Day At The Track

Upset Winner – VG Oslo Grand Prix

10:32 AM 12 Jun 2017 NZST
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Christoffer Eriksson with Jerry Riordan Jerry Riordan Italy’s Twister Bi
Driver Christoffer Eriksson with Jerry Riordan
ATG Photo
Jerry Riordan
ATG Photo
Italy’s Twister Bi
ATG Photo

June 11, 2017, Bjerke -   Italy’s Twister Bi (5m Varenne-Lorraine Bi-Lemon Dra) rallied off cover three wide in the final bend for driver Christoffer Eriksson and ran down then leading Lionel (7m Look de Star-Aurora Sign-Smok’n Lantern) and owner/driver Goran Antonsen to win the Gr I UET Masters Series VG Oslo Grand Prix at Bjerke. Raced in the fog and rain the Jerry Riordan trainee, owned by Pasuquale Ciccarelli, earned 1.5NOK million for the win, his 19th in 45 career starts.

Total purse was 2,770,000NOK.

Timed in 1.12.6kr the winner bested a game Lionel, trained by Daniel Reden, that raced in the death seat through much of the 2100 meter autostart event, Third was Aubrion du Gers (7g Memphis du Rib-J’Arrive du Gers-Baccarat du Pont) with Joseph Verbeeck catch-driving for trainer Jean-Michel Bazire. Takethem and DD’s Hitman ended fourth and fifth. Photos below – finish, stretch drive, happy trainer and driver.

Pacesetter Dante Boko and well-regarded Volstead, BBS Sugarlight, Your Highness and Cruzado Dela Noche were among the also-rans today. Winning trainer Jerry Riordan, always a great post-race interview, commented that his horse raced today for the first time in an American sulky and with pull out ear-plugs, and like Varenne, is always a tough competitor, who can beat anybody with a good trip. Today he got that good trip.

The undercard included the Energima Cup (final with 300,000NOK to the winner and 100,000NOK for winners of the two eliminations) with the elims and final raced over 1609 meters autostart. The final, pictured below, went to Italy’s Turno di Assiurra (5m Love You-Foga di Aziurra-Lemon Dra) in rein to Orjan Kihlstrom for trainer Erik Bondo, and timed in 1.11.5kr. He won his elimination timed in 1.11.8kr in a dead-heat with Thai Broadway (8m Broadway Hall-Isabella Knick-Tap In) reined by trainer Bjorn Goop. Thai Broadway was second in the final.  The other elim was won by Donatomite (5g Donato Hanover-Malvictorian-Malabar Man) for trainer/drive Frode Hamre timed in 1.10.9kr with victory over Victory Bonsai (6m Kadabra-Victory Bouquet-Balanced Image) with Mika Forss driving the Heikki Korhonen trainee. Bonsai was third in the final. 

Canari Match and Phantasm SOA Win at Bjerke

June 11, 2017 - Today’s Oslo Grand Prix day of racing showcased top flight three, four and five year-old trotters plus open class mares. Starting in reverse order with the Finn Tack Europamatch (purse to winner 300,000NOK, 2100 meters autostart) for the five year-olds, the winner was 1.12.9kr clocked Canari Match (5m Extreme Aunou-Ruelle d’Ostal-Joe l’Amoroso) for Orjan Kihlstrom. Daniel Reden trains this one. Second was the Jerry Riordan trainee Tango Negro (5m Infinitif-Lisetta Real-Lemon Dra), with third to the mare Trendy OK (5f Varenne-Annette Hanover-Sierra Kosmos) handled by Alessandro Gocciadoro. She was one of only two females in this event. French Laundry was fourth in the nine horse field.

The four year-olds contested the Gjensidige (purse to winner 200,000NOK, 1609 meters autostart) and that fine group was vanquished by Phantasm SOA (4m Cromwell-Uiver H-Uxer LB) driven by Bjorn Goop for trainer Olivier Raffin. This Norway  bred colt now has two 2017 wins in three outings and nine career victories in 16 starts. Off at 5/2 odds, Phantasm SOA scored in 1.12kr over Makethemark (4m Maharajah-Global Naughty-Conway Hall) reined by Ulf Ohlsson. Third was Dominion Beach (4m Muscle Hill-Windylane Hanover-Lindy Lane) driven by Orjan Kihlstrom and is Stefan Melander trained. 

Three year-olds battled in the Support Justice (200,000NOK to the winner, 2100 meters autostart). That event was won by Black Talisman (3m Sam Bourbon-Netherlee Way-Muscles Yankee) driven by trainer Magnus Teien Gundersen. Second was Championchip (3m Pine Chip-Madam Lavec-Egon Lavec) for Per Oleg Midtfjeld. Third was Robin GT (3m Broadway Hall-Linderchip GT-Enjiy Lavec) for Asbjern Tengsareid in the 1.15.1kr timed contest.

Earlier was the Stayerloop (200,000NOK to the winner, 2140 meters voltstart, distance handicapped). One of non-penalized horses was the winner, Titanium Gar (5g Daguet Rapide-Lady Killer Gar-Varenne), with Hugo Landgweg Jr. the pilot and timed in 1.15.6kr. Totem d’Azur (10m Joao Panca-Heidi l’Indienne-Butin du Vivier) was second at 21/1 for trainer/driver Junior Guelpa, overcoming a 40 meter penalty. Third was another 40 meter handicapped entry, Reckless (7m Ready Cash-Haver-Supergill) driven by trainer Bjorn Goop.

The aged mares battled in the Flaata Eiendom (200,000NOK first money, 1609 meters autostart) and it produced a quick 1.11.7kr victory by Italy’s Shadow Gar (6f Pine Chip-Lady Killer Gar-Varenne) for Erik Adielsson and trainer Erik Bondo. This one is a half-sister to the above described Stayerlopp winner Titanium Gar. Shadow Gar, pictured below, now has four wins in 2017 from eight outings. Second this day was Indoor Voices (6f Yankee Glide-Celebrity Whisper-SJs Caviar) handled by Orjan Kihlstrom, ahead of Alwaysinblackpedia (6f Muscle Hill-Baker Black Jet-Supergill) driven by trainer Frode Hamre. 

One cannot complete the program coverage without mentioning the Kingsrod Trading Monte (100,000NOK to winner, 1609 meters autostart). Sofia Adolfsson was in the irons on Nantucket (11m Viking Kronos-Malabar Lady-Valley Victory), shown below, as that one scored quick timed in 1.11.6kr. Tosca Victory (7m Up di Poggio-Tootsie Rich-Super Arnie) was second for Henriette Larsen, and third went to Quality QC (6g Going Kronos-Tina QC-Quadrophenio) and jockey Christina A. Hande. Well-regarded Tsar de Houelle, Call Me Hanover and O’Grady were back of these. 

Thomas H. Hicks

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