The Prix du Bourbonnais takes place this Sunday in Vincennes. The race is the second leg of the Epique Series for trotters and sees trotting colossus and fan favourite Bold Eagle go head to head with the evergreen Timoko and a host of others in what promises to be a fascinating race.
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Offering €120,000 in prize money, this G.II, 2850m event has seen a change in its conditions with the elimination of the 25m distance penalty for the wealthier participants. Furthermore, starting from this year, the first three home will be given an automatic place in January’s showpiece event, the Prix d’Amerique, with a similar innovation applying to the other three preps.
All eyes will be on Bold Eagle as he sets course for a Prix d’Amérique double. Despite his defeat in the G.II Prix Marcel Laurent, Sébastien Guarato’s five year-old has already achieved legendary status. His handler has declared he will be in better condition this time around, but has admitted his principal worry is the Eagle’s contemporary, Belina Josselyn.
She was heavily backed in the Prix de Bretagne three weeks ago but was disqualified after having received a blow from a driver’s helmet just 1000m out. This mare has been lightly campaigned over the year; she is held in high regard by Jean-Michel Bazire and barring any trouble in running, her place at the finish is almost a guarantee.
The evergreen Timoko has had the benefit of a summer break and his two starts since his comeback have reaped their rewards. Once more, he can be expected to give a competitive account of himself. Another of note here is Florent Lamare’s Amiral Sacha whose performance in the Prix de Bretagne found him wanting. He races unshod all four this time and will not be far from the action.
The Prix du Bourbonnais has once again drawn a field with quality in depth. With just two more recognised prep races left to run after this, the pressure is mounting as the top trotters from around Europe vie for a coveted spot in the Prix d’Amérique line-up at the end of next month.
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