European Report: Another great win for Diamanten

by Thomas Hedlund

The $176,000 Grosser Preis von Deutschland held Sunday (Oct. 7) in Hamburg, Germany, attracted many great 4-year-olds and Robert Bergh trained Diamanten (Adrian Chip) was victorious.

Diamanten won for the eighth time this year. Among his earlier big wins is the Sprintermästaren and Kungapokalen, both worth $119,000. This time, Diamanten started from position five behind the gate and driver Kim Eriksson (who replaced trainer Robert Bergh due to a cancelled plane from Sweden to Germany) picked up great speed when the car left the field of 12 horses. Diamanten got company from the French Django Riff with a lap to go, but none could reach the Bergh trainee. Over the distance 2,200 meters (approximately 1.4 miles) the trotter won in 1:55.4 (mile rate).

Former NHL pro Peter Forsberg owns the 4-year-old and the future looks bright for the star. Diamanten has shown all the ingredients that are needed to step further on the ladder in the European program and after the Breeders Crown in Sweden in November, a trip to Paris around Christmas is scheduled.

”I got the call from Robert Bergh in the taxi when I was on my way to the track and it’s almost surreal that I go to Hamburg to drive these kind of horses. This was just a perfect horse and for a driver like me, it’s just to be pleased over the opportunities that I have been given,” Eriksson said.

Diamanten has won 19 out of 26 starts and approximately 678.000 dollars are booked on his account.

Watch the replay.

Untersteiner wins classic race again

Johan Untersteiner won Svenskt Travderby for 4-year-olds in Sweden in the beginning of September with his Cyber Lane and when it was time for the Danish Kriterium (3-year-olds), he succeeded again.

This time his weapon was Cuba Libre Ice (Great Challenger) who Untersteiner sent away from third over with 600 meters to go. Over the home stretch of the track Charlottenlund, Cuba Libre Ice fought strongly against the leader Confidence (Great Challenger) and picked the victory just before the finish line.

The winning time was 1:59,.3 (mile rate) over the distance 1.5 miles and Cuba Libre Ice brought $47,000 dollars to his account.

In the Finnish Kriterium, an upset winner with just $11,500 dollars of earnings before the race put his nose first over the line. R.C.’s Royalty son Run For Royalty had not met the best horses in the Finnish 3-year-old crop before he finished second in his elimination and in the final. Tje Mathias Furuhjelm trainee showed no mercy from the position outside the leader.

The victory was worth $132,000 dollars and Run For Royalty came home in the mild time of 2:04.3 (mile rate) over the distance 1.6 miles.

Watch the Run For Royalty replay.

Valchiria Op wins Italian Derby

The $1,173,000 Italian Derby in Rome is this year’s highest ranked race in Europe based on the purse money and last Sunday, Alessandro Gocciadoro experienced one of his best days as a trainer since his horses won both the Derby and the Oaks.

The Derby for 3-year-olds became a confusing story where several horses made breaks and got lost. The leader Vitruvio (Adrian Chip) seemed to win the race in the beginning of the home stretch, but he made a break and it opened up for Gocciadoro-trained Valchiria Op (Ideale Luis) who sat as fourth horse on the inside with driver Roberto Andreghetti.

Over the distance 1.3 miles, Valchiria Op trotted 2:00.2 (mile rate), while Gocciadoro’s filly Vanesia Ek (Exploit Caf) trotted 1:56.4 over the mile in the Oaks.

In Rome the same day, Philippe Billard’s Timone Ek (Mr Vic) again showed that he is the best senior in Italy. With driver Enrico Bellei, Timone Ek won Gran Premio Turilli ($107,000) in 1:56,3 (mile rate) over the distance 1.3 miles.

Watch the Italian Derby replay.