by Karsten Bønsdorf, USTA Senior Newsroom Correspondent
The Finnish-born Swedish trainer, Timo Nurmos had a couple of very good days on Friday (Oct. 12) and Saturday (Oct. 13).
Friday he won the Grand Prix de l’UET or European Trotting Derby with his own 4-year-old trotter,Villiam, who was driven by Jorma Kontio. Tha purse for the winner was $230,000. While on Saturday, Readly Express, drive by Björn Goop, won the Swedish championship at Aby.
Readly Express, this year’s winner of the Prix d’Amerique, received $55,000 for the win.
Villiam, who Nurmos also bred, was considered the best in his Swedish crop last year. The son of Muscle Hill won the prestigious Svensk Trav Kriterium in world record time and hopes were high for this season.Until Friday evening, however, Villiam had done much and the victory was the first in 2018 from seven races.
Villiam won followed by another Swedish trotter, Mellby Free, also sired by Muscle Hill,while Earl Simon of France finished third.The Swedish Derby winner, Who’s Who,driven by Ôrjan Kihlström, was favored to win but had a tough trip and finished fourth.
On the same card the European championships for 3- and 5-year-old trotters also were contested.
The 3-year-old French trotter Face Time Bourbon (Ready Cash), who was driven by Björn Goop, won very easily in a new French record of 1.56.2 (mile rate).
Face Time Bourbon is trained by Sebastian Guarato, who says, that this is the best trotter he ever has trained, and he has Bold Eagle in his stable.
The 5-year-old championship was also won by a French trotter, as Dijon (sired by Ganymede) with trainer/driver Romain Derieux in the bike was in command the whole trip.