The Prix de France “Speed Race”, Sunday February 14 at Hippodrome Paris-Vincennes, took place in an incredible scenario. Twists and turns, speed and intense suspense marked the second of three Ultimate Finals of the Prix d’Amerique Races ZEturf competition. Delia du Pommereux beat the odds with a magnificent victory.
We were expecting a new duel between Face Time Bourbon, hero of the Prix d’Amerique “Legend Race”, first Ultimate Final, and Davidson du Pont, second in the World Championship two weeks earlier. Last year, the second city triumphed in the Prix de France “Speed Race” ahead of its rival. The explanation did not take place. Davidson du Pont was at fault at the start of the race and suffered the rigors of disqualification. Big suprise from the start! Face Time Bourbon takes the opportunity to take command. He deploys magnificent battles, at a breathtaking speed, and stands out from the peloton.
Entering the straight, no one can imagine another winner. And yet… Björn Goop’s partner shortens his action 100 meters from the post. Meanwhile, Delia du Pommereux produced a splendid acceleration and finished at wind speed. The supersonic mare succeeds in combing Face Time Bourbon not far from the post. She is the winner. She matches the 14-year-old race record in 1’09’’8. Sweden’s Aetos Kronos, youngest of the event, is third. The trotting champions will now compete in the third and last Ultimate Final, the Prix de Paris “Marathon Race”, on Sunday February 28.
Eric Raffin, Delia du Pommereux‘s driver, won the Prix de France “Speed Race” for the first time in his career. His father Jean Raffin had won it in 1990 from the Pussy Cat sulky. The 2019-2020 Sulky d’Or did not hide his emotion after his success: “Honestly, I did not expect to beat Face Time Bourbon before the race. I was considering second place. But the mare is exceptional. She finished strong to make a difference. It’s a dream come true, it’s my biggest win in harnessed trotting. As I passed the post, I thought of my father. I say thank you and I also thank Delia, of course ”.
Sylvain Roger, coach of the winner, relishes the moment: “I am very happy, she is a wonderful mare, with a mind of steel. She deserved to win in a big test “.
Sébastien Guarato, Face Time Bourbon‘s mentor, analyzes his protégé’s second place: “Even if he is beaten, he runs well, he is simply beaten by a remarkable opponent. He ran out of air at the end after trotting very fast in the lead. We will probably see him again on March 6 in the Prix de Sélection ”.
Watch the race below: