10,000 spectators followed the events of the first day of racing at White Turf 2015. Cap Sizun was the winner in the most important flat race, the first hurdles race for 21 years was won by Vicomte Alco. It was Dreamspeed and Franco Moro that prevailed in the Skikjöring, whilst in the Arabian race Alibaba del Sol managed to repeat last year’s win. A total of 62,831 Swiss francs was placed in bets.
We now know the favourite for the ‘Gübelin 76th Grand Prix of St. Moritz’ on the third Sunday of racing: Cap Sizun from the Zürich-Dielsdorf stables of Monika Müller won in the ‘GP Guardaval Immobilien – Zuoz and Passugger’ in impressive manner and in doing so was victorious in the most significant race in preparation for the final Grand Prix. ‘At the beginning I thought it could only go wrong today. Cap Sizun was galloping badly but then he kept on improving on the backstretch. It wasn’t until we hit the straight that I realised we could win’, said winning jockey André Best, who will be riding the gelding owned by Rita and Peter Hartmann again in a fortnight. Three and a half lengths behind in second place was Fabrino (Olivier Plaçais) ahead of Marunas (Dennis Schiergen) in third.
The day’s racing couldn’t have started in a more exciting fashion than in the Prix Arosa. The first hurdles race following a 21 year break was won by Vicomte Alco (Anthony Lecord ier) after a sensational race. After initially being far ahead of the field Totem Flow (Milan Zatloukal) had to accept defeat after being pipped on the finishing line by almost half a length by Vicomte Alco by finishing with a tremendous final spurt of spe ed.‘Vicomte Alco had a moment of weakness on the backstretch, but then just kept on improving in speed. Even the jockey himself couldn’t have believed that he could still win this hurdles race’, commented an ecstatic trainer Andreas Schärer. Vicomte Alco and Totem Flow are now favourites in the odds for the‘World Snow Hurdle Championship’ next Sunday.
In the Arabian race, the ‘H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan Listed Cup’, with prize money of 42,000 Swiss francs, it was last year’s winner Alibaba del Sol from the Dutch stables of Karin Van den Bos who was again victorious. Daniele Porcu was in the saddle of the winner, who showed his stable-mate Athlète del Sol (André Best) the way to the winners enclosure, thus ensuring the best possible result for the stable.
The cards were completely reshuffled in the Skikjöring. In the ‘CREDIT SUISSE – Celerina Grand Prix’ Dreamspeed - from the German stables of Christian Von der Recke and driven by Franco Moro - took the lead very early and didn’t let any of his opponents come anywhere near him. Franco Moro commented, ‘During the race I always had a good feeling. Nobody beat us this time.’ The gelding triumphed convincingly with three and a half lengths from Mombassa (Adrian von Gunten), who at times looked highly dangerous. Third place went to Acteur de l’Ecu (Erich Bottlang), who managed to pass the reigning trophy winner Bergonzi (Fadri Casty) at the very end of the race.
Terry Gahn, last year’s successful trot specialist on snow, had to concede defeat this time in the ‘GP Swiss International Air Lines’ to ten year-old Belgino in who Claudia Koller-Wehrly as trainer/driver had managed to find herself a winner. In the second trot race, the ‘GP Blasto / Fraumünster Insurance Experts’, it was Maître de la Piste, the experienced snow horse guided home by Laurence Kindler, who managed to take the victory. The gelding is trained by Jean-François Johner.
The ‘GP Handels & Gewerbeverein St. Moritz’ - a flat race on the sprint course - was dominated in completely superior fashion by Burning Blaze (Jamie Spencer) a British horse from the stable of Olly Stevens. It was trainer Miroslav Weiss jumping for joy after the ‘GP Data Quest’ – a race for mile specialists - as his charge Strade Kirk with Robert Havlin in the saddle proved to have the greatest competitive qualities. A head’s advantage was enough to keep the English guest Berrahri (Steve Drowne) in check.