper Hanover’s race of 3,140 meters and $ 205,000 is traditionally one of the last races on Solvalla’s Saturday card at the Elite Race Weekend and this year a French superhorse added to the event. Winner of the Prix de Paris Devil of Vauvertdriven by Gabriele Gelormini started 40 meters behind the front horses and with a little more than laps left, Gelormini left his position as ninth over.
Usually ninth is over an impossible position to have one kilometer left, even in a race over 1.9 km at Solvalla, but when Gelormini gave Diable de Vauvert the order to attack four wide at the back, the duo quickly closed in on the leading horses.
Diable de Vauvert finished as he is used to, strong, and Gabriele Gelormini’s legs went up in celebration of joy when his horse hit the thread as the winner in a mile pace of 1: 56.3 over 1.9 miles.
Diable de Vauvert was the big attraction on Solvalla’s Saturday competition card and horses raised outside Sweden dominated this rainy day in Stockholm.
AMPIA WITH SM EXCELLENT AT VINCENNES
Vincennes, Paris, was in focus on Friday night (May 27) when two races with group status were on the menu. Fabrice Souloy trained in the $ 95,000 Prix du Crepuscule Ampia Mede Sm (Ganymede) impressed and won after a first crossing for driver Franck Nivard.
Ampia Mede Sm and toughest opponent Elie de Beaufour fought for the lead in the first turn and Franck Nivard had to give up the fight when Jean-Michel Bazire pressed Elie de Beaufour hard on the outside. Nivard quickly chose a first crossing with his 6-year-old Italian bred mare and when the field turned towards home, Nivard had plenty of power to use in his drive.
Ampia Mede Sm sprinted to a sure victory in the mile speed 1:54 over 1.3 miles while Elie de Beaufour held on to second place before the good finisher Rebella Matters.
In the $ 75,000 Prix Caecilia for 4-year-olds bred in Europe, the outraged winner Caio Titus Bond (Varenne) got a quiet indoor ride, served by Mathieu Mottier and when the door opened for the duo at the top of the stretch, the Italian bred stallion could disarm the inside horses just before the thread. The mile speed was 1: 58.2 over 1.6 miles and Sébastien Guarato trains the winner.
French media Paris-Turf announced on Friday that Jean-Michel Bazire’s top gelding Cleangame has ended his career due to an injury to a front leg. Cleangame has belonged to the top among French-born trotters for several years, but since he is a gelding, he has been away from the really big races, such as the Prix d’Amérique, Prix de France and Prix de Paris.
Ten-year-old Cleangame collected 42 wins and earned $ 1,949,365 in his career, and among his biggest wins were the $ 160,000 Prix d’Ete (twice) and the $ 150,000 Grand Prix du Sud-Ouest (twice).