Express clinches Critérium de Vitesse
11 March 2019
The writing was on the wall once the draw was made last Thursday. Readly Express going head to head with Bold Eagle in Sunday’s Critérium de Vitesse at Cagnes sur Mer was a match worth waiting for, but the draw was always going to favour the Finnish-trained Swede. And so it proved, but not as expected.
Despite having been allocated the inside draw, Björn Goop did not make his expected charge to the front to deny last year’s winner the advantage. Instead, Dijon took up the running and held the lead for much of the race despite Franck Nivard’s attempt to wrestle the lead away from him. Uza Josselyn raced comfortably in third, followed by Bahia Quesnot. Prix de France winner and mile debutant, Readly Express, was kept towards the rear of the field until the latter stages of the €170,000 event.
As Dijon led the field comfortably in the stretch, Bold Eagle was nowhere to be seen, only to be ultimately sanctioned, and Romain Derieux’s six year-old looked like he had the race in the bag. With just under 200m to go, Goop put Readly Express into top gear and the pair clinched the race in the final strides, equalling Bold Eagle’s 2018 record time of 1’08”9. Bahia Quesnot secured an impressive third, with a tired Uza Josselyn next to pass the post.
Picture: Timo Nurmos, Readly Express and Björn Goop after Criterium's victory
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