ANNIKE BYE HANSEN
Where the horses come first - and become winners!
Annike leading in top class sprinter Captain America, who was voted Sprinter of The Year.
Skoganstallen sweeps 5 awards
Leading role: Hard One To Please
Poster girl: I Rest My Case, of course!
28 Jan 22: The annual awards ceremony, when Norwegian thoroughbred racing celebrates last year's champions, became a night to remember for Annike's great team. Hard One To Please, a dead cert to grab the headlines once again, picked up no fewer than three awards; Horse of The Year, Three-year-old of The Year and Stayer of The Year, while I Rest My Case was handed the award as Best Homebred of The Year. To top it off Annike was handed the Achievement of The Year award. Five awards to our excellent stable. While I Rest My Case saw off a couple of lively challengers in her division, Hard One To Please was lengths clear in his categories – just like he was in his two impressive Derby winning performances.
Takeko (filly & mare division), as well as General de Vega and Youonlyliveonce (both the sprint division) were also nominated but had to settle for minor honours on the night. The ceremony and dinner was held at Thon Hotel Oslofjord i Sandvika on Saturday evening, with these winners announced; Hard One To Please (Horse of The Year, 3yo of The Year, Stayer of The Year), I Rest My Case (Norwegian bred), Master Zone (2yo of The Year), Could Be King (Sprinter), Duca di Como (Miler), Ascot Brass (Filly & Mare), Canmore (Handicapper).
Hard One To Please – Horse of the Year
Last year's undisputed star in Scandinavia, Hard One To Please, was voted 2022 Horse of The Year in Norway, a title that was never in much doubt. What was, however, was his prospects of landing the odds in the Stockholm Cup International (G3), a race where he looked a certain loser turning for home – only to produce a tremendous finish and get up to beat the English challenger Outbox in a thrilling photo finish. That must have been one of the most exciting races of the season. Hard One To Please showed us a new dimension that day, as he proved that not only did he have the talent to get himself out of trouble, but also that he was well equipped for a street fight.
Landing a punch is one thing, and he had seen him doing that to some effect, but being able to take a punch is quite different. Some highly talented runners have been lacking in that department, many because they had become too accustomed to winning with ease. Not Hard One To Please. He knuckled down gamely as he was chasing the leaders coming down the home straight at Bro Park, and he found another gear in the closing stages. It was as easy as his two classic wins, in the Swedish Derby and the Norwegian Derby, both won comfortably. Actually, that's not quite right. His winning run at Jägersro, where he proved himself on dirt, did ask a lot more of him than his stroll back on turf in Norway, and perhaps it was a valuable learning experience. He came from off the pace to win the Swedish Derby by 2 measured lengths from Steinar, with the rest a long way further back. Steinar went on to win big himself next time out and it was rather obvious what horse they all had to beat when we came to the Norwegian Derby in late August. Derby Trial winner Pas de Faux had his supporters and was backed as as if he would have a serious chance, but looking at the formbook one might say “really?” The answer out of the course was an emphatic “not at all”. Hard One To Please, who had been ridden by Oliver Wilson in the Swedish Derby but now had Jacob Johansen on board, absolutely trounced his rivals to win by 14 lengths. Pas de Faux was outstayed by the fily Sea Lodge for second as the two Neuroth trainees filled out the trippel. The runner-up went on to win the Danish Oaks two weeks later. That result made the Norwegian Derby form a bit easier to assess, it was undoubtedly the best seen amongst the three-year-olds in Scandinavia.
The next test would be a lot more informative. Hard One To Please was being pointed at the Stockholm Cup International (G3) at Bro Park in September, when he would be facing older horses. The Cup, often billed as Scandinavia's 'Arc', drew a solid field of 15 runners. Amongst them was the German trained Virginia Storm, who had run third to Prix de l'Arc winner Torquator Tasso and second to German Derby runner-up Alter Adler at home. Virginia Storm's best form made him one to fear. Then we had Outbox, flying the English flag for a second time at Bro Park, having run such a good second in the 2021 edition of the Stockholm Cup, Oslo Cup (G3) winner Quebello and local hero Espen Hill. Ulf Zeider, one of the best judges of form in Sweden, gave this prediction in his racecard preview; Hard One To Please first, Outbox second, Virginia Storm third. He wasn't far wrong. Virginia Storm ran no sort of a race and finished second last, running as if something was amiss, while Hard One To Please pipped Outbox to win by a nose. Master Bloom, like Outbox another horse to have been placed in a previous edition of the event, ran third, while Quebello took fourth.
His win at Bro Park, where he was partnered by Pat Cosgrave, gave Hard One To Please a unique treble; the Swedish Derby on dirt, the Norwegian Derby over the undulating and testing course at Øvrevoll, and the Stockholm Cup at Bro Park, a flat, more US-style oval. Will this treble ever be repeated? It may, but it's probably long odds-on that he won't happen anytime soon. Väsby Häst AB's top performer is an unusually versatile performer, and a well deserving Horse of The Year. His 2023 campaign could be really exciting, though there will be no more cruising runs against his own age group only. The gloves will come off more than once in 2023, as he takes aim at the top races in Scandinavia. Those with similar aspirations have one thing in common; they all know that they will be up against a true champion. GS 290123
Homebred of The Year
I Rest My Case - she's the poster girl
Presenting the winner of the award as Best Homebred of The Year in 2022; I Rest My Case, Skoganstallen's popular poster girl.
I Rest My Case earned more prize money than any other horse in running in Norway last year, when she won the valuable Drømmemilen on Derby, picking up 312,000 kroner after what looked like a racecourse gallop, and the historic Brukseier Eivind Lyches Minneløp – an important event for homebred horses. She was also runner-up in the Breeders' Prize, Skandinavisk Mesterskap and against imports in the Derby Trial, a performance that posed the question “should she go for the Derby?”. Well, she didn't – instead taking in the mile race on Derby day, which she won with ridiculous ease, cantering home by 15 ¼ lengths from No Compromise. It was as hard to assess the value of this form as it was not to be impressed by the performance. I Rest My Case won the race with such ease and it would have taken a very good horse to keep up with her on this occasion.
Her win in Lyches Minneløp was also a bit of a stroll, as she outclassed her rivals to win the 1980-metres turf contest by 5 ¼ lengths. Buckybelle finished second, and Queen of Antaktis filled third place, beaten almost nine lengths. This was also a case of I Rest My Case being far too good for her rivals.
She was being tested against better performers though, and ran solid races to be placed in important events. She was second to Hear The Drums in the Skandinavisk Mesterskap for 3yos in July, going down by a neck at the end of a hotly contested race over 1800 metres / turf. Semper Fi was 1 ½ lengths behind her in third, with Sugar Crust fourth. The Derby Trial, run in early August, meant a step up in distance + a clash with good imports. The trip, 2160 metres, did not get the better of I Rest My Case, she stayed all right, but Pas de Faux did. He beat her by 3 lenghts and soon became many people's idea of the 2022 Derby winner. As we know, Hard One To Please had other ideas, but Pas de Faux did frank the Derby Trial form by running third in the Derby – after having been committed far too soon.
Derby day results thus underscored the fact that I Rest My Case was a homebred somewhat out of the ordinary. Such horses are bound to end up in the top races for Scandinavian breds, and I Rest My Case next shipped to Bro Park, to contest the 15-runner Breeders' Trophy Classic. Things had gone pretty smoothly in her previous races but that was not the case at Bro Park, where she faced an impossible task after a very slow start. She stayed on gamely in the home straight but was beaten by five of her rivals. Titannia, the Danish Derby winner, came out on top, beating Giant Fortune narrowly. I Rest My Case passed the winning post 3 ½ lengths behind the winner. Compared to Titannia, who made all, I Rest My Case's start loss was about twice that margin. Her next run, in the Breeders' Prize Classic back home, was better – but also a bit unfortunate – as she ended up on the wrong side of the course when delivering her challenge. Hear The Drums beat her by a length and I Rest My Case was a quarter of a length in front of the third placed runner, Chianti. Good Fortune finished fourth and Titannia disappointed to came home third last.
I Rest My Case rounded her season off in the Norwegian Oaks, run in mid-October. She went off second favourite behind Sea Lodge, who had run second in the Derby. On paper, the classic looked like a two-horse affair, but 18-1 shot Crack The Sky upset the two leading contenders to win from the front. It was an excellent winning ride by Per-Anders Gråberg. Sea Lodge beat I Rest My Case by a neck for second.
What can we expect from I Rest My Case in 2023? It's dangerous to have too high expectations, as her four-year-old campaign must be altogether different to 2022. There will be opporunities in races for Scandinavian breds, but not as many as these horses enjoy when they are three, and I Rest My Case will have to step up against imports. Stakes events for fillies and mares are well worth considering, although the official handicapper has I Rest My Case 8kg below Ascot Brass, 6kg below Iron Butterfly and Silent Night, and 5kg below Takeko. There's a gap to close there, no doubt, but don't be too surprised if I Rest My Case proves to be up to it. GS 290123
FOR SALE: HWIN (NOR) b f 2020
Half-sister to I REST MY CASE, outstanding homebred filly of 2022
Fifth to subsequent Bro Park winner Fort Dodge on debut. A well made individual, bred to progress with age.
Has the pedigree to become a broodmare when her racing career is over. Price: NOK. 100,000 to stay in training at Skoganstallen.
For more information, please contact Annike Bye Hansen. Phone: (+47) 414 05 784. Email: [email protected]
Hwins's dam Sweety was a fast and precocious lady who enjoyed a fine career with five wins and 710.794 kroner in total earnings. She was an instant hit in her first season, as she won two of her five races at two, both of them were valuable events. Sweety made an impressive debut when proving much too good for her 14 rivals in Norsk Rikstotos Rekrutteringsløp over 1170 metres on turf.
Half sister to I Rest My Case
Hwin - ran in key race at two
10 Jan 23: A half-sister to I Rest My Case, the Sir Lando daughter Hwin - a new name on Annike's training list - certainly has a lot to live up to. She ran just twice as a juvenile, when trained by Raphael Freire, and showed talent already on her debut - when she finished fifth in a particularly strong maiden race over 900 metres in August. Some of these event for horses in search of their first win become what we call 'key races' and this one was obviously one of those - perhaps one of the most interesting key maiden heats of 2022.
The race was won by Fort Dodge, who went on to run second to Cotton Eye Joe in Skandinavisk Mesterskap next time out, before winning again at Bro Park. Cotton Eye Joe was one of the best two-year-olds around last term. He also ran second in the Breeders Trophy Juvenile, behind Maxmartin (a winner of three big races in '22) and Vinterfavoriternas Pris, behind Got A Lot (who was coming off a second in another top event).
Bazuca, who ran second in the race Hwin made her debut in, also gave the form a solid boost - running second in the prestigious Amacitalopning on her subsequent outing, beaten only by Starlight Song, who has landed the Heatherwold Cup on her previous start. And there's more to like when we look at Hwn's debut race; the fourth placed Little Crow graduated with a fine win on her next start. Hwin was thrown in at the deep end only ten days after her promising racecourse introduction, and it was probably asking a bit too much too soon for her - she ran unplaced in the aforementioned Skandinavisk Mesterskap. GS
Two new recruits
Interesting youngsters transferred
07 Jan 23: Two lightly raced three-year-old fillies have joined Annike's team; Djamila, formerly trained by Cathrine Erichsen, and Hwin, handled by Raphael Freire last year, are well bred, interesting newcomers at Skoganstallen. Djamila (Evasive) is a half-sister to champion homebred juvenile Purple Ace, while Hwin (Sir Lando) is a half-sister to I Rest My Case - one of our stars in 2022, when she became the top earner in Norway. These two fillies are both maidens, Hwin having raced twice and Djamila having raced just once. They will be presented in depth in the upcoming Stabell Notes series - in preparation for the 2023-season.
STABELL TALK 2023 /
GEIR STABELL's horse by horse presentation of Annike's high class team for the 2023 campaign - with articles posted weekly leading up to the new season. These horse bios, posted in reverse alphabetical order, can also be found on the horse pages.
Classy, multi talented
Takeko - coming off strong season
Takeko enjoyed a productive season in 2022, stepping up nicely on her form as a three-year-old in 2021. when she was runner-up in the Norwegian 1,000 Guineas and won the Giant Sandman Cup. Her four-year-old exploits were even better, with the peak performance coming when she landed the Margareta Wettermarks Minneslöping on Swedish Derby day at Jägersro. Switching to dirt, after having finished second to Iron Butterfly when making her seasonal debut in the Nagell-Erichsens Hoppeløp at home and filled the same place behind Ascot Brass in the Bloomers' Vase (LR) at Bro Park, Takeko proved much too good for her nine rivals in the 1730-metres long Wettermarks. She stayed on strongly at the finish and won most comfortably by 2 lengths from Thunderey, who beat Numeira by a head for second. Aperola occupied fourth place, beaten 7 lengths by Takeko, and the entire field was strung out to the tune of almost 25 lengths.
Continuing as a regular player in the top division for fillies and mares, Takeko failed to win again but he ran solid races in defeat, and was arguably a bit unlucky when beaten a neck by Go On Calras in the Stockholm Fillies & Mares Stakes over 2100 metres / turf at Bro Park in October. She returned to Jägersro the following month and produced another game performance on the dirt track, taking third in the Jockeyklubbens Avelslöpning, beaten 3 lengths behind the smart winner Scarlett.
Takeko ended 2022 with over half a million kroner in earnings, thus climbing up to 790,475 kroner earned from 14 runs since she joined Annike's stable ahead of the 2021-season. She now has a half-sister, Yukochan, among her stable companions, and both these fillies seem likely to make a mark on the upcoming campaign. Takeko's class is undeniable and that she is just as good on dirt as she is on turf, is a big plus. Her programme as a five-year-old is more or less self explanatory, as she is likely to be seen in much the same events she ran in last year. Her results have naturally enhanced the value of her family and there was more good news for the dam, Ahd, last year. Her 2016-son by Zofanny, the Listed winner Hot Team, won twice in England, bringing his tally to six wins, and her 2017-daughter by Footstepsinthesand, One Small Step, won for a third time in Ireland. This family is full of winners and it's hard to imagine that there won't be more to come. GS 050223
She's a real bonus
Tambora Queen stays in training, that's good!
Keeping Tambora Queen in the stable for another season must be seen a very nice bonus. Not because she is likely to win a Group race in 2023, but simply because it must have been so tempting for her owners, Stall RH, to retire this fine mare to the paddocks – or for a commercial breeder to buy her and do the same. Her days in the breeding should come, no doubt about that, but not quite yet. This daughter of Breeders' Cup winner Outstrip has been an excellent servant over the past couple of seasons, with a current record of 4 wins from 24 outings.
Two of her wins came in 2022, when she managed the unusual feat to win handicaps as early on in the season as April and as late on as November. Not many horses manage to show winning form both in the spring and in the autumn, especially handicappers. It is more common for such a thoroughbred to have one good spell, either in the first couple of months of the campaign, in the middle part, or late on in the racing year. Actually, developing and campaigning horses that are competitive all season long has been one of Annike's strongest qualities. She had Tambora Queen ready for the Amolo Handicap over 1600 metres / dirt on opening day, and the race was won by 4 ½ lengths - a great start, not just for Tambora Queen but for the entire team. It was the beginning to a season to remember, as she outclassed race favourite My French Dream with some ease. Tambora Queen was racing off 79 on her reappearance, and that was her handicap mark also when she rounded the season off with a win in the Funinthesand Handicap over 1750 metres over the same track in mid-November. This was not a similar stroll though. Once more ridden by Jacob Johansen, she fought on to the winning post to prevail by half a length after having been hard pressed by Buckyboy. Interestingly, My French Dream was third, beaten 3 ½ lengths while receiving 2kg from Tambora Queen. She was giving that same rival 3kg when the met seven months earlier.
Her November win meant that Tambora Queen was raised to handicap 81 in the end of season rankings, which is 2kg below her career best, recorded after her visually impressive debut. She made the frame five times in between these two successes, performing well both on turf and dirt. Dirt racing may be what suits her best but, if at all, she's not far behind her dirt form when racing on the lawn. She captured the valuable Energima Derby Mile over 1600 metres on turf in 2021, absolutely hammering the strongly fancied Yellow Submarine by 5 lengths. Her runner-up was odds-on to win the contest, having performeed so well to be third behind Iron Butterfly and Takeko in the Norwegian 1,000 Guineas on her previous outing, but she had no chance when Tambora Queen quickened away at the business end of the Derby Mile.
Can Tambora Queen follow up this year, as she is now aged five? There's every reason to believe that she can. She ended '22 on a high note and she has clearly been thriving on her racing. Many horses step up another notch at five. The late Charlie Whittingham was one of the first to argue that horses are at their best when they are five years old, and that it is wrong to push them hard when they are young. It has also been interesting to note how well five-year-olds have fared in European Group races over the years. Tambora Queen's breeding gives mixed messages when it comes to how she may develop as older horse, though nothing suggests that her current age will work against her. Her sire, Outstrip, was first and foremost a precocious runner but his most famous son, Melbourne Cup (G1) winner Gold Trip, definitely improved with age – taking the famous 2-mile handicap at Flemington when he was six. Tambora Queen is out of the unraced Dudley Queen, an Excellent Art mare that has also produced Poet's Dawn, a winner of eight races, including two aged seven last season.
Roar Hoel purchased Tambora Queen for just 14,000 guineas as a yearling at Tattersalls Sales in Newmarket - another example of how it is possible to recruit talented runners within a sensible budget. There must be breeders wishing they had bought her, and now keeping an eye of this mare but, as mentioned initially, 'not quite yet'. GS 310123
Youonlyliveonce - versatile and consistent
A son of the little known sire Sidesteps (a dual Group 2 winning son of top class sprinter Exceed And Excel), Youonlyliveonce took another step up in 2022. Going up against the fastest turf performers in Scandinavia on a couple of occasions, he fared well enough to be nominated in the Sprinter of The Year category – alongside his stable companion General de Vega and Could Be King. Just to be mentioned with these two stars was some achievement for Youonlyliveonce, who improved his best handicap rating from 86 in 2021 to 89 last year. It's when horses start creeping up towards the crucial 90-mark that the going gets really tough. Such performers will often be burdened by top weights in handicaps and thus forced to run against the elite on conditions events and stakes races. Youonlyliveonce won twice during our most recent campaign, but his best run was probably when he grabbed second behind Could Be King in the Giant Sandman Polar Cup (LR) at Øvrevoll in August. One of the strong undercard events on Derby day, the Polar Cup, contested over 1370 metres, represented a step up in class for Youonlyliveonce. He took it all in his stride, and came home as a game runner-up. He could never pose a serious threat to the favourite, who beat him by 2 ¾ lengths at level weights, but Youonlyliveonce had some smart performers well behind him and suddenly Väsby Häst had two high class sprinters on their hands. He was not able to reproduce the form in the Bro Park Sprint Championship (LR) in September (finished eighth, 6 lengths behind Could Be King) but he gained another Listed placing when third in the one-mile Arnifinn Lunds Minneløp back on home soil in October. Like A King captured that event from Wishformore.
Youonlyliveonce's main assets are his consistency and versatility. He kept his form well to the end of the season, winning a handicap over 1730 metres on the dirt track 18 days after the Arnfinn Lunds. Running off 88, he was conceding weight all round and ran out a game winner from Monjazaat, with Tambora Queen third and We Got The Boss fourth. Of the race's total pot of 80,000 kroner, 66,400 went to horses trained at Skoganstallen. Looking at the form of the one that denied Annike a clean sweep, we see that Monjazaat is no slouch. She has three wins to her name and was beaten just a neck when second to Flambeau Rouge in the 2021 Norwegian Oaks. Giving Monjazaat 3kg, Youonlyliveonce beat her by half a length. He wasn't done yet, however. Three and a half weeks further into the autumn, he turned up for a competitive mile handicap on the dirt track at Jägersro Galopp, and finished second, beaten less than two lengths by Plantstepsdream. This was Youonlyliveonce's 13th start in 2022. He finished in the top three on no fewer than nine occasions. His first win of the year came in a sprint handicap on the turf course in early June, a race he won narrowly from Herewegodandy.
With strong form both on turf and dirt, and proven from 1170 metres to 1600 metres, this six-year-old still has many options and, although he meets the season on a handicap mark that makes things a notch more difficult, there's no reason to doubt that Youonlyliveonce can do well also in 2023. GS 230123
Half a head from being a winner
Yukochan - ready to step up at three
Given how her famous half-sister Takeko improved from two to three, it's fair to assume that Yukochan can improve in 2023 - though will she be as good as Takeko? That, as they say, remains to be seen - but the way she shaped as a juvenile suggests that she is one to look forward to seeing race on. She is a maiden, but that's down to bad luck, not for want of trying. In fact, this filly has yet to finish worse than second. She was beaten half a head coming up against Stripeof Stars when making her second start last November, tackling 1600 metres on the dirt track. The two had the race between them through the final furlong and, as Yukochan ran a bit greenly, her rival's experience probably became the telling factor. That said, the photo could have gone either way and who wouldn't fancy Yukochan in a rematch? Stripesof Stars was the odds-on favourite, having run second, beaten just two lengths behind Ami de Vega, in the Norsk Kriterium on his previous outing. Flower Power, who checked in a length and a half behind Yukochan in third place, had also won previously, and the form looked good.
Yukochan turned out once more before the season came to a close, taking part in a similar contest eleven days later. She was sent off as a narrow favourite and ran another fine race, though her market rival, Chadwick, proved too good, denying her by open lengths. It's hard to know which of these two performances was the better. It may have been the run against Stripesof Stars but note that Chadwick was coming off a fifth place finish in Vinterfavoriternas Pris at Bro Park, a race won by the smart Got A Lot from Cotton Eye Joe, another high class youngster based in Sweden. Either way, Yukochan ought to be strongly fancied were she to stick to maiden company early in the 2023-season. After that, we shall she how she can progress. All of her runs in 2022 came on dirt (she was runner-up to Soulofchess over 1100 metres on her debut) and it will be interesting to see her on turf. GS 230111
Five horses nominated
Horse of The Year Awards
The date is now set. Saturday, January 28 - that's when the excellent Horse of The Year awards dinner and ceremony will be held, and with some strong contenders in the mix we wouldn't like you to miss it. Five of the stable's 12 currently active 2022 runners have been nominated. Skoganstallen seems to be the stable of champions.
Powerful looking son of Wentworth
15 Dec 22: Champagnegaloppen has secured a really interesting young colt by Wentworth - bought at the Scandinavian Open Yearling Sales in Denmark. His pedigree is strong, albeit it not glittering - and his sire is not all that well known, but take a close look at this colt. His appearance is that of a powerful, well balanced and thoroughly likeable individual. Plenty of those fail to make good runner though having a good conformation certainly helps, and I'd be surprised if this guy fails to make his presence felt at the races.
His sire won the Betfred Mile Handicap at Goodwood as a three-year-old, when trained by Richard Hannon. He later joined Bettina Andersen in Denmark, where he captured Klampenborg's prestigious Pokalløb (LR) over 1800 metres.
Run For Justice's dam, the High Chaparral daughter Rivers Run, won one of her five races when trained by Ralph Beckett in England, scoring in a 12-furlong maiden at Lingfield Park as a three-year-old. She is a half-sister to Pas de Secrets, winner of the Songline Classic (LR), runner-up in the Norwegian Derby and third in the Oslo Cup (G3) for trainer Wido Neuroth. Geir Stabell
Full brother to Good Fortune
15 Dec 22: Bred to be special, Left U Speechless - who will be joining Annike's team along with another youngster in Run For Justice next March - is a colt likely to get a lot of attention when his racing career gets underway. His brother Good Fortune won the Breeders' Trophy Classic as a three-year-old, when he beat Iron Butterfly, and he followed up with another valuable win when landing the Breeders' Trophy Mile as a four-year-old and opened his 2023 campaign by winning a valuable handicap at Meydan in Dubai. Good Fortune, who has 9 wins from 17 starts and total earnings of over 3.3 million kroner, is trained by Søren Jensen in Denmark, where Left U Speechless was bought by Väsby Häst at the Scandinavian Open Yearling Sales in September.
This well bred colt is a son of Scandinavian Champion Appel Au Maitre, who won 12 races, including Marit Sveaas Minneløp (G3), Stockholm Cup International (G3) - twice -, Stockholm Stora Pris (G3), the Swedish Derby (LR) and the Norwegian Derby.
Left U Speechless's dam Eko Palace Bay was unraced but quickly became a success at stud. She is also the dam of Aperola, a full sister to Good Fortune who won 8 races and was placed several times in stakes company. Her finest wins came in the Future Stars and Produce Stakes. (updated Jan 27)
2022 season - facts and figures
Top earners, top strike rate,
best average earnings
21 Nov 22: Annike Bye Hansen finished second in the trainers' standings, with 16 winners, 18 runners-up and 8 third place finishers from 75 starters. The stable generated total domestic earnings of NOK. 2,775,249. As many as 56% of all starters saddled by Annike finished in the first three and the stable's win strike rate was an impressive 21.3%, better than any other trainer with more than ten starters during the season. Average earnings per start, NOK 37,003, was also markedly the best return of all trainers with more than ten starters.
The stable's total Scandinavian earnings were close to 5.6 million.
I Rest My Case became the highest earning horse in Norway in 2022, with NOK 775,849 from eight runs. She just edged out her stable companion Hard One To Please on this list, as his domestic earnings were NOK 725,000 from four runs. Hard One To Please would probably get most votes if we decided to crown a Scandinavian Horse of The Year though, and perhaps it's about time to get those Scandinavian stats back up and running? With two easy Derby wins and a gutsy success in the Stockholm Cup International (G3), he earned NOK 2,812,764 all told – and he also became the highest earner in Sweden this year. His fellow Väsby Häst flag bearer Youonlyliveonce sits in tenth place on the list of top earners in Norway this year, with NOK. 322,600 from 11 starts that yielded 2 wins and six other top three efforts. GS
Top earners - Norway 2022
All winners aged three and up rated 82 or higher
This year's winners from Skoganstallen
21 Nov 22: Annike Bye Hansen's winners in 2022, listed with highest handicap marks achieved this season in brackets. All of the stable's winners aged three or older achieved handicap marks of 82 kg or higher.
TAMBORA QUEEN (83) 4yo
Funinthesand Handicap – 17 November
YOUONLYLIVEONCE (89) 5yo
Birkebeinern Handicap – 17 October
NOOSA PRINCE (86) 6yo
Sudost Handicap II – 2 October
HARD ONE TO PLEASE (94) 3yo
Stockholm Cup International (G3) – 18 September
TAKE A CHILL PILL (69) 2yo
Norsk Mesterskap 2yo's – 15 September
SWEDISH DREAM (91) 7yo
Viviannas Dream Eliteløp – 8 September
ADMIRAL DE VEGA (85) 3yo
Victoria Prada Handicap – 8 September
HARD ONE TO PLEASE (94) 3yo
Norwegian Derby – 21 August
I REST MY CASE (82) 3yo
Drømemilen – 21 August
ADMIRAL DE VEGA (85) 3yo
Sudust Handicap I – 21 August
ADMIRAL DE VEGA (85) 3yo
Maiden race – 28 July
WE GOT THE BOSS (85) 6yo
None Shall Sleep Handicap – 21 July
HARD ONE TO PLEASE (94) 3yo
Swedish Derby – 17 July
TAKEKO (87) 3yo
Margareta Wettermark's Minnesløpning – 17 July
I REST MY CASE (82) 3yo
E. Lyches Minneløp – 9 June
YOUONLYLIVEONCE (89) 5yo
Heureux Handicap - 9 June
GENERAL DE VEGA (93) 5yo
Eliteløp – 2 June
HARD ONE TO PLEASE (94) 3yo
Maiden race – 2 June
TAMBORA QUEEN (83) 4yo
Amolo Handicap – 21 April
Skoganstallen's 2022 winners ranked by best handicap marks,
with number of runs, 1-2-3 placings and seasonal earnings
94 – HARD ONE TO PLEASE (6 st. 4-0-0) 2.812.765,-
93 – GENERAL DE VEGA (3 st. 1-1-0) 126.749,-
91 – SWEDISH DREAM (6 st. 1-1-0) 73.350,-
89 – YOUONLYLIVEONCE (13 st. 2-4-3) 347.417,-
87 – TAKEKO (7 st. 1-4-2) 548.478,-
86 – NOOSA PRINCE (9 st. 1-2-0) 91.900,-
85 – ADMIRAL DE VEGA (5 st. 3-0-2) 173.896,-
85 – WE GOT THE BOSS (12 st. 1-3-0) 144.400,-
83 – TAMBORA QUEEN (11 st. 2-1-2) 149.320,-
82 – I REST MY CASE (9 st. 2-3-1) 847.763,-
69 – TAKE A CHILL PILL 2yo (5 st. 1-0-1) 130.000,-
Average best handicap mark, winners aged three and up: 87.5kg
Top Ten, 3-year-olds
Final day - final winner
Tambora Queen wraps it up nicely
17 Nov 22: It would hardly be appropriate if the final raceday of the season had gone into the books without a winner from Skoganstallen, and that was never going to happen – of course it wasn't. Although, judged by how the punters saw it, that winner did come from a somewhat surprising stall.
Tambora Queen, who was making her eleventh start of the season, fought off a late challenge from Buckyboy (a winner of three races this term) for a very game half-length win in the Funinthesand Handicap over 1750 metres. Ridden by Jacob Johansen, Tambora Queen raced in fourth place early on, was forced to go three wide on the home turn, and delivered a sustained run coming down the home straight. She went by the longtime leader Hampus G with about 200 metres to go and ran on really well under pressure to win at just under 12-1. Tambora Queen gained her fourth career win and she has earned 358,805 kroner for her owners, Stall RH. Her handicap mark has now been raised back up to 83, which is her career best. She's not a high end stakes performer but she sure deserves full praise.
This was Annike's 16th winner at Øvrevoll this year, giving a nice 21% strike rate from 75 starters. As if by magic, Tambora Queen provided the stable's first success of the season when winning on opening day '22 and she also became the stable's last winner of the season on closing day, in what has been some campaign for Annike and her dedicated team. Tambora Queen appears to thrive in the autumn, by the way, she won on her last start in 2021 – when beating I Apple at good odds in late October.
Yukochan continued her education in a juvenile maiden run over 1600 metres, finishing second, beaten only by the race favourite, Chadwick, who had previously run fourth in Norsk Kriterium and fifth in Vinterfavoriternas Pris at Bro Park. Yukochan fluffed the start was bounced around a little early doors. She was again running a bit erratically, though perhaps not through any fault of her own this time, and she was a well deserved, clear runner-up. This was another positive performance by the daughter of top class sprinter Acclamation. She will have learnt a lot from the outing. Reine des Mers, who had finished five lengths behind Yukochan over the same trip two weeks ago, snatched third place on the line. This looked a nice maiden heat likely to produce future winners. GS
The 2022 season is over
Let's look forward to '23!
17 Nov 22: The season is over but work never stops at Skoganstallen, where next season is already very much in focus. Racing resumes on April 20, a Thursday evening fixture that will be the first of 31 racing dates at Øvrevoll in 2023. Pick up the full fixture list by clicking the poster on the right.
Takeko a game third in
15 Nov 22: Back at the venue of her finest hour - success in the 'Wettermarks' on Swedish Derby day - Takeko ran yet another good race at Jägersro Galopp on Sunday. She fell three lengths short of entering the winners' circle this time, but her third place finish in Jockeyklubbens Avelslöpning was a nice way to round off what has been an excellent campaign for the daughter of Mehmas. This was a stamina test for her. Although 2400 metres is run around three turns, the distance takes some getting over this dirt track - and perhaps it was a bit too far for Takeko's liking. Restrained in last place early on, she tried hard coming down the home straight but could never get on terms with the two that beat her, Swedish Oaks winner Scarlett and Blue Gem. Only nine runners have earned more than Scarlett in Sweden this year. No prizes for guessing who is on the top of that list, by the way.
Youonlyliveonce accompanied Takeo to Sweden and he too ran with credit in defeat, finishing second to the front-running Plantstepsdream in the Handsome Hawk Open Handicap, run over 1600 metres. Youonlyliveonce raced too freely early on, when he failed to get cover sitting just off the leader, but he ran on with purpose at the finish and was beaten less than two lengths. Plantstepsdream is a tough performer with nine wins to his name, including one at Listed level. Nicolaj Stott rode Youonlyliveonce - while Takeko was ridden by Carlos Lopez. GS
Still a maiden - but only just!
Yukochan runs big in defeat
6 Nov 22: Does Yukochan know that she didn't win today? Probably not. Making only her second start, she improved nicely on her runner-up effort first time out to lose by just half a head to the more experienced favourite Stripesof Stars, who was coming off a win over the turf course in September. Yukochan, ridden by Jacob Johansen, actually headed him marginally inside the final furlong, but he fought back and 'won the bob'. The photo could have gone either way. Yukochan raced a bit too freely early on in the 1600-metres dirt race, and she ran green also coming down the home straight. There was nothing wrong with her attitude though, she clearly wanted to be first past the post. Judged on this performance her day will come, no doubt about that. Takeko's half-sister may run once more this autumn - and she seems to be a runner to look forward in next season.
Son of Frankel's brother
Money Mission to Skoganstallen
26 Oct 22: An interesting juvenile, Stall Mission's gelding Money Mission, is a new name on the training list at Skoganstallen. Previously trained by Tina Smith, this Irish bred son of Noble Mission has been placed second once from three starts this season. His sire is a brother to the world famous Frankel, while his dam, the lightly raced maiden winner Beckoning (Kodiac), is a granddaughter to Hellvellyn, who is best known as the dam of Fast and Furious, a smart turf performer in France and North America, where he was third in the Shoemaker Mile (G1).
Take A Chill Pill in action
26 Oct 22: Take A Chill Pill runs in Norsk Rikstotos Oppdrettsløp on Thursday evening. Reunited with Willa Synøve Schou, she will be facing eleven rivals over 1600 metres on the dirt track.
27 October - 6 November - 10 November - 17 November
French bred son of Postponed
Half brother to Swedish Dream to join the team
24 Oct 22: A half-brother to Swedish Dream, who retired the other week, will be part of Anniike's team in 2022. This French bred colt is a son of Postponed, a high class middle distance performer for trainer Roger Varian in Newmarket, who guided the son of Dubawi through an excellent career that included top level wins in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Juddmonte International Stakes and Sheema Classic. The dam, Demeanour, was a Listed winner in Sweden and she comes from the solid female line that also produced Irish St. Leger (G1) winner Dark Lomond, Dubai Gold Cup (G2) winner Chartres as well as Gothic Dream, runner-up in the Ribblesdale Stakes (G2) and third in the Irish Oaks (G1).
Winning once is nice, twice truly delightful
20 Oct 22: There's nothing wrong with winning twice in a season, especially if your name is Youonlyliveonce! He has run some rock solid races against top flight performers, and this evening he gained his second win of the year by beating Monjazaat and Tambora Queen in the Birkebeinern Handicap, run over 1750 metres on the dirt track. Youonlyliveone earned 40,000 kroner for this empathic success, pushing his 2022-earnings to a healthy 324.060 kroner.
Yukochan made a promising debut in the juvenile maiden, finishing second to the hot favourite, Soulofchess. Another fine day at the races for "Team ABH".
Interesting newcomer on Thursday
Yukochan – you'll recognise her pedigree
18 Oct 22: This week's racing, set to take place on Thursday evening, will see four runners from Annike's team, We Got The Boss, Youonlyliveonce, Tambora Queen and Yukochan. The most interesting could be the latter, a well bred newcomer who runs in the the 2yo maiden over 1100 metres on the dirt track. Read her presentation from Stabell Talk '22, published at the beginning of the season;
Takeko will get a sibling amongst her training partners this year. A two-year-old filly named Yukochan, closely related to last year's runner-up in the Norwegian 1,000 Guineas, has been purchased in Ireland and is set to join Annike's team. Yukochan is out of Ahd, the dam of Takeko, and her sire is Acclamation, who is also the sire of Takeko's father, Mehmas. Mehmas has been dealt with under Takeko, but what was his father all about? Firstly, he was a really good, much better known, and above all immensely popular racehorse. He has been just as successful as stallion. Actually, that's not quite right, as it is safe to say that – good as it was – Acclamation's racing career can now be seen as notch below what he has achieved at stud.
Acclamation, who stands for €27,500 at Rathbarry Stud in Ireland, was a high class sprinter trained by small time handler Gerald Cottrell in England. He ran 16 times, won 6 races and amassed total earnings of £361,753 in a career spanning three seasons. He was bought for just £33,000 at the Doncaster Bloodstock Yearling Sales – an investment that proved to be very shrewd. The son of Royal Applause – another excellent speed merchant – made five starts as a juvenile, when he won a Sandown maiden on his second outing, then added to that success with a Novice Stakes win at Newbury and a far more valuable result when landing the £200,000 St Leger Yearling Stakes at Doncaster in the autumn. Ridden by Frankie Dettori, Acclamation took the race by 2 ½ lengths from Old Blue Yes, as he race favourite Captain Rio had to settle for third place. £151,800 of the big pot was thus credited his owners, Dulford Cavaliers. It was mission accomplished, no doubt, but there was more to come from this energetic runner – a lot more, though it would take some time before we saw what he was really capable of. >>>
Strong runs in important events
I Rest My Case, Takeko placed in stakes
17 Oct 22: Just days after I Rest My Case ran such a good race to be placed in the Norwegian Oaks - where she was badly compromised by the slow pace - Takeko followed up with an strong runner-up effort in the Stockholm Cup Fillies & Mares Stakes at Bro Park. Finishing best of all after being waited with at the back, she lost the 2100-metres turf contest by just a neck, beaten by Go On Calras, whose rider, Nicolaj Stott, was handed a suspension for 'incorrect use of the whip' by the local Stewards. Takeko earned 82,500 kronor for this performance. Her stable companion Admiral de Vega was also in action at Bro Park on Sunday, having his first crack at stakes competition in the Mischa Kahn Memorial, run over 1600 metres on dirt, and he shaped well in third place behind Running Rolf and Chianti. Jacob Johansen rode Admiral de Vega, while Elione Chaves had the mount on Takeko.
Ready for a new career
Swedish Dream retired
.10 Oct 22: Swedish Dream, one of the best horses in Scandinavia over the past three seasons, has been retired. He left Annike's stable last Saturday, and is embarking on a new career as a lead horse and teacher to young horses at Øien Gård.
Stall Øvrevollkollen's stalvart turns nine January, when all thoroughbreds - regardless of foaling date - officially become a year older. He has had a remarkable career. A winner of one of his four starts in France before Walter Buick picked him out as a good prospect at the Tattersalls Sales in Newmarket, Swedish Dream won 9 of his 44 races and was placed second or third on 25 occasions. 34 times in the top three, from 44 runs - a record that speaks volumes for his racing attitude. His closing handicap mark is 90 kg, just 2 kg below his personal best - and his total earnings stopped at 1.4 million kroner. Read all articles about Swedish Dream, going back three seasons, on his dedicated page.
359,849 kroner earned on Super Sunday
Noosa Prince back to winning form
I Rest My Case, Youonlyliveonce
both very strong in stakes events
2 Oct 22: I Rest My Case came up short in the Breeders' Prize Classic, but only just, and what a race she ran - as she finished well after some traffic problems to take second, beaten just a length by Hear The Drums. Picking up a nice pay cheque, she contributed greatly to the team's daily earnings of 359,849 kroner. Annike thus consolidated her place as number two in the trainers' standings and, with a small stable like this, it has been a truly remarkable 2022.
Noosa Prince, beautifully ridden by Willa, handled the soft ground really well and won the Sudost Handicap over 1600 metres, beating Mowaraaman comfortably by 2 1/.2 lengths, while Pirlo came home in third place.
Youonlyliveonce, who is beginning to look like one of the most versatile performers around, ran a strong race to claim third place in the Arnfinn Lunds Minneløp (LR) and Take A Chill Pill did the same in the Black Moon Breeding Auksjonsløp.
Upcoming racedays: Oct 6, 12 & 20. Nov 6, 10 & 17
I Rest My Case seeking revenge in Breeders' Prize Classic
Five runners on high class Sunday card
30 Sep 22: I Rest My Case, who ran sixth to Titannia in the Breeders' Trophy Classic at Bro Park three weeks ago, will try to get closer to the Danish Derby winner when they meet again in the Breeders' Prize Classic over 1980 metres at Øvrevoll on Sunday. This time with home court advantage, a longer distance, and hopefully a better start, Stall Ella's daughter of Deceptor will be seeking revenge, but Titannia is by no means the only horse to beat in this valuable contest. Giant Fortune, beaten just a nose by Titannia at Bro Park, is also in the mix - as is the successful gelding Hear The Drums. 13 horses are set to go to post, I Rest My Case drew well in stall seven and she will be reunited with Jacob Johansen. Jacob has also been booked for the exciting two-year-old filly Take A Chill Pill, going for the Black Moon Breeding Auksjonsløp, and for Youonlyliveonce - one of two runners for Annike in the Arnfinn Lunds Minneløp (LR), the other being Swedish Dream, who will be trying to win this prestigious event for a second time. Willa Synøve Schou partners up with Swedish Dream. She won on him three weeks ago. Willa also get the leg-up on Noosa Prince, as he runs in Sudost Handicap over 1600 metres. Noosa Prince is seeking his first win of the year. Interestingly, he won over this distance just over a year ago (with Willa on board), beating Kildare, one of his nine rivals on Sunday - when the first race is scheduled for 12.20. Programme / Sunday October 2
Incredible finish to the Stockholm Cup
Hard One To Please wins big - again!
18 Sep 22: He looked beaten approaching the home bend, when he lost some ground, then got back into a rhythm that seemed positive enough to bring him back up to get some prize money. Turning for home he definitely looked like he was facing an impossible task - and that was the case also with just 200 metres to run. After such a troubled trip, Hard One To Please had too much ground to make up. Or so we all thought - until he found the right gaps and kicked in with a serious finish close home that brought him up for a narrow, well deserved and impressive win. The Stockholm Cup International (G3) became Hard One To Please's third top class success. The Swedish Derby, Norwegian Derby and Stockholm Cup treble is truly unique and this horse is special - no doubt about that.
Jockey Pat Cosgrave after the race; "We had a smooth start, but found trouble in running, we got stopped turning for home, and the horse got me out of trouble - if he had been beaten it would have been my fault. With a clean run he would have won by two or three lengths. He is a very good horse - I hope I can come back and ride him again next year."
This result confirms that Hard One To Please is a high class performer. Runner-up Outbox was second in this race also last year, when he went on to win the Amir Trophy (LR) in Doha, and he was now coming off a good third in the Geoffrey Freer Stakes (G3) at Newbury, behind Zechariah - a very good stayer who had been beaten just a nose by this year's St. Leger (G1) winner Elgar Eldarov in the Queen's Vase (G2) at Royal Ascot.
Takeko game third in Lanwades Stud
Takeko, incredibly also suffering from trouble in running at Bro Park this Sunday, ran a great race to finish third behind the hot favourite Ascot Brass and Silent Night in the Lanwades Stud Stakes (LR). She came from off the pace, got stopped twice in the straight, still stuck her head out and got up for third in the dying strides. Geir Stabell
Stockholm Cup International winner!
Photos: Elina Björklund
Hard One To Please simply the best - at home and abroad
1 Hard One To Please
2 Sea Lodge 3 Pas de Faux
Stockholm Cup International
1 Hard One To Please
2 Outbox 3 Master Bloom
Stakes winner on her second start
Take A Chill Pill Norsk mester!
15 Sep 22: Take A Chill Pill, confidently ridden by Willa Synøve Schou, went straight to the lead and was in full control throughout in Norsk Mesterskap for 2-åringer, run over 1170 metres over a good turf course on this Thursday evening. The daughter of Evasive, bred by Inger Skrede and Knut O Arnesen, gave Väsby Häst AB yet another big race win as she cruised home 1 1/4 lengths in front of the race favourite Sid Game, who was 1 1/2 lengths in front of Flower Power. This was Take A Chill Pill's second start. She turned the tables on Sid Game, who was the winner when she finished sixth on her debut in July. She clearly has speed but let's not forget that this filly is out of Perfect Spy, a well bred daughter of top class middle distance performer Nathaniel. Her second dam, Heavenly Whisper (Halling), showed high class form over 8 and 10 furlongs in England and there must be a good chance that this NM-winner will stay further in due course. Her next start will probably be in the Black Moon Breeding Auksjonsløp over 1370 metres on October 2.
Read more about take A Chill Pill's pedigree on her dedicated web page. GS
Norsk Mesterskap on Thursday
Take A Chill Pill and Tambora Queen in action
14 Sep 22: Norsk Mesterskap this week folks, with valuable events for homebred 2-year-olds and 3-year-olds. Take A Chill Pill, a daughter of Evasive, goes for the juvenile contest, while the stable is not represented in the 3yo event, but Annike will also saddle Tambora Queen for a good handicap on this Thursday fixture. Willa Synøve Schou will ride both these fillies.
Annike is currently a close second in the trainers' standings. 2.097.500 kroner earned from 54 starters gives an impressive average per start of 38.842 kroner - far superior to any other trainer. Wido Neuroth is second best, with an average of 29.900 kr., Niels Petersen follows next with 18.999 kr., ahead of Tobias Hellgren, whose runners average 15.032 kr. per start to date. GS
Hard One To Please gets big test
Cosgrave booked for Stockholm Cup ride
12 Sep 22: The Stockholm Cup International (G3), with a full field of 15 runners, will be some test for dual Derby winner Hard One To Please. "Scandinavia's Arc" - the highlight of an excellent card at Bro Park on Sunday - means a first run against older horses for Hard One To Please, and it will also be his third big race over a third course. Dirt racing in Malmoe, turf racing over the undulating Øvrevoll course and at the flat oval at Bro Park, well, those are three very different tasks. It's rare that a horse produces his best form over all three of these courses. Then again, Hard One To Please appears to be a rare horse, and perhaps he is up to it.
Pat Cosgrave, who has won the race twice in the past, has been booked to ride. A top jockey is obviously an advantage and stall 11 looks a good position to start from. The likely favourite, Germany's Virginia Storm, will break from stall 12, while Oslo Cup (LR) winner Quebello was handed stall 14 at the draw. One lane further out, in the widest stall, we find the English raider Outbox, who will be ridden by Hollie Doyle - one of the world's best female riders. She partnered Outbox to a good second in this event last year. Doyle is enjoying an incredible season, with wins in the Prix de Diane / French Oaks (G1) and Nassau Stakes (G1) on Nashwa as the high points - in a campaign that has brought her 136 wins so far in England.
Pat Cosgrave will also ride Takeko and Youonlyliveonce. The latter meets nine rivals in the Bro Park Sprint Championship (LR), while Takeko goes for the Lanwades Stud Stakes (LR), a race she finished fourth in last year. She will be renewing rivalry with Ascot Brass, who beat her when they ran first and second for Norway in the Bloomers' Vase (LR) at Bro Park in June. GS
'Admiral' and 'Dream' both on fire
Nice Thursday double
08 Sep 22: It will happen, rest assured - a raceday without a win for Annike's team is bound to be a fact - though the form her horses are in right now it does not seem likely to happen anytime soon. It's been a remarkable season, with dream results from this small, but high quality stable - undoubtedly one of the best in Scandinavia. This Thursday fixture produced another double, as Swedish Dream regained winning form by beating the Marit Sveaas (G3) runner-up Simply Minds over 1600 metres, and three-year-old Admiral de Vega followed up on his facile win on Derby day. He beat the in-form Herwegodandy (another Derby day winner) in a canter - and this son of Lope de Vega is looking better all the time. Geir Stabell
I Rest My Case to Breeders' Trophy Classic
Stall Ella's wonderful filly I Rest My Case - who enjoyed a stroll on Derby day - will get a class test when she runs in the Breeders' Trophy Classic at Bro Park on Sunday. Set for her first start away from home, she will meet 14 rivals over 1750 metres. The likely favourites are Danish Derby winner Titannia and Hear The Drums. Sandro De Pavia has been booked for I Rest My Case, who drew stall seven for the 2.4 million kronor contest. Bro Park racecard
Wins second Derby with ease
Hard One To Please - he's different class!
I Rest My Case, Admiral de Vega complete Derby day treble
Takeko, Youonlyliveonece game stakes runners-up
21 Aug 22: Hard One To Please outclassed his rivals for a comfortable win in the Norwegian Derby, proving to be just as good - perhaps even better - on turf than he was on dirt in the Swedish Derby. Ridden by Jacob Johansen, he beat Wido Neuroth's duo Sea Lodge and Pas de Faux. I Rest My Case and Admiral de Vega were also winners on the big day, while Takeko and Youonlyliveonce added to the 'Bye Hansen show' by running second in stakes races.
How good is this horse?
Hard One To Please. How good is this horse? One thing's for sure - he is the best three-year-old seen in Scandinavia since Square de Luynes won the Norwegian Derby in 2018. Is Hard One To Please as good as that champion? Could he be better? It's impossible to say at this stage but Hard One To Please seems to be a more complete racehorse. Whereas Square de Luynes could manage only sixth place when racing on dirt in the Swedish Derby, Hard One To Please won that classic with ease. Not many horses manage to produce their best form on turf and dirt. Hard One To Please certainly looks more like a turf horse and one can argue that his 14-length romp at Øvrevoll was better form than his comfortable 2-length win over Steinar in Sweden last month. And it probably was. Then again, let's not forget that Steinar went on to win the Hurricanelöpning by 11 1/2 lengths on his next outing.
Still, the Norwegian Derby form is what makes Hard One To Please look like a bit of a freak. He was so much the best, simply humiliating Sea Lodge, a well bred filly who proved her worth on turf, and Pas de Faux, who was coming off a 3-length win in the Derby Trial, where he beat I Rest My Case. I Rest My Case was also in action on Derby day. She won the inaugural running of Drømmemilen. All right, she was long odds-on to do so, but when she cruised home by over 15 lengths many punters pointed to one horse for the upcoming Derby; Pas de Faux. His form had just been given some boost. He's good, though nowhere near as good as Hard One To Please - who went by him with ease and quickened right away to leave the placed horses in a different county. It was his third win from four starts and his bankroll now stands at 1.936.884 kroner. His next task may be Stockholm Cup International (G3) at Bro Park next month. If he goes for that race, it will be an attempt at winning big over a third (once more quite different) course and, more importantly, a first clash with the best older horses. When that happens we can hope to get the answer to our question; how good is this horse?
I Rest My Case delivers in style
21 Aug 22: She ran a good second in the Derby Trial, performing really well over 2160 metres, and on Derby day I Rest My Case dropped down in distance, to 1600 metres in the valuable Drømmemilen. It was also a drop down in class, and the daughter of Deceptor was the day's biggest favourite. She did not disappoint - running like an odds-on shot should, she trounced her ten rivals to win by 15 1/4 lengths under Jacob Johansen. Here's a future racing quiz question to keep in the notebook; "Which trainer saddled two big race winners on a Derby day, that won their races with a combined 29 1/4 lengths?"
I Rest My Case was gaining her fourth win from ten starts and, although this form is difficult to assess, it's fair to assume that this homebred filly is improving still. She was chased home by No Compromise, incidentally also coming out of the Derby Trial - a race won by Pas de Faux, who finished third in the Derby.
This win was worth 312.000 kroner and I Rest My Case has now earned 656.100 kroner. Her next task is the Breeders' Trophy at Bro Park next month.
Beat older horses on Derby day
Admiral de Vega takes next step up
21 Aug 22: Admiral de Vega contributed to a memorable Derby Day '22 by winning the Sudost Handicap, a 1600 metres contest where he was facing older horses in only his third career start. He justified favouritism by a nose verdict over Let's Go Crazy over this distance in July, and he moved up considerably here, beating the in-form Harrier Hawk easily by 2 1/4 lengths. Jacob Johansen, wisely booked for all of Annike's runners on the big day, enjoyed another easy ride. Harrier Hawk has won three races this season and he had won his last two going into the Sudost, while the third placed horse, Close To Perfection, is a runner who had showed good form when third behind We Got The Boss and Tambora Queen in July. Admiral de Vega is going the right way, no doubt about that.
with game efforts in defeat
21 Aug 22: Takeko proved once more that she is one of the best fillies in Scandinavia by running second, beaten just three parts of a length by the race favourite, Iron Butterfly, in the Lanwades Stud Stakes (LR) on Derby day.
Youonlyliveonce, stepping in as a very useful sub for his absent stable companion General de Vega, was a 22-1 outsider in the Giant Sandman Polar Cup (LR) - and outran his odds to finish second, beaten only by Could Be King.
Annike talks Derby with Birger Christensen
From outsider to leading contender
17 Aug 22: Øvrevoll Galopp's senior writer Birger Christensen's feature on Annike, where she reflects on her life in racing, how she feels that 'the horses should always get most of the attention' and looks forward to Derby day, when her contender Hard One To Please - who won the Swedish Derby as a massive longshot - will be one of the favourites.
Norsk Derby gets 15 runners
Hard One To Please going for classic double
15 Aug 22: Hard One To Please, who is set to start from stall five, goes for a Derby double on Sunday. Having outclassed his rivals on dirt in Sweden, he switches back to turf - in what promises to be an excellent classic. The Norwegian Derby drew a full field of 15 and Hard One To Please's toughest rival may be Pas De Faucx, who won the Derby Trial from I Rest My Case. She goes for Drømmemilen, rather than the Derby, while Swedish Dream goes for the valuable Marit Sveaas Minneløp (G3) and Takeko will be aiming for another stakes win in the Lanwades Stud Stakes (LR). Youonlyliveonce steps up in class as he has a crack at the Giant Sandman Polar Cup (LR) and Admiral De Vega will also be in action on the big day, in the competitive Sudost Handicap. Jacob Johansen rides all of our six horses.
Hard One To Please going for classic double
Seven projected runners on Derby day
07 Aug 22: The countdown to Derby day 2022 is gathering pace and, with just two weeks to go, Annike has seven horses on her list of projected runners on August 21. This list is headed - of course - by the impressive Swedish Derby winner Hard One To Please, whose form was given a massive boost when Steinar, the horse he beat with ease at Jägersro, outclassed his rival in the Hurricanelöpning a week ago. The smart filly I Rest My Case, runner-up in the Derby Trial, is also under consideration for the Derby, "but a decision has not been made yet, she has an alternative in the supporting mile race (Drømmemilen) on the day", Annike says. She has two contenders for the Polar Cup where General de Vega should be one of the favourites. He came back a sick horse after his flop on dirt in Sweden (making us none the wiser about his feelings about dirt racing these days). Youonlyliveonce is also being aimed at the valuable sprint, while Swedish Dream - who shaped well in his prep race on Wednesday - takes yet another shot at the Marit Sveaas Minneløp. Takeo will be one of the top contenders for the Lanwades Stud Stakes and Admiral de Vega is likely to meet older horses in a handicap over 1600 metres.
Broke his maiden on second start
Admiral de Vega off the mark
28 July 22: Admiral de Vega, ridden by Jacob Johansen broke his maiden at the second time of asking on this nice summer evening - providing yet another winner for one of the most in-form stables in Scandinavia.
Racing over 1600 metres on turf, he was a bit hesitant from the start but soon travelled well - a little bit too well actually, as he raced freely throughout the contest. He was fourth coming into the straight, and worked his way easily up to take the lead 200 metres from the winning post. Let's Go Crazy threw down a persitent challenge and there was only a head in it as they flashed past the winning post - though Admiral de Vega was always in control. He seemed to idle a bit in front and he has more learning to do, that's for sure. Once he settles, and understands more of what is required when you carry a number cloth, he could be a smart horse indeed. This form looks interesting. Let's Go Crazy and Trent, third home here, had run second and third in the Norwegian 2,000 Guineas - behind Hotline Bling, who was a good fifth to German star Rocchigiani in the Thoroughbred Stakes (G3) at Goodwood this week. That winner had previously run fifth in the prestigious Jersey Stakes (G2) at Royal Ascot. Admiral de Vega is a long way off Royal Ascot form of course, but it's nice to see formlines connecting our horsess to the cream of Europe giving positive signals. Comparing Admiral de Vega's run to the 4yo handicapper Harrier Hawk, who won over the same trip half an hour earlier, also augurs well. Admiral de Vega covered the 1600 metres 1.4 seconds faster than Harrier Hawk. That equals about seven lengths.
Youonlyliveonce ran a game race to finish second behind the in form Astron, who won for a third straight time, in the Giant Sandman Cup, while juvenile filly Take A Chill Pill went off favourite for the opening maiden event, though had to settle for fourth place behind Sid Game after showing good early speed before tiring late. She was not given a hard race. It was a promising debut run by the daughter of Evasive out of Perfect Spy (Nathaniel), a half-sister to River Tiber - a very useful turf miler who won at Ascot and Nad Al Sheba at four and five, having won a maiden for Aidan O'Brien in Ireland at three. GS
Guineas placed rivals outpointed
Top 5 Racehorse Trainers, Sweden per 25 July 2022
Annike flying high in Sweden - third in the trainers' standings - from just a few runners.
Excellent 1-2 at Øvrevoll
'The Boss' gets new fan club members
- representing a seriously talented team!
21 July 22: With Stabæk Fotball's ladies team ringside, We Got The Boss charmed them all on this Thursday fixture. He knows when to shine, this handsome and genuine six-year-old, something we learnt when he won his first race on Norwegian soil - on Derby day in 2019. This time he beat his stable companion Tambora Queen, in an excellent one-two for Annike's red-hot team. Back home just days after her famous big race double in Sweden, Annike enjoyed a nice 'bread and butter evening' - as this was the stable's sixth winner at Øvrevoll this year. That's from 34 runners, of which six have finished second and two have finished third. That's a sneaky good stat; 45% of all local runners from our stable have finished in the top three. We Got The Boss, who gained his eighth career win in the None Shall Sleep Handicap, has done so on three of his six outings this term. There could be more to come!
Hard One To Please won Sweden's premier classic geared down by 2 lengths, after being given a patient ride by Oliver Wilson, undoubtedly one of the finest riders in Scandinavia these days. The winning margin could have been bigger and it's worth noting that the third placed horse, Downtown Leo, was outclassed to the tune of 9 lengths, with another 3 1/2 lengths back to the local favourite, Tin Win. This was a high class performance. Click photos above to enlarge in pop-ups.
17 July 22: Hard One To Please, masterfully ridden by Oliver Wilson, came from well off a strong pace to win the Swedish Derby - Jockeyklubben Svenskt Derby - beating his rivals with ridiculous ease. Wrapped up approaching the winning post, he was an easy winner from Steinar, while Downtown Leo had to settle for third place. The victory propelled Hard One To Please right up to the top echelon of thoroughbreds in Scandinavia, and his bankroll increased by a handsome 1.2 million kronor. Read more on Svensk Galopp
Jockeyklubben Svenskt Derby 2022
HARD ONE TO PLEASE / A Bye Hansen / O Wilson
3 ch g Fast Company - Alyssum / New Approach
Owned by Väsby Häst AB / Bred by Lodge Park Stud
Results & Replays
Takeko outclassing her rivals
Wins Margareta Wettermarks with ease
Takeko took the important fillies' and mares' contest comfortably by 2 1/2 lengths and was back on the bridle well before passing the winning post. Her runner-up, fellow Norwegian raider Thunderey, got up to pip Numeira by a head, as Aperola was another 5 lengths behind in fourth place.
17 July 22: Takeko went off favourite for the Margareta Wettermarks Minneslöpning, and she did not disappoint. Everything but a slightly hesitant start and a touch of eagerness in the early stages of the race was perfect - and coming down the home stretch she was simply superb, ridden by the jockey of the day - Oliver Wilson. Takeko won comfortably from Thunderey and Numeira, gaining her career's third success and earning 207.500 kronor in the process.
Margareta Wettermarks Minneslöpning 2022
TAKEKO / A Bye Hansen / O Wilson
4 b f Mehmas - Ahd / Elusive Quality
Owned by Ninja Racing & Väsby Häst AB / Bred by Old Carhue Stud
Norway's Top 5 Trainers ranked by average earnings per start (13 June 22)
1 Annike Bye Hansen 16,222 - 2 N Peteresen 15,035 - 3 R Freire 13,140 - 4 H Soma 10,493 - 5 C Erichsen 8,406
General de Vega the champion - it's official!
03 Apr 22: General de Vega was handed a well deserved Sprinter of The Year Award at the ceremonies held at Thon Hotel Sandvika last night. The son of Lope de Vega captured two Listed races in Sweden; the Bro Park Vårsprint and Bro Park Sprint Championship, on both occasions defeating his arch rival Could Be King, and enjoyed an excellent campaign in 2021. He won three of his seven races, and earned 842,611 kroner - taking his career earnings past the million-kroner mark. With performances likes these, General de Vega is one of those unique horses that manage to put Scandinavia on the international racing map.
Take a Look at Our Gallery
Left to right: Captain America (Photo: Elina Bjørklund, SG), Ragazzo (private), Majestic Max (Photo: Stefan Olsson, SG), We Got the Boss (Hesteguiden)
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Vollsveien 132 - 1358 Jar, Norway
Tel. 414 05 784
GENERAL DE VEGA (FR)
Sprinter of The Year, 2021
Won Bro Park Sprint Championship (LR)
Won Bro Park Vårsprint (LR)
HARD ONE TO PLEASE (IRE)
Horse of The Year 2022
3yo of The Year '22, Stayer of The Year '22
Won Stockholm Cup International (G3)
Won Norwegian Derby
Won Swedish Derby
Won Margareta Wettermark's Memorial '22
Third Jockeyklubbens Avelslopning '22
Won Polar Cup (G3) twice, Polar Mile (LR), Tæby Open Sprint (LR), Tæby Vårsprint (LR),
Breeders Sprint, Norsk Jockeyklubs Sprintløp (LR), Norsk Rikstoto Grand Prix
UNWANTED BEAUTY (IRE)
Won Norsk 1000 Guineas
2nd Erik O. Steens Memorial
MAJESTIC MAX (IRE)
Won Øvrevoll Sprint Cup twice
SWEDISH DREAM (FR)
Won Arnfinn Lunds Minneløp (LR)
2nd Marit Sveaas Minneløp (G3)
2nd Arnfinn Lunds Minneløp (LR)
4th Stockholm Stora Pris (G3)
4th Swedish Open Mile (LR)
CAPTAIN AMERICA (SWE)
Bro Park Vårsprint (LR) twice, 2017 & 2019
Sprinter of The Year, Norway 2019
Svenskt Mesterskap Classic
Svenskt Mesterskap for Sprinters
2nd Polar Cup (G3)
Handicapper of The Year 2017
I REST MY CASE (NOR)
Homebred of The Year 2022
Top earner, Norway '22
IOVANNI NOBILE (NOR)
Norsk Mesterskap for 3-åringer