European Report: Gelding upsets Bold Eagle in Masters final

Aubrion du Gers defeated many of the best horses in Europe Saturday at Vincennes in the Prix Ete, the final of the European Trotting Masters.

by Thomas Hedlund

During the year, horses are collecting points from the big races in Europe and at this time of year the finals are contested in some of the countries connected to the U.E.T. (European Trotting Union).

Nuncio, Propulsion, Timoko and Billie de Montfort were some of the most celebrated horses in a field of 14 in the $217,000 Prix Ete, the final of the European Trotting Masters Saturday at Vincennes in Paris.

Contested over 2,700 meters (1.7 miles) in the pouring rain in Paris, home favourite Bold Eagle was, as usual, served a perfect trip by his driver Franck Nivard. Trainer Sébastien Guarato had two horses in the race and his Valko Jenilat opened quickly for the lead and had about 10-15 meters down to his followers most of the race.

Bold Eagle could follow in the back of Jean-Michel Bazire’s gelding Aubrion du Gers by the last turn and it seemed like the Prix d’Amérique winner from the last two editions would bring the gold to the stable of Sébastien Guarato. But Aubrion du Gers is an extraordinary horse and despite the trip, where he had to do the job first over in the field behind the leader, the seven-year-old son of Memphis du Rib fought strongly and disarmed the heavy favourite.

Bold Eagle finished second and bronze medalist Twister Bi did more than great when he made up many lengths on the leaders with a half mile to go.

Aubrion du Gers won in an approximate mile time of 1:55.1. Unfortunately for the trainer, driver and owner Jean-Michel Bazire, geldings are not allowed to participate in big group 1 races in France, so there will not be a meeting between the two big stars in French harness racing in the 2018 Prix d’Amérique 2018.

Aubrion du Gers replay