At last, the Critérium Finals are upon us

16 September 2023

Idao De Tillard seeking his 24th career victory

Vincennes hosts the much-anticipated Critérium finals on Sunday, concluding the series which kicked off mid-August. During this time, 75 individual 3, 4 and 5 year-old colts and fillies have met in the ten qualification races, which have just one objective: to secure a berth in the Critérium race of their age category. 25 of these have earned the right to contest the race which will crown the best trotters of their respective generation.

Run over 2700m and worth €300,000, the Critérium des 3 Ans will see Philippe Allaire’s generation-leading colt, Koctel Du Dain, take on Kana De Beylev, currently the best 3 year-old filly in the country. Other noteworthy runners include the consistent Kanada, and Prix Comte Pierre de Montesson winner, Kamehameha, who beat the favourite earlier in the year before being demoted.

Similarly valuable but covering 2850m, the field for the 4 year-olds’ version will be headed by Gr.1 winner, Just Love You, who has shown considerable class to win her last two preps. Principal opposition will come from the improving Juliet Papa Bravo, who finished 2nd to the Abrivard-trained filly last time out, and previous leader of his generation, Just A Gigolo, who has been missing that certain spark this summer. Juninho Dry goes first-time barefoot and should not be underestimated.

The Critérium des 5 Ans will be run over 3000m, and all eyes will be steadfastly fixed on Idao De Tillard who, excepting the odd fault, seldom disappoints, as his 23 wins from 33 starts can attest to. His occasional stride worries though will leave the door ajar for It’s A Dollarmaker, admirable second to the favourite on his recent re-entry, and the Gr.1-winning Idéal Du PommeauIzoard Védaquais will have his chances if applied.

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