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Weekly Round Up

05 January 2021

The Winter Meeting at Vincennes continued to deliver quality racing across the New Year period. This included the next qualifier for the G1 Grand Prix d'Amérique (2700m), the G2 Prix de Bourgogne (2100m).  

Trotting 

The final Group race of 2020 came in the trotting discipline on Thursday 31st December at Vincennes with the G3 Prix de Château-Chinon (2700m) for three-year olds. Benoît Robin trained and steered Hussard du Landret to victory. Managing to settle just worse than midfield he showed a good attitude with not much room available in the final 600m to win. This was an impressive narrow triumph. The favourite, Hokkaido Jiel was disappointing finishing fifth. Benoît Robin had a successful last day of 2020 achieving a double with another win later in the afternoon with the in-form Great Tigress.    

Forty-eight hours later, on Saturday, trotting once again provided the first Group race in France of 2021, with the running of the G3 Mounted Prix Yvonnick Bodin (2700m) for five-to-eleven-year olds and apprentice drivers. This is an emotional race named after a tragic accident at Cabourg almost twenty years ago.   

Barefooted ten-year-old Brillant Madrik came through in easy style for driver Mathilde Colas and trainer Laurent-Claude Abrivard. A strong pace was set by Best of Bourbon who strung the field out by over twenty lengths but was unable to keep up the effort when the runners bunched with 800m to travel.    

The biggest event of the week occurred on Sunday with the penultimate qualifier for the G1 Grand Prix d'Amérique (2700m). This is the speed test over 2100m – Qualifier five, G2 Prix de Bourgogne (2100m) for four-to-eleven-year olds.    

Fifteen runners raced from behind the mobile covering just over one lap of Vincennes’s outer track. Short-priced favourite Face Time Bourbon had a wide draw on the outside of the front line but settled just behind the leaders, where multiple contenders wanted to set a strong tempo throughout. These included the well supported Délia du Pommereux, Davidson du Pont and Valokaja Hindö.    

Björn Goop had to steer wide on the favourite but was in a good position sitting fifth one horse off the inside in the back straight. Davidson du Pont then took over the pace setting role and kicked on with 1000m to go; then shortly after Sébastien Guarato’s star took over.                          

Jean-Michel Bazire was asking his mount Davidson du Pont to keep up with Face Time Bourbon as they turned into the home straight. There was a brief moment of worry when Goop had to work on last year’s G1 Grand Prix d'Amérique winner who was now going head-to-head with 100 metres left while the fast-finishing Vivid Wise As and Délia du Pommereux came into view. Both runners had been held up on the inside and did not secure clear runs until well into the home straight.     

This feature was a great spectacle and did not disappoint with the three flashing past the winning post together. It was just Face Time Bourbon who gained a second “B” qualifier this Winter Meeting after finding success in the Qualifier two G2 Prix du Bourbonnais (2850m)Vivid Wise As and Délia du Pommereux made the frame to gain entries into the G1 Grand Prix d'Amérique (2700m) in four weeks.   

Among the top eight, Face Time Bourbon travelled the most distance. He ran 12 meters (11.74m exactly) more than runner-up Vivid Wise As, 15m more than Délia du Pommereux and, 8m than Davidson du Pont, the fourth. This solidified his performance.  

The highest speed recorded among the top ten were Délia du Pommereux with a 1’03’’7. The fastest 200 meters of the first three:   

- Face Time Bourbon: 1’06’’1 (finish line)   

- Vivid Wise As: 1’05’’5 (finish line)   

- Délia du Pommereux: 1’04’’4 (finish line)    

Jump    

On Monday, Pau staged the Listed Prix Bernard de Dufau Steeplechase (4700m) for five-year olds and above with sixteen obstacles to jump on heavy ground. The Mescam family had notable success with Laskalin which saw Damien Mescam riding for Mikaël Mescam. Racing in mid field throughout and jumping well proved the key to victory. The favourite, Poly Grandchamp could only manage fifth struggling to find something when under pressure in the home straight. This was in contrast to Laskalin who continued to jump in magnificent style and pulled out a little extra from Ediboum in the final 100m.    

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