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Øvrevoll Galopp  |  Programmes  |  Results  |  2022  | 2021  |  2020 | 2019

Second, yet again

Youonlyliveonce - mister consistency

20 Sep 23: Celebrating winners is more fun, of course it is, but isn't it time to applaud Youonlyliveonce for his incredibly game and consistent form? Given that he is mainly competing in handicaps, they way he tries hard every single time he becomes a bit of a law unto himself - as he will not be dropped in the handicap. And how could he? The handicapper can't drop ultra consistent horses like Youonlyliveonce, who finished second for the sixth time this season, and for the twelfth time overall, when splitting two other in-form runners, Spirit of Cimarron and Canmore, in the Vortex Handicap over 1370 metres on the turf course this afternoon. Ridden by Andreas Tapia Dalbark, Youonlyliveonce made his 39th racecourse appearance with this run, and he has finished in the top three no fewer than 24 times, with 6 wins to his name. He is closing in on a million in total earnings.

Lanwades Stud Stakes

Takeko shines under excellent Dettori

17 Sep 23: Frankie Dettori was out of luck on his first three rides at Bro Park but it all clicked beautifully when he partnered Takeko in the Lanwades Stud Stakes (LR) over a mile. It was his last ever ride in Scandinavia, it came on the back of a disappointing run by Hard One To Please in the Stockholm Cup International (G3) and the day was soon over but Frankie had not lost his appetite. Nor had Takeko. She responded so well to Dettori's waiting tactics, and came with an explosive burst of speed between horses inside the final furlong to win the race comfortable by 1 1/2 lengths from the English raider 

Takeko well clear, Dettori jumps off, The winning team and Frankie with Bjorn Zachrisson / click photos to enlarge

Photos by Elina Broerklund, Svensk Galopp


Good Gracious, who was the same margin in front of another visitor from Newmarket, Nizaaka. Mahalia, Ascot Brass and Silent Night filled the next three places. The early pace of the race was far too hot. Dettori immediately realised that and he bided his time at the back - waiting to deliver his attack in the home straight. This was an absolutely top class ride by the famous Italian and it was clearly Takeko's career best effort. What a way to end an excellent day at the races! GS



Six wins, 50% top three record

Tambora Queen's gutsy performance

14 Sep 23: Tambora Queen, ridden by Sandro De Paiva, turned up in fine form on this Thursday evening - and rewarded favourite backers with a gutsy win in the last race on the card, a contest run under lights as the evenings have begun to draw in. Sandro hustled her from the gates and she was soon up with the pace, travelling well in second place behind the early leader Naasha, who set solid fractions and became tired in the latter part of the 1750-metres contest. Tambora Queen did not. She took over as they were entering the home straight and ran on resolutely down the home straight. Heart of Kabeir, an in-form horse coming off three very good runs, was closing in from the off the pace but Tambora Queen had enough left in the tank and she prevailed to win by a measured head. Penfolds finished third, 2 3/4 lengths further adrift, and Two Times came home in fourth place. 


Earning 41,400 kroner, this win pushed Tambora Queen's career earnings to 491,205 kroner. She has won 6 of her 32 races and finished second or third 10 times. That gives her an impressive 50% top three record - not many handicappers achieve such efficiency.

Tambora Queen - a game winner / Photo: hesteguiden.com

The winning team / Photo: hesteguiden.com

Click poster > Stockholm Cup website

Click / enlarge

Stockholm Cup field

Click / enlarge

Stockholm Cup International

High class trio set to clash

12 Sep 23: Ten horses are set to go to post for the SEK 1.4 million Stockholm Cup International (G3) at Bro Park on Sunday, when Hard One To Please will try to win the race for a second time. The son of Fast Company just pipped Outbox in this event twelve months ago, and the latter will once more be in the mix, again ridden by Hollie Doyle, one of the best female riders in the world. Hollie won't be the main 'in the saddle attraction' this time, however, as Frankie Dettori jumps onto Hard One To Please's back, in an attempt at winning Scandinavia's most important horse race before he retires.


Dettori will be flying in to Stockholm fresh from having partnered the likely favourite Gregory in the St. Leger Stakes (G1) at Doncaster in England on Saturday. That is the world's oldest classic and Frankie is hungry for one more win in the stamina test for three-year-olds. It's actually quite incredible that Frankie fits a trip to Bro Park into his busy schedule. His agent contacted Annike asking if the world's most famous rider could be booked for Hard One To Please, whose win in the Marit Sveaas Minneløp (G3) on Derby day showed that he is back to form. And back to form he needs to be, for this is a very tough renewal of the Cup. If you think Outbox may be his main opponent once more, well, then think again.


Benny Andersson's highly talented Swedish Derby winner Ayani will also take his chance, in what will be his first run against older horses and also first start on turf. Then there is an in-form French raider called Big Call. He won the Prix de Barbeville (G3) over 3100 metres at Longchamp back in April and his most recent start resulted in a second place finish in the Prix de Reux (G3) over 2500 metres at Deauville, where he was 3 lengths behind the favourite Junko after being up with the pace throughout. That's strong form and perhaps Big Call will start favourite on Sunday. Though it is really hard to predict which one will be the public's choice in this race. Yes, Big Call will be many experts' selection, but how many will want to bet against Frankie on Hard One To Please? And, how comfortable will Swedish racing fans be if they go against Ayani, a young horse with visually impressive form, a license to improve, and high profile connections?


This is the leading trio in the Stockholm Cup, with solid runners like Espen Hill and Go On Calras also taking a shot. They both won nicely last time out and should not be underestimated. We have seen some very good Stockholm Cups over the years but this is definitely one of the most intriguing editions in the history of the race.


Takeko meets familiar foes

Takeko, also to get the services of Dettori, will be in action in another interesting ten-runner contest at Bro Park on Sunday, the Lanwades Stud Stakes (LR). Drawn in stall eight, Takeko is going to be up against familiar foes in this race, which she ran third in last year. Last year's winner, Ascot Brass, is one of them, alongside Mystery Night, Silent Night and Mahalia, who makes a quick return a week after running second in the Breeders' Trophy Mile last Sunday.


Stockholm Cup day, with a plethora of stakes action on the menu, is an important fixture for Norwegian stables. As many as 24 horses trained in Norway will be running on the day, which begins with H.M. Drottningens Pris, one of two jump races on the card, at 13.50.


Download Stockholm Cup day racecard

Frankie Dettori / Photo: Breeders' Cup inc.

'Frankie goes to Stockholm'

Dettori rides Hard One To Please

05 Sep 23: Frankie Dettori, the world's most famous jockey and currently closing in on the end of his career, has been booked to ride Hard One To Please in Scandinavia's most prestigious race, the Stockholm Cup International (G3) at Bro Park on September 17. Dettori is doing a bit of a farewell tour this year and so far it has gone incredibly well for the Italian, with big race wins just about at every venue he visits. He now wants to win the best race in Scandinavia, before he starts focusing on his last big day of racing in England, Champions Day at Ascot next month. After that it will be on to the Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita in California and - if he can get a suitable mount in the race - the Melbourne Cup (G1) in Australia en route to the Hong Kong International day at Sha Tin in December. But first, Bro Park!


Read more on Svensk Galopp's website

Takeko also gets Dettori 

Going for the Lanwades Stud Stakes


Takeko will also travel to Bro Park for the Stockholm Cup day, to run in the Lanwades Stud Stakes (LR), a race she finished third in last year. Currently one of 23 entries for this important mile contest, she will also be partnered by Frankie Dettori. This will be some day, not just for those of us connected Annike's stable but for Scandinavian racing as a whole. 


I Rest My Case to Breeders' Trophy Mile

06 Sep 23: I Rest My Case, who produced her career best form when runner-up in the Lanwades Stud Stakes (LR) on Derby day, goes for the Breeders' Trophy Mile at Bro Park on Sunday. This race is worth SEK 400,000 to the winner and I Res My Case has been pegged in as second choice by local expert and tipster David Crona, who prefers Titannia - a filly I Rest My Case beat narrowly when they filled the places behind Iron Butterfly on August 20. I Rest My Case is also set to renew rivalry with Hear The Drums. She got the better of him as they ran one-two on the dirt track last month - when I Rest My Case prevailed by half a length while in receipt of 4kg. The weight difference is now 1.5kg. Jacob Johansen will ride I Rest My Case and the combination is set to start from stall 11 in the 12-runner field.  

Willa Synøve M. Schou

Top 5 Trainers standings per start 

Norway 27 Apr - 29 Aug 2023


Average earnings per starter


1 - Wido Neuroth / 60,658 kr.

2 - Annike Bye Hansen / 47,491 kr.

3 - Niels Petersen / 22,946 kr.

4 - Silja Støren  /  20,761 kr.

5 - Cathrine Erichsen  /  17,046 kr. 

Willa Synøve to partner both

Tambora and Mission in action

29 Aug 23: Two runners are being readied for a run on Thursday evening, Stall RH's Tambora Queen and Stall Mission's Money Mission. They are both set to be partnered by Willa Synøve M. Schou, who is currently the second best female rider in the professional jockeys' standings. Willa has partnered 63 winners in her career, and almost 40% of all the horses she has ridden finished in the top three. She is a very capable rider and these are two live mounts. Tambora Queen finished third to stable companion I Rest My Case over 1600 metres on the dirt track on August 10. The distance is the same this week but the surface is turf. I Rest My Case gave the form a solid boost by taking second in the Lanwades Stud Stakes (LR) on Derby day - when Money Mission ran a game third in a big handicap, beaten just a length behind Klint after having looked the winner heading into the final furlong in a street fight like contest over 1370 metres on heavy ground. Like Tambora Queen, he will also be facing 1600 metres on the turf this week, but hopefully not such testing ground. 


...

Racing Fixtures - Øvrevoll Galopp

August 31, September 7 - 14 - 20, 

October 1 - 5 - 11 - 19 - 26, November 5 - 9 - 16

Marit Sveaas - a race for champions

Hard One To Please, right back on top!

20 Aug 23: The late spring wiped turf racing out, costing Hard One To Please the chance of a prep for the Oslo Cup, a race where a crawling pace worked against him, and his trip to Goodwood - where terrible weather and also a very slow pace ruined his chances - became another disappointment. You can't keep a good guy down, however - nor a good lady for that matter - and Hard One To Please bounced right back for Annike in the valuable Marit Sveaas Minneløp (G3), where he delivered a knock out performance to beat the best of the best in Scandinavia. Not just did he beat them, he outclassed the rest of the field, headed by Good Fortune. That rival looked a big danger as he came up to Hard One To Please 200 metres out but the 2022 Horse of The Year would have none of that. Finding more under Sandro De Paiva, Hard One To Please drew off again and won the race quite easily.  Admiral de Vega, totally unsuited by the heavy ground, finished sixth.


So, there you have it. The champ is back - and Annike confirmed that his next task is the Stockholm Cup International (G3) - a race Hard One To Please won last year. That, girls and boys, will probably mean a clash with Ayani, the impressive winner of the Swedish Derby. Don't miss that showdown. The date is September 17. GS

Hard One To Please - much the best! Rikstoto Screengrab

Excellent runner-up efforts

I Rest My Case, Youonlyliveonce in top form


20 Aug 23: I Rest My Case ran the race of her life to finish second behind Iron Butterfly in he Lanwades Stud Stakes (LR), where she beat the likes of Titannia and Ascot Brass. Takeko also ran a solid race, taking fourth in this important mile contest.  Youonlyliveonce ran second in the Polar Cup (LR), like he did also last year. Let's Go Crazy was the one that proved too good this time, while another high class sprinter, Irish Action, took third place. Finally, Money Mission also deserves a mention from this Derby day, as he took third in a very competitive handicap. All but one of Annike's runners on the day thus finished in the top four, with Hard One To Please the absolute star. 

Photos hesteguiden.com

Marit Sveaas Minneløp (G3) - 1800 metres turf - 20 Aug 2023

1 - Hard One To Please / Sandro de Paiva  /  NOK 650,000

2 - Good Fortune / Oliver Wilson / 221,000

3 - Like A King / J-E Neuroth / 106,080    Won by 3 lengths, 1/2 length

This year's edition of the Marit Sveaas assembled a top class field of seven - all with principal stakes wins in the book. Hard One To Please was much the best and he beat winners of 42 races who had combined earnings of 8.2 million kroner going into the contest.   /   Racing Post result

Derby winners Qrispy and Inna Smedberg in charge.

When the going gets tough, Qrispy gets going!

Photos: hesteguiden.com

Congrats to this year's Pony Derby winner!

Qrispy - Jockey: Inna Smedberg

See more photos from the Pony Derby on our Learn Racing Love Racing page

Hard One To Please tries 1800 metres - meets Admiral de Vega

Stockholm Cup '22: Hard One To Please (middle) charging home for an impressive win. Photo: E Bjoerklund / Svensk Galopp

Six runners on Derby day

Two in Sveaas, two in Lanwades Stud

13 Aug 23: Skoganstallen is without a Derby contender this year but we will be strongly represented in other important events on the big day, with two runners in the Marit Sveaas Minneløp (G3), two in the Lanwades Stud Stakes (LR), one in the Voyah Polar Cup (LR) and one in a competitive 15-runner handicap.  Whatever happens, it will be a fine day at the races. 

PDF

Click on poster above or this link to get your Derby day programme

Admiral de Vega winning the Stockholm Stora Pris. Photo: Elina Bjoerklund / Svensk Galopp

International Group races,

horse racing's 'premier league' 


The world's top races have Group 1 status, then follow the Group 2 races, the Group 3 races and the Listed races. Scandinavia's best races are of Group 3 status and the Marit Sveaas and the Stockholm Cup are the most prestigious.  Read more about this system on Wikipedia.

Marit Sveaas Minneløp

Heavyweights clash in Group Three

13 Aug 23: The Marit Sveaas Minneløp, an internationally recognised Group Three event, is always one of the season's best races in Scandinavia - and this year's edition promises to be seriously good. Prepare for a clash of heavyweights.  Hard One To Please, Horse of The Year in 2022, will be in action - this time ridden by Sandro De Paiva - and amongst his nine rivals is stable companion Admiral de Vega, who gets Jacob Johansen on board. While he has had an excellent season so far, with a career best in the Stockholm Stora Pris, Hard One To Please has had two really frustrating outings in 2023. A crawling pace beat him in the Oslo Cup and bad weather, plus a slow pace once more, worked against him at Goodwood. We can safely draw a line through both of these results. Does that mean we can expect a win on Sunday? Not necessarily, as 1800 metres is 600 metres shorter than his best trip. That said, 1800 metres is a demanding distance at Øvrevoll and winning the Sveaas does require at least some stamina. Hard One To Please is in with a chance here, as is Admiral de Vega, who renews rivalry with his Stockholm Stora runner-up Good Fortune, as well as with Kick On, who beat Admiral de Vega into third place when landing the Lelle's Open Mile at Bro Park last month. Picking a clear favourite in this race is not easy. GS

Lanwades Stud Stakes

Small but select field assembles

13 Aug 23:  Takeko (Jacob Johansen) and  I Rest My Case (Elione Chaves) will both run in the Lanwades Stud Stakes, a Listed race over 1600 metres, on Derby day. A small but select field has been drawn for the contest, which is the first leg of the V5 and fourth leg of the V64. Small fields often make it a bit easier for horse players but you can make a case for all six in this contest and nailing the winner may not be all that simple. I Rest My Case needs to improve again of course, but she is in great form - after two nice wins - and could well get into the top three. The same can be said for Takeko, though for her this task is a case of needing to bounce back to form. Titannia, Iron Butterfly and Ascot Brass, the first three home in the Fawzia Stakes at Klampenborg earlier this month, form a strong trio - and Mystery Night is hard to dismiss, after her game win over Iron Butterfly on dirt in Sweden last time out (when Takeko ran fourth). GS

Takeko with (l-to-r) Siri, Marina, Annike and Cathrine after one of her early wins. P-A Graaberg in the saddle.. Photo: hesteguiden.com

Jacob Johansen, booked for Youonlyliveonce. Photo: Stefan Olsson / Svensk Galopp

Voyah Polar Cup

Youonlyliveonce trying to go one better

13 Aug 23: Youonlyliveonce broke through to the upper echelon when finishing second in this event last year, beaten only by Could Be King, and he will be trying to go one better in the Voyah Polar Cup (LR) on Sunday. Drawn in stall one, he and jockey Jacob Johansen will be part of an evenly matched six-runner field. Hotline Bling, who ran second in the Lelle's Open Mile (LR) in July, is the most likely favourite.  


Money Mission, set to be partnered by Annie Nilsson Lindahl, is our sixth runner on Derby day, as he will take his chance in the Fredrik og Louisa Handicap, a wide open 1600-metres contest with 15 horses declared to run. Money Mission drew favourably in stall six for this mile event. GS

Nice prep for the Lanwades Stud

I Rest My Case in flying form

The Lanwades Stud Stakes on Derby day will be a tougher task, but I Rest My Case is going into it in top form, 

with two wins from two starts in recent weeks. It will be interesting to see what she can do on August 20. 

I Rest My Case on top - Tambora Queen third / hesteguiden.com

I Rest My Case - 6 wins - 1.144.578 kroner / hesteguiden.com

10 Aug 23: She produced a performance indicating that she was as good as ever two weeks ago, and I Rest My Case certainly confirmed that theory with her fine win against Hear The Drums - a rival she had succumbed to on three previous occasions - in the Palermo Handicap. Switching from turf to dirt, she beat him by a quarter of a length after a tremendous final-furlong tussle. Tambora Queen set the pace in the contest and did look good for a win as she turned into the straight, but she tired a bit at the business end.  I Rest My Case, ridden by Jacob Johansen, was held up at the back and came with a relentless finish to gain her sixth career win.   

Hear The Drums was odds-on to win but he was fighting a losing battle this time. Tambora Queen (Nora Hagelund Holm) kept on to be a game third, less than two lengths behind the favourite. It was a strongly run affair and I Rest My Case's winning time over the 1600 metres, 1.41.8, was 2 seconds (about 10 lengths) better than the time recorded by Sweet Caroline in the next race on the card.


Youonlyliveonce, our third runner on the day, increased his seasonal earnings further by taking third in a competitive sprint on the turf course. GS

Tough luck in England

Weather played havoc at Goodwood

Racing has its ups and downs - we all know that. And, though we are not in the habit of making excuses, there's little doubt that a massive dose of bad luck helped turning the trip to Goodwood into disappointment. Virtually unprecedented amounts of summer rain made the course very testing for Hard One To Please's race, which was as a consequence run at an unsuitably slow pace. He sat too close to the early leaders and the race did not develop in a way that brings out the best in him. In addition, jockey Jim Crowley reported that he did not handle the ground. Hard One To Please, like many other unplaced challengers on the day, was eased and beaten a long way behind Hamish, the odds-on favourite. That runner, officially rated on 117, may have been impossible to follow in any case, but it's worth mentioning that Hard One To Please is rated higher than both the second and fourth placed finishers. He was pitched into a suitable contest but other circumstances were detrimental to his chances. When one felt things could not get much worse, well, they did. Even more rain on Saturday, when Takeko was set to run in the last race, meant that racing had to be cancelled. Takeko shipped all that way, only to be denied a run. Feeling lost of words? Let's just say that Takeko is due a bit of good luck after this episode. We move on! GS


Watch Hard One To Please's race at Goodwood  /  Racing TV

Three runners on Thursday

Derby day just around the corner


09 Aug 23: Annike will saddle three runners on Thursday evening, when Derby day fever should also be creeping in - with only ten days to go to the biggest fixture of the season. I Rest My Case (Jacob Johansen) and Tambora Queen (Nora Hagelund Holm) both run in the first race on the card, the Palermo Handicap over 1600 metres on the dirt track. Youonlyliveonce will also be in action, as he takes his chance in the Norsk Galopp Cup over 1170 metres on the turf course. Coming off a solid win over the same trip, he will be ridden by Jacob Johansen. 

Jim Crowley after winning the King George at Ascot on Hukum. Photo: Geir Stabell

'King George' winner booked

Jim Crowley set to ride Hard One To Please

30 July 23: Hard One To Please will get one of the world's best jockeys as his partner at Goodwood next Friday - when he goes for the Glorious Stakes (G3), a prestigious 12-furlong contest. Jim Crowley, who switched from jump racing to flat racing in 2009 and has worked his way up to the top echelon over the past 14 years, won the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (G1) at Ascot on Saturday, partnering Hukum to gutsy head verdict over Westover. The pair drew well clear of eight rivals, in what was the deepest 'King George' field for decades. Crowley is retained by Shadwell Estate, owned by Sheika Hissa, daughter of the late Hamdan Al Maktoum. He partnered Hukum's outstanding brother Baeed to 10 wins from 11 starts in 2021 and 2022 and he rode Mostahdaf to a stunning 4-length victory in the Prince Of Wales's Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot in June. When Crowley moved across to flat racing, he was attached to his sister in law Amanda Perrett's stables in Pulborough, and thus rode a lot at the nearby Goodwood racecourse. His stats at this venue are very strong. His overall record this season is 37 wins from 195 rides, with an impressive 19% strike rate. 


Jim Crowley facts:  Wikipedia   /   Racing Post

Team I Rest My Case / Photo: Sissel Tangen

Norsk Forening for Fullblodsavl Løp

I Rest My Case outclassing her rivals

27 July 23: Sid Game, who was coming into the race with three straight wins in the book, just shaded I Rest My Case in the betting for Norsk Forening for Fullblodsavl Løp, and he did become her nearest rival - though I Rest My Case was never in any way troubled by his presence. After being held up at the back of the five-runner field, Stall Ella's millionaire came with a smooth run under jockey Carlos Lopez, to pass horses and take command with about 200 metres to go. She won the race very comfortably by 5 1/4 lengths from the smart three-year-old Sid Game, who carried 3.5kg (weight-for-age), less that her. She was value for more than the bare margin. Pirlo, another with three wins already this season, was 2 1/2 lengths further adrift in third place, running a dead heat with Kill That Cat for that spot. Pirlo was receiving 4kg from our winner, who probably produced form close to her very best here. This was I Rest My Case's fifth career win and her performance in the 'NFFF" augurs well for the rest of the season. Her next start may come in the Lanwades Stud Stakes on Derby day, while her main target is the valuable Breeders' Trophy Mile for four-year-olds at Bro Park in September. GS

I Rest My Case - different class (Rikstoto / screengrab)

Annike talks big race plans with Svensk Galopp

22 July 23: Read Svensk Galopp's excellent feature on Annike, where she talks about Admiral de Vega's task on Sunday, and other big race targets and plans in coming weeks and months.

Small but select field

Admiral de Vega to Lelles Open Mile

19 July 23: Admiral de Vega is the likely favourite for the Lelles Open Mile (LR) - formerly the Swedish Open Mile - at Bro Park on Sunday. He broke into the top echelon with a strong win in the Stockholm Stora Pris (G3) over this course in June, and now drops back down in trip, from 1750 metres to 1600 metres. A strong pace would probably be to his advantage, so let's hope this small, but very select, field provides some early speed. Hotline Bling, coming off a win in the Challenge Stakes over 1400 metres at Bro Park three weeks ago, is an interesting contender - in a race that has also attracted well established stakes performers King David and Kick On. The latter won this race in 2020 and 2022, while King David was successful last year. These were both behind Admiral de Vega in the Stockholm Stora though, and it's easy to understand why Väsby Häst's smart four-year-old is local expert David Crona's selection. 


Abba-Benny finally lifts the Swedish Derby trophy

40 years of racing and breeding paying off

Looks familiar? Oliver Wilson's second straight Derby win, 12 months after Hard One To Please. Ph: S. Olsson

Ayani seriously impressive at Jägersro

17 July 23: Benny Andersson, of Abba fame, has been breeding and racing thoroughbreds for some 40 years and on Sunday he finally enjoyed success in the Swedish Derby. Benny's home bred contender Ayani was a hot favourite for the 12-furlong classic and he certainly ran like one - taking the race by 8 lengths from Cotton Eye Joe, with Ami de Vega third. Placed efforts by Norwegian trained runners, in other words, but they never had a chance against Ayani, an imposing son of Starspangledbanner out of Andersson's own broodmare Inaya - a daughter of top class middle distance performer High Chaparral, who counted the Epsom Derby amongst his five G1 wins. Ayani's sire was a sprint/miler so there can be little doubt where this year's Swedish Derby winner gets his stamina from. He looked really strong at the finish and it will be interesting to follow his progress. Oliver Wilson, who won the Swedish Derby for us on Hard One To Please last year, was in the saddle.  Ayani is trained by Jessica Long. Hopefully, these two Derby winners will one day meet in a big race. That should be really fascinating. GS

Takeko fourth in the Wettermarks

17 July 23: Takeko captured the Wettermarks Minneslöpning in 2022 but she had to settle for fourth place in this year's renewal, won by Wido Neoroth's odds-on favourite Mystic Night. Takeko was under pressure as the runners were approaching the home turn, and at this stage she looked likely to finish last - but she is so game and honest in her races and put in a good effort in the home straight to get up for fourth and a slice of the prize money on offer. She tries hard every time and this was an acceptable run, though also one that poses the question; perhaps she is more at home on turf?  That said, it's interesting to note how different the dirt track was on Derby day, compared to on the corresponding fixture in 2022, when Takeko's winning time was 1.50.4, fully two seconds slower than Mystic Night's time. The 2023 Derby was also faster than Hard One To Please's time twelve months ago. Takeko's next planned start is in handicap company at Glorious Goodwood next month, when she will be Hard One To Please's travelling companion across the North Sea. 


Tambora Queen is set to run in a turf handicap over 1600 metres on Thursday, when she will be ridden by Nora Hagelund Holm. GS

Benny Andersson with Jan Kleerup after the Derby win. Ph: S. Olsson

Youonlyliveonce captures the Øvrevoll Sprint Cup 

Annike and Maria with the winner.

The race is wrapped up.

Stretching clear. Photos: hesteguiden

13 July 23: The task; top weight of 68kg, soft ground, and four rivals in the mix that had won this season. None of these factors could stop Youonlyliveonce in the Øvrevoll Sprint Cup. Ridden by Andreas Tapia Dalbark, he once more showed his gameness and versatility, winning the race by a length from Herewegodandy - who had defeated him by a length when they met on the dirt track in April. Madi Bajna finished third, having run fifth when Starlight Song beat Youonlyliveonce last week. 

Youonlyliveonce's placings on home soil this year now read 2nd, 2nd, 2nd and 1st. Life is always tough for such an honest handicapper, as his weight assignments will not offer any leniency. This son of Sidestep keeps on delivering though, and today's success was his sixth career win from 34 starts. He has been second or third 14 times, giving him a remarkable 59% top three record. The Øvrevoll Sprint Cup was worth 68.250 kroner to the winner and Youonlyliveonce has earned 861.556 kroner to date. GS

Big race targets

Goodwood trip for Hard One To Please, Takeko, Admiral de Vega goes back to Bro Park

10 Jul 23: We are heading into exciting summer weeks, when Annike's stars will be in action in Norway, Sweden and England in July / August. Takeko sets the ball rolling on Swedish Derby day, while Admiral de Vega is being trained for the Lelles Open Mile (LR) at Bro Park on July 23, and Hard One To Please may get his international test at Goodwood in England on August 4. The 2022 Horse of The Year is a possible contender for the 12-furlong Glorious Stakes (G3) - a race won by subsequent Breeders' Cup Turf (G1) winner Rebel Romance last year. He will also be entered for a handicap over 14 furlongs at the same meeting. Takeko could also get a trip to Goodwood, as she will be entered for a handicap over 9 furlongs. 

Glorious Goodwood

Marit Sveaas: 2 of 3 top rated from Skoganstallen

17 horses have been pre-entered for the Marit Sveaas Minneløp (G3) on Norwegian Derby Day (August 20) and three names top the handicap list on 94kg; Hard One To Please, Admiral de Vega and Good Fortune. Admiral de Vega is an intended runner, Annikes says, and adds that ground conditions will be a factor deciding whether Hard One To Please also takes his chance in the valuable event over 1800 metres, which is shorter than what he ideally wants.


Marit Sveaas entries

Andreas Tapia Dalbark - booked for Youonlyliveonce. Ph: Stefan Olsson

Takeko to Margareta Wettermarks, 

Youonlyliveonce to Øvrevoll Sprint Cup

09 Jul 23: Two interesting runners this coming week; Youonlyliveonce, who ran such a game second over 900 metres last Wednesday, is set to go for the Øvrevoll Sprint Cup over 1170 metres on Thursday, while Takeko will try to repeat her win in the Margareta Wettermarks Minneslöpning on Sunday, this year's Swedish Derby day. The daughter of Mehmas was an easy winner of this prestigious event 12 months ago, when she outclassed Thunderey and Numeira over the dirt track. Takeko's versatility is a great asset, her spring form has been solid, and she must have good chance of back to back wins. Jacob Johansen will once more be her partner - while Youonlyliveonce gets a new rider this week. He will be partnered by Andreas Tapia Dalbark, a Swedish based jockey with 170 wins to his name. He was third on the Swedish Jockeys' table in 2022, when he was second best at Bro Park. 


Swedish Derby day racecard

Lack of pace the toughest rival

Hard One To Please third in Oslo Cup

25 June 23: Hard One To Please met five others as he made his 4yo debut in the Oslo Cup (LR) - and he went off at short odds to beat them. There was a sixth rival in the mix, however; an absolute lack of pace. And Hard One To Please does need a strong pace to be fully effective. Outsider Captain Chorus, masterfully ridden by Sandro de Paiva, nicked the race from the front - beating White Heart by 1 3/4 length, while the late rallying Hard One To Please was just a nose off the runner-up. The winning time was 2.36.7 - almost 2 seconds slower than Sea Lodge's time in the Erik O Steen Memorial. Two seconds equals about ten lengths. So is Sea Lodge ten lengths better than the Oslo Cup winner? Not at all. What the clock tells us is that the big race turned into a sprint. Hard One To Please was in trouble as soon as the horses turned for home and he did well to get as close as he did. I Rest My Case ran fourth in the Erik O Steen, and Youonlyliveonce was a game second in the day's opening sprint race, beaten only by the strong closer Herewegodandy. 

General de Vega to Bro Park


25 June 23: General de Vega will be in action at Bro Park on Tuesday, when he goes for the Challenge Stakes, a Listed contest over 1400 metres on the turf course. He will be ridden by Jacob Johansen and is set to break from stall three in a competitive eight-runner field. 

Hard One To Please

Oslo Cup (LR) - 2400 metres turf / 24 June 2023


1 - White Heart (Oliver Wilson)

2 - Jet Action (Jan-Erik Neuroth)

3 - Quebello (Anna Pilroth)

4 - Hard One To Please (Jacob Johansen)

5 - Captain Chorus (Sandro de Paiva)

6 - Wishformore (Carlos Lopez)

High class, six-runner field

Hard One To Please returns in Oslo Cup

20 June 23: Hard One To Please will have five to beat as he resurfaces after his winter break in the Oslo Cup (LR) this coming Saturday. It is a small field but it is a high quality field, and it should be a fascinating contest. Annike is set to saddle six runners on the big day, as I Rest My Case goes for the Erik O Steens Memorial - where she steps up to 2400 metres -, Money Mission takes a shot at classic glory in the 2,000 Guineas, Youkochan goes as a longshot in the 1,000 Guineas, Tambora Queen takes winning form into Hesteierforeningnens Handicap, and Youonlyliveonce runs in the day's opening contest, a sprint handicap on the turf course. Oslo Cup day begins at 17.00, with the main event scheduled for 19.30 and the last of seven excellent races to go off at 20.20 - in good time to enjoy a summer party after racing. 


Oslo Cup day racecard / programme

Sensational win at 31-1

Admiral de Vega - an elite horse? You bet!

11 June 23: Admiral de Vega, who had shown glimpses of serious talent at home last year, broke through with a top class performance to win the Stockholm Stora Pris (G3) at Bro Park today. Going off at 31-1, he was completely overlooked in the betting, and as the field came into the straight that seemed to be about right. Admiral de Vega, who had dwelt from the start and raced a bit freely at the back through the first stages of the 1750 metres long contest, had a lot to do at that point. He was full of running, however, and Jacob Johansen guided him to a nice path by the inside rail, where he found racing room to work with. Admiral de Vega did the rest. He quickened past the leaders to hit the front shortly after the 200-metres marker and ran out an easy winner. 


He was completely unchallenged passing the winning post. Good Fortune grabbed second narrowly, with the English raider Brave Emperor - a Group 3 winner in Germany last time out - back in third place. The placed horses finished in a bit of a heap, as they all surrendered to a vastly improved Admiral de Vega. So, there we are folks, while we are awaiting his stable companion Hard One To Please's return to action, Admiral de Vega steps up to the plate as a 'super sub'. In all probability, this horse is more than that - much more. In a little over 100 seconds, he went from being a good, very promising runner, to being an elite horse. GS


Comfortable win for 'the admiral' / Photos E Bjoerklund

Admiral de Vega - too good! / ATG skjermdump

Takeko good fourth in Bloomers Vase

Like the rest, she could not handle the odds-on favourite Ascot Brass and she was also beaten by two others, but there were definitive positives to take from Takeko's fourth place finish in the Bloomers Vase (LR) at Bro Park. Unfortunately, there was also one negative; the start. Takeko was slowly away as the gates opened and jockey Jacob Johansen used up some energy to get her up to a prominent position, sitting in third spot as the leader - Mystic Night - entered the turn. Ascot Brass was lying in second. Takeko had every chance coming into the straight but tired a bit and was in the end beaten 1 1/4 lengths by Ascot Brass, who beat Mystic Night and the late charging Una Matina in a thrilling finish. The positives were that Takeko came much closer to winning than her ground loss at the start, and that she was also markedly closer to Ascot Brass than what was the case when they met in last year's Lanwades Stud Stakes (LR) - and Ascot Brass beat her by 3 1/2 lengths into third. 


General de Vega failed to fire in the Bro Park Vårsprint and came home last, while the race was won by Lost Empire. General de Vega did eventually find an opening after a troubled run in the straight, but he did not pick up as we know he can and Jacob gave him a tender ride in the closing stages. This was his first start back after a long break. GS

Bro Park Vårsprint '21: General de Vega in command / Photo: Elina Björklund

In search of more black type

Strong trio to Bro Park on Sunday

10 June 23: Racing doesn't get much better than what's on offer at Bro Park outside Stockholm on Sunday, when a fantastic programme is highlighted by three black type races; the Stockholm Stora Pris (G3), Bro Park Vårsprint (LR) and Bloomers Vase (LR). Annike will saddle a live contender in each of these valuable events - all set to be ridden by Jacob Johansen. General de Vega, who won the Vårsprint in 2021, has been picked as the selection by local form expert David Crona, as he makes his seasonal debut with nine to beat, including five others from Norwegian stables. General de Vega is top rated and he will start from stall three. Four of the last eight editions of this race were won by horses trained by Annike. 


Takeko goes for the Bloomers Vase, where she renews rivalry with Silent Night, who she beat in the Jockeyklubbens Stolöpning last month. Ascot Brass, making her first start back after good efforts in Dubai this winter, and the highly rated dirt to turf switcher Mystic Night join in, to make this a very deep field. Takeko has the wide stall in a field of seven.


"A deep field" can certainly be said also for the ten-runner Stockholm Stora, where Admiral de Vega will be trying to build on his good third to Like A King at this venue last month. Like A King is in the mix again, as are last year's winner King David, the accomplished Danish bred Good Fortune (a brother to Left U Speechless) and the 2020 winner Kick On. Three contenders are all rated on 94kg by the handicapper, 9kg above Admiral de Vega, who is drawn in stall four. So he needs to improve, but he is lightly raced and perhaps he can take the step up to the elite this season. This will be his first big test. 


Bro Park racecard

'The pace makes the race'

Tambora Queen from pillar to post

08 June 23: We've heard it before, we've seen it many times; how a perfect ride on the front end leads to a trip to the winners' enclosure. Setting the pace in a way that makes it impossible for horses to close in from the back is easier said than done, however, and Nora Hagelund Holm judged the pace to perfection as she partnered Tambora Queen to a comfortable all-the-way win on this sunny evening. Pirlo and Precious both tried their best but neither could make any inroads on the easy winner - if anything Tambora Queen seemed to draw even further away from them in the closing stages of the 1600 metres long dirt contest. This was Tambora Queen's fifth career win and she seems as good as ever. Running off handicap 80, she simply outclassed Pirlo, who was coming off a game win over course and distance last week.  

Tambora Queen - dominant / hesteguiden.com

Part of our new knowledge bank on the Learn Racing pages

Impressive reappearance

Takeko shines at Bro Park

24 May 23: Takeko produced an incredibly strong seasonal debut to win the Jockeyklubbens Stolöpning at Bro Park, where she defeated the race favourite Silent Night in a thrilling finish. Takeko cam from just off the pace - set rather leisurely by Silent Night - to get upsides with about 200 metres to run, and she outbattled the latter for a thoroughly game win. The verdict was only a neck but she was clearly the best here, and that in a race that was probably not run to suit her all that well. Una Martina also finished well to be a close third. 


Earlier on the card, Admiral de Vega ran third behind Like a King and Running Wolf in the Upplandlöpning, beaten three parts of a length. He dwelt from the start and raced keenly in sixth place early on, some five lengths off the leader, who set a moderate pace. Admiral de Vega swung into the middle of the course to stay on well - despite still looking a bit green - coming down the home straight. With Kick On back in fourth this was a strong renewal of the race, and Admiral de Vega's seasonal debut augurs well for the rest of the season. 


Yukochan, making her first start away from home, took third in the maiden race on the card, beaten 2 lengths behind Exceed Pleasure - who was coming off a third behind Stella Kalejs over the same course. Yukochan was in midfield around the turn, left a bit flat footed when the pace quickened early in the straight, then got her act together and ran on well - she could never get to the two principals but Yukochan was the one who hit the line really hard and she looked full of energy after passing the winning post. It's hard to imagine that she will remain a maiden much longer.  GS


Svensk Galopp's review

Takeko beating Silent Night / E Bjoerklund / SG

I Rest My Case second on reappearance


25 May 23: Making her first start on the dirt track since winning a stakes event over the same course and distance as a juvenile, I Rest My Case did not seem to be in love with the surface as she made her seasonal debut over 1600 metres on the sand this Thursday evening - but she put up a game performance to finish second behind Hear The Drums in the Entangle Handicap. I Rest My Case was rather fresh after the long winter break and she raced keenly early doors, sitting last in the five-runner field, before making her best work in the home straight. Hear The Drums was not for catching and he held on by 2 1/2 lengths, while I Rest My Case beat the third placed Bullof Wall Street by the same margin. 


This was a satisfactory case of job done for Stall Ella's fine daughter of Deceptor - her 4yo campaign is up and running now, and it will be back to the lawn next time out. 


I Rest My Case holds an entry for the Erik O Steen Memorial, to be run on June 24. GS

Takeko / Ph: S Olsson

Admiral de Vega / hesteguiden.com

Year's first raid on Bro Park

Takeko, Admiral de Vega, Yukochan all ready

21 May 23: Ten runners will be representing Norway as our friends at Bro Park stage a high quality raceday on Wednesday, and three of the ten are from Annike's team at Skoganstallen. 


Takeko, who did so well on her trips to Sweden last year, goes tor the Jockeyklubbens Stolöpning, a 1600 metres contest that drew a strong field of eight runners. The likely favourite is Silent Night, locally trained by Patrick Wahl. Going into the new season on handicap 88, 2kg above Takeko (who was on 87 at her best in '22), Silent Night is also making her seasonal debut. Silent Night and Takeko ran second and third behind Ascot Brass over this course and distance last September - with two lengths between them. Jacob Johansen rides Takeoko on Wednesday as he will be taking the mounts on all of our three runners.


The winter wraps will also come off Admiral de Vega. The lightly raced four-year-old runs in Upplandslöpning, like Takeko's race a contest over 1600 metres on the turf course. This is a valuable handicap and Admiral de Vega, running off 85 (plus 1kg) will have eight rivals an carry 54kg. The two top weights, Wido Neuroth's accomplished five-year-old Like A King and Annette Stjernestrand's Valence will carry 61kg and 59kg respectively. 


Yukochan makes up the trio shipping across the border and she will be trying to break her maiden - meeting eleven others over 1400 metres on the turf. Takeko's half-sister was just a head from becoming a winner on her second start last year, and she takes the highest rating into this race - though the field does have two newcomers and four horses that have raced just the once, so weighing up the opposition in this race can't be done on paper. 


Bro Park race card / 24 May 23

 

Pramms Memorial

Youonlyliveonce seeking revenge

May 20: The first Scandinavian black type race of the season, the Pramms Memorial, is the highlight on a fine Sunday card at Jägersro Galopp in Malmö, and Youonlyliveonce - with Jacob Johansen on board - will be taking his chance in this tough dirt track event, run over 1600 metres. He renews rivalry with Plantstepsdream, Pusjkin and Wolfof Vancouver, who all beat him when they prepped for this race over a terribly wet track last month. The conditions should suit Youonlyliveonce better this time, in what promises to be a real test.   Pramms Day race card

Younlyliveonce (right) with General de Vega after a nice one-two finish last year / hesteguiden.com

17th of May

Tambora Queen game runner-up again

17 May 23: Tambora Queen, the stable's only runner on Norway's Constitution Day, ran a game second in the Desert Rally Handicap, contested over 1750 metres on what appeared to a testing dirt track. She travelled with great zest just off the pace throughout, was well positioned in third going down the back stretch, but was caught napping when Macjack kicked on for a clear lead turning for home. Winning for a second time this season, he opened up with a determined finish and was not for catching. The race favourite, Hampus G, stayed on from the back but Tambora Queen had all the answers when the former St. Leger winner came looking for the runner-up spot, and she held him at bay to be a clear second best. Tambora Queen was runner-up also on her seasonal debut (behind Mystery Night over 1600 m / dirt) and there can be no doubt that she has retained her ability, and her appetite for racing. GS

From family of top class turf runners

Breeze up colt bought at Arqana

15 May 23: Väsby Häst Hast has purchased an interesting juvenile colt at the Arqana May Breeze Up Sales, a US bred son of Summer Front who is set to be trained by Annike. His sire was a high class turf miler in North America, where he was trained by Christophe Clement. Summer Front won four important races over 8 and 8.5 furlongs; the Fort Lauderdale Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park, the Hill Prince Stakes (G3) at Belmont Park, the Cliff Hanger Stakes (G3) at Monmouth Park and the Miami Mile (G3) at Gulfstream Park West (formerly Calder Race Course). He also ran third in one of the top turf events for sophomores, the 10-furlong Secretariat Stakes (G1) at Arlington Park, behind the French raider Bayrir, who went on to run second in the Prix Niel (G2) at Longchamp on his subsequent start. Summer Front is a half-brother to Laragh, a smart filly who won the Hollywood Starlet (G1) on dirt at two and has become good broodmare. 


Our new recruit is out of Pick and Choose, a daughter of Dubai World Cup (G1) and Stephen Foster Stakes (G1) winner Street Cry (a succsessful stallion) out of Pictavia. Pick and Choose never reached the same heights as her dam but she won once from ten starts in the US, taking a mile contest on the dirt track at Hoosier Park when she was a three-year-old. Her runner-up that day, Gal Umet, was a winner of five races, so it was a competitive little affair. 


Pick and Choose has done well at stud. She is also the dam of Calling the Shots, who was not all that far behind the best in Ireland as a two-year-old. He won a 7-furlong maiden at Leopardstown on his second start and followed up over the same distance at Naas next time out. A step up in class took him to the Futurity Stakes (G2) at the Curragh, where he checked in third, 2 lengths behind the winner, Rostropovich, who he had beaten at Naas. Pick and Choose, whose name was Camelback at the time, was exported to Hong Kong, where he got his new name but did not find further success. Pick and Choose is also the dam of  Solid Country Gold, a winner of three races (8 and 8.5 furlongs) in the US. He was successful both on turf and dirt. 


The second dam to Väsby Häst's new colt, Godolphin's lovely Sinndar daughter Pictavia, won five races, including the Select Stakes (G3) over 10 furlongs at Goodwood and three Listed events. She came close to top level success too, taking second behind Chelsea Rose in the Moyglare Stud Stakes (G1) in her first season, and third behind Eswarah in the Vodafone Oaks (G1) at Epsom at three. Pictavia, bred by Gainborough Stud, came from the family of top class performers Hatoof and Irish Prize. GS


Arqana catalogue page with photos and video

2021 c Summer Front breezing / video still

Summer Front colt / Arqana photo

High class racing on festive day

Early start on 17th of May

08 May 23: We are just nine days away from the 17th of May - our unique constitution day - and the tradition with a racing feast on this date continues - albeit with one change; note that Øvrevoll will have an earlier start this year, as the gates open at 11.30 with the first race set to go off an hour later. Last year the first race went off at 15:20. Entries for the day will be taken today, with weights announced on Wednesday and final declarations on Thursday. The highlights are the Fam. Nagell-Erichsens Hoppeløp, for top level fillies and mares, and Forsommerløp for 3-åringer, an important contest for the homebreds. 


For all racedays and stakes conditions in Norway and Scandinavia, please pick up PDF-publications in the piece below. Lots to took forward to!

RACES AND DATES NORWAY AND SCANDINAVIA

Øvrevoll 2023   /   Scandinavia 2023

Can she repeat her '22 debut?

Tambora Queen likely favourite

03 May 23: Tambora Queen, who won on opening day in 2022, is set to make her seasonal debut in the first race on Thursday evening - and she is Ola J. Jakobsen's selection in his racecard previews. She gets four rivals in the Buckham Handicap, to be staged over 1600 metres on the dirt track, and no fewer than three of them represent trainer Wido Neuroth. It may be small field but it looks rather competitive. Nora Hagelund Holm will partner Tambora Queen.


Update: Tambora Queen ran second in this race, beaten just under two lengths by Mystery Night, who was a heavily backed 1.80 favourite for the Neuroth team. A pleasing return to action for Tambora Queen. 


Tambora Queen

Nagell-Erichsen's 2022: Takeko running second

Six intended runners on big day

Hard One To Please, General de Vega, Admiral de Vega and Tambora Queen - who will reappear next week - are also intended runners on the 17th of May. All being well, six of Annike's horses will be seen in action. 

Entries for 17th of May feature

I Rest My Case and Takeko among ten pointing for the prestigious Fam. E. Nagell-Erichsen Hoppeløp

27 Apr 23: Ten fillies and mares have been entered for one of the first stakes events of the season, Fam. E. Nagell-Erichsen Hoppeløp on the 17th of May - but there could be more, as the entries have been re-opened, with a fresh deadline on May 8. 


Takeko, who kicked off an excellent campaign by running second to Iron Butterfly in this race in 2022, has been entered, alongside last year's top earner in Norway, the wonder-girl I Rest My Case


ENTRIES, FAM. E. NAGELL-ERICHSENS HOPPELØP - 1800 m Turf

Horses listed with handicap ratings

Ascot Brass / 90

Entangle Rose / 79

Flambeau Rouge / 86

I Rest My Case / 82

Iron Butterfly / 88

Monjazaat / 85

Precious / 79

Sea Lodge / 82

Smazing / 78

Takeko / 86

Youonlyliveonce fifth in Sweden

New season kicking off on Thursday

24 Apr 23: Annike will not have runners on the first raceday of the 2023-season, as opening day lifts the curtain on Thursday evening, but Youonlyliveonce was the first runner from the team as he was a respectable fifth to Plantstepsdream in the ITM Spring Mile (LR) over 1600 metres at Jägersro on Sunday. "The weather played its part, unfortunately", Annike says, "as a lot of rain made the track very difficult and I don't think Youonlyliveonce appreciated the conditions. He ran a game race though, and I was pleased with his effort."


Wet, or sloppy, dirt tracks favour certain types of horses - normally those who flash their speed throughout the contests. Plantstepsdream was sent to the lead and took full advantage on the front end. He won by a head from an equally game Pushkin, who was also prominent all the way. Speed ruled the race, no doubt.  Youonlyliveonce was stuck wide around both turns, and he was too fresh after the winter break - seen pulling early on under jockey Jacob Johansen. 


Tambora Queen will most likely be our first domestic runner of the year, as she is being aimed at a reappearance on May 4.  The big guns are expected to surface on May 17.

Sloppy dirt track at Jägersro / Ph: Stefan Olsson

About wet dirt tracks

Click to enlarge / from agameofskill.com

Racedays, Øvrevoll Galopp, April May, June


April 27, May 4, 11, 17, 25, June 1, 8, 15, 24, 29

Counting down - looking ahead

09 Apr 23: Happy Easter, everyone! As a boy - in other words not that long ago - coming back from the compulsory Easter skiing holiday meant a switch to two important things; getting the bicycle out of the garage and getting started on form studies for the upcoming racing season. Spring is a fine season and an exciting time of the year - filled with new expectations and hope on all fronts. Soon the horses will be loaded in the starting stalls again, and the fun can begin. Annike and her team are now counting down to Opening Day, April 27, and looking ahead to fresh challenges. GS


Click on to read Annike's pre-season talk with Birger Christensen. 

Stabell talk...

Horse by horse guide - 31 pages

31 March 23: With under four weeks to the first day of the 2023-season, you can now pick up the PDF-publication "Stabell Talk" - store or print out the 31-page read and get to know each and every horse, their form to date, their pedigrees, notes on their families and more. Not exactly an Easter Crime but hopefully you will find it interesting and enjoy it just as much! 

Skoganstallen's staff 2023

Annike Bye Hansen, Sergio M. Pacheco, Nora H. Holm, Mathilde Dupuy, Cecilie Dahl, Andrew Buick

Website: Geir Stabell

Mastercraftsman filly purchased

20 Feb 23: Skoganstallen's latest recruit is an unraced three-year-old filly by Mastercraftman out of Jewel Of The Nile (FR), bought at the Arqana Mixed Sale last week. As this filly's sire won the Irish 2,000 Guineas Stakes (G1) and her dam is a daughter of the brilliant Epsom Derby (G1) winner Authorized, there's class top and bottom in her pedigree. Jewel Of The Nile (FR) raced just twice, without success, but she is a daughter of Prix Penelope (G3) winner Diamond Dance, and as such a half-sister to Diamond Tango, who won the Prix de Pomone (G2). 


Get an in-depth presentation in Stabell Talk


Arqana catalogue page

3yo f Mastercraftsman - Jewel Of The Nile

Annike talks 2023 with Tom W

10 Feb 23: Annike talks horses and looks ahead to the 2023 season, read Tom W Johannessen's feature via this link, or click the photo to go to the racecourse website. 

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). 

Hans Sköld and Annike Bye Hansen

Team I Rest My Case

Annike talks "Case"

Siri and Marina celebrating

1 horse, 1 trainer, 4 awards!

Click photos to enlarge. All photos from Øvrevoll Galopp's facebook pages

..... /.....

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.

..... /.....

From a good French family

Mastercraftsman filly on board

Skoganstallen's latest recruit is an unraced three-year-old filly by Mastercraftsman out of Jewel Of The Nile (FR), bought at the Arqana Mixed Sale in February. As this filly's sire won the Irish 2,000 Guineas Stakes (G1) and her dam is a daughter of the brilliant Epsom Derby (G1) winner Authorized, there's class top and bottom in her pedigree. Jewel Of The Nile (FR) raced just twice, running unplaced over 2400 metres at Maisons-Laffitte and Lyon Parilly as a three-year-old. A well related filly, she was trained by Francois Doumen.


Jewel Of The Nile is a daughter of Prix Penelope (G3) winner Diamond Dance, and as such a half-sister to Diamond Tango, who won the Prix de Pomone (G2). Diamond Dance, trained by Andre Fabre, was unraced at two and she was making only her second start when landing the Prix Penelope over 2100 metres at Saint-Cloud, where she beat Misbegotten by 1 1/2 lengths. Both fillies were coming off a Listed win on their seasonal bow, Diamond Dance having won the Prix Rose de Mai over the same course and distance three weeks earlier. Her spring form was very promising and she was considered a live contender for the Prix de Diane (G1) - French Oaks - at Chantilly in June, but Diamond Dance was sidelined and needed a break forcing her to bypass the classic. She returned to action in late August, when she ran fourth in the Prix de la Nonette (G3) over 2000 metres at Deauville. This run set her up for a crack at the Prix Vermeille (G1) over 2400 metres at Longchamp but she came up short there, finishing sixth to the high class winner Sierra Madre. Diamond Dance raced evenly throughout and was beaten 3 1/4 lengths. It was a decent effort and she went on to run fourth and fifth in a pair of Group 3 contests in the autumn before her career came to a close.


Her best offspring to date is Diamond Tango, a daughter of Acatenango who was also handled by Fabre. She was a good fifth in the Prix Vermeille (G1) as a three-year-old and at four she won the Prix de Pomone (G2) over 2500 metres at Deauville. Diamond Tango has become the dam of smart performers both on the flat and over jumps. Her son Desert Skyline was a 112-rated stayer in England, where he won three races and earned £373,089. His best win came in the Doncaster Cup (G2), contested over 2 miles and 2 furlongs.


There is stamina the bottom half of this filly's pedigree, but she should get speed from her sire, who was a Guineas winner. He was also runner-up to the outstanding Sea The Stars in the Juddmonte International (G1) over a testing 10.5-furlong trip at York, and Mastercraftsman has sired both a St. Leger (G1) winner in Kingston Hill and a top class 10-furlong plus performer in The Grey Gatsby, so we know that this stallion can get runners that stay. GS 270223


Arqana catalogue page

3yo f Mastercraftsman - Jewel Of The Nile

Click to enlarge

3yo race, first win - a close call!

Derby day '22: Admiral de Vega contributed.

Click to enlarge

Three wins at three

Admiral de Vega – seems on the right track

Admiral de Vega, yet another talented son of Lope de Vega, won three of his five races last year and those three wins have one thing in common; they were gained in events that have worked out tremendously well. While improving with each start, Admiral de Vega was beating horses that were either coming off career best efforts or moving onto career best efforts in their subsequent starts. Normally, it's easy to pick a hole or two in handicap races – not so when it came to those Admiral de Vega won. Nor the 3yo contest that set the ball rolling, for that matter. It was all rock solid, and who know what this four-year-old can achieve in 2023. There are no guarantees in this sport, and to say that he absolutely will continue improving at four would be folly, though it does appear likely that he will.


His first win was gained over 1600 metres over a good turf course in late July, when he just pipped fellow sophomore Let's Go Crazy in a close photo finish. Trent was 5 ½ lengths back in third place. This form stood up to inspection all right. Not only did Admiral de Vega win on his next two runs, so did Let's Go Crazy, picking up a couple of nice races at Bro Park.


Admiral de Vega became one of Annike's runners on what was to become a memorable Derby day, and he made his contribution by beating Harrier Hawk, Close To Perfect and Purple Ace in the competitive Sudost Handicap over 1600 metres. The race was worth 55.000 kroner to the winner. Admiral de Vega's final kick was impressive enough to start believing that he will one day be running for bigger purses. His runner-up had won his two preceding races and came to Derby day with a strong formline reading 6th, 1st, 2st, 1st, 1st. Close To Perfect went on to win next time out, while Purple Ace won his next two races.


Naturally, these two wins meant that Admiral de Vega would have to move up in class, though Annike wisely decided to stick to handicap company for his next outing, in the Victoria Prada Handicap over 1370 metres in September. Admiral de Vega won again, this time beating Herewegodandy by 1 ¾ lengths, with Miss Haven third and Intella fourth. The latter was the winner of the Norwegian 1.000 Guineas. Miss Haven went on to win the valuable Adalöpning in Sweden the following month, and Herewegodandy was coming off a win when meeting 'the Admiral' in the Victoria Prada.


Admiral de Vega was given a crack at a stakes event as his final outing at thre, and ran respectably to take third, beaten by Running Rolf and Chianti, in the Mischa Kahns Minneslöpning at Bro Park in October. That was on dirt, and whether he liked it or not is hard to say. His turf form has been so smart, however, and his turn of foot makes one to lean towards the belief that turf will always be his came. As they say; only time will tell. GS 022223

Well bred youngster

Case Closed - half brother to Semper Fi

A gelded son of of Deceptor, the three-year-old Case Closed is out of the Academy Award mare Candyfloss, who won twice and was runner-up eight times in a career spanning 17 starts. Candyfloss was no star but she was a game and genuine handicapper who won over 1800 metres at Klampenborg in Denmark and over 2400 metres at Gothenburg in Sweden, where she defeated the six-time winner Sir Benjamin. Her best piece of form was probably when she ran second to Ray in the prestigious Sceptre Stakes over 2200 metres at Klampenborg as a four-year-old. She was also second best in the Breeders' Cup Consolation, run over 1800 metres at the same venue, during the same campaign. Bred by Stutteri Hjortebo in Denmark, Candyfloss earned handicap 79 at her best. She was trained by Søren Jensen. Her record at stud is a work in progress as she has thus far produced one smart winner, namely Semper Fi, a daughter of Scandinavian champion Appel Au Maitre. Semper Fi is a name racing fans warmed to fairly easily last year. She was a quick learner for trainer Raphael Freire and became one of the best juveniles around, winning the Breeders' Trophy Juvenile at Bro Park in her fourth career start. She beat Bearium, Smooth Operator and Titannia in the September feature and it is fair to say that expectations are high for this filly's classic season. When sent to Sweden, Semper Fi was coming off a good second to Hear The Drums in Skandinavisk Mesterskap for 2-åringer at Øvrevoll in August. Her maiden win happened over 900 metres on her second start but she had no issues with 1400 metres in the Skandinavisk Mesterskap and 1370 metres at Bro Park, and she ran second to Intella in the Norwegian 1,000 Guineas - beaten just a quarter of a length over the 1600-metres trip, and went on to take third in Skandinavisk Mesterskap over 1800 metres - behind Hear The Drums and I Rest My Case. Semper Fi, who is now a broodmare, is by the high class middle distance stallion Appel Au Maitre. 


Case Closed's sire Deceptor, on the other hand, is a son of a French champion miler, Machiavellian, and his dam, Satin Flower, won the Jersey Stakes (G3) over 7 furlong at Royal Ascot. Deceptor's pedigree is not that of a potential speed sire, but it does lend itself more to speed than stamina, that's for sure. That said, Deceptor is the sire of Giovanni Nobile, who Annike also trained. Giovanni Nobile was a winner of 8 races, and he stayed 2400 metres all right (winning three times over that distance). He was out of Born To Win, a Chilean bred mare by Special Quest – who won the Prix Noailles (G2) over 2200 metres in France as a three-year-old and did well over shorter distances in North America subsequently, winning the Millennium Mile Handicap (LR) at Golden Gate Fields. GS 270223

Semper Fi winning at Bro Park. Photo: E Bjoerklund

Click to enlarge

Swedish Dream's half-brother

Catch a Dream - a son of Postponed

A half-brother to Swedish Dream, who retired at the end of the 2022-season, Catch a Dream 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). 


Demeanour ran 29 times for three wins, five second place finishes and eight third place finishes. Her win strike rate was thus just over 10% but note how often she finished in the top three - and she was competing in some tough races. Bred by Barronstown Stud in the USA, she was trained by Valmir De Azeredo. Her career high was the win in Jockeyklubbens Avelslöpning (LR) over 2400 metres on dirt at Jägersro, where she defeated the Wido Neuroth trained star La Zona to win by a head. The English raider Allannah Abu, representing Sir Mark Prescott's Newmarket team, finished third, a length and a half behind the two principles. La Zona was 92kg-rated winner of 11 races, including the following year's edition of the same event and also the Swedish Oaks, while Allannah Abu was a winner of three races in England, so it's safe to say that Demeanour produced a strong performance on this occasion. Theatrical Award was amongst the unplaced runners. 


Out of a mare with such stamina, and by Postponed - who won at the top level over 12 furlongs in England -, Catch a Dream is bred to stay further than Swedish Dream did. He was at his best from 1600 to 1800 metres. Whatever distance proves to suit him best, let's hope Catch a Dream one day runs to the same level of form as Swedish Dream did - though first things first; 2023 will probably be a learning season for this well bred import.  GS 290223


PDF-catalogue page / Arqana Sales


Catch a Dream

General de Vega / E Bjoerklund

Click to enlarge

Sire Lope de Vega / www.ballylinchstud.ie

Top sprinter ready for '23

General de Vega - have you missed him?


General de Vega, who was Sprinter of The Year in Norway in 2021 – and nominated as one of the finalists in the same category in 2022 – was restricted to just three starts last season, and he will be on a retrieving mission this year. Two of his runs in '22 were pretty strong, and it was unfortunate that illness prevented him from having a more productive campaign. After having won three of his eight races in '21, he resurfaced in a competitive handicap over 1170 metres / turf at Øvrevoll last June. The ground was soft, five others took him on, he was giving weight to all five, the betting public made General de Vega the even money favourite to come out on top and they were right. Ridden by Jacob Johansen, General de Vega took the race by half a length, chased home by his stable companion Youonlyliveonce. Backcountry was a well beaten third, while Prince Of Tides – the second favourite – wound up in fourth place, beaten 7 ½ lengths. It was what we could call a perfect seasonal debut, in a race contested by runners who all like to win. The first four home have captured no fewer than 37 wins between them.


The Bro Park Vårsprint was next on General de Vega's agenda. He had won the Listed contest a year earlier and he was strongly fancied to repeat, but his arch rival Could Be King just got the better of him, winning the race by a nose as the two high class sprinters fought out a nail biting finish. Brian Ryan, also representing Norway, completed the Trippel, passing the winning post 2 ½ lengths behind the two principals. It was one of the best sprint races all year, and augured really well for the rest of the season. Well, for General de Vega, the season would prove to be all but over, as he ran just once more, coming home last in the Zawawi Cup (LR) on dirt at Jägersro, while Could Be King franked the form by four straight wins in the second half of the season.


General de Vega has turned six now but there should be plenty of mileage left in this warrior. After all, he has had just 15 career start, not much for a horse of his age. He was May foal, so given just one run as a juvenile (winning a maiden) and no more than four at three (when trained by Lars Kelp). He has passed the million-kroner earnings mark and he has 6 wins plus 7 placings to date.


General de Vega's dam, Just Little (Grand Slam) had son by Almanzor at the Tattersalls October Sales last year, and he was bought by leading French trainer Jean Claude Rouget, who went to 115,000 guineas to secure him. This two-year-old colt has been named Adviento. Just Little also has a 2022-filly by Sea The Moon.


There's not much more new to report about General de Vega's family, other than the fun fact that he has a half-brother active over jumps in England these days. Trained by Gary Moore, this gelding has won twice on the flat (once in Listed company in Paris) and twice over hurdles. He is called Naturally High – a name that wouldn't be out of place at Skoganstallen, come to think of it!    GS 260223

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

Winning the Derby with ease / hesteguiden.com

Breeze up, Newmarket

Lady Foudine,

unraced three-year-old

Roar Hoel, of Stall RH, imported an interesting young filly in 2021; the Danish bred Lady Foudine, a soon to be three-year-old daughter of Moohaajim. She did not run at two. This handsome gal is by a stallion who was both speedy and precocious but the bottom half of her pedigree is mainly about stamina, as she come from a French family full of winners over distances stretching up to 2,500 metres – some of them pretty smart.


Her sire, the Cape Cross son Moohaajim, was trained by Marco Botti in Newmarket. Moohaajim was one of the best youngsters of his crop, winning the 6-furlong Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury before running second the Middle Park Stakes (G1) over the same distance at Newmarket, where he split high class rivals Reckless Abandon and Gale Force Ten in a close finish of necks. His win at Newbury came at the main expense of Rose Bowl Stakes (LR) winner Master Of War, who he beat readily by 1 ¾ lengths. Moohaajim opened his three-year-old campaign well enough, taking third to top class miler Olympic Glory in the Greenham Stakes (G3) back at Newbury in the spring, but his next to last finish in the 2,000 Guineas Stakes (G1) two weeks later was unfortunately to be his career finale. He was retired due to injury.


Lady Foudine is out of Fouqueville, a Le Havre daughter who won twice and earned French handicap 42,5kg at her best (approximately 95 on the international scale). Foqueville was successful over 1,900 metre and 1,950 metres, and she ran fifth in the Prix Occitaine (LR) over 1,900 metres, a race her dam, Langrune (Fasliyev) had finished second in back in her racing days. Langrune raced only as a three-year-old, winning three of her six races. She entered the winners' circle after contests over 1,400 metres, 1,500 metres and 1,800 metres, and she has been a very productive broodmare. Five of her foals became winners, the best known being Orbec – a brother to Fouqueville. Orbec won three times in France, producing his best piece of form when capturing the Grand Prix de Clairefontaine (LR) over 2,500 metres at Deauville. He was subsequently exported to Australia, where he was runner-up in the Newcastle Gold Cup (G3) over 2,300 metres. Echauffour, another brother to Fouqueville, won eight races in France, proving effective from 1,900 metres to 2,400 metres, while two fillies by Air Vice Marshall out of Langrune were winners over 1,800 metres, 1950 metres and 2000 metres.


With a fast father, and with Le Havre, a son of Noverre, as her broodmare sire, one would be inclined to think that Lady Foudine will not be short of speed when her racing days get underway – but her dam's side tells us that she should not be short of stamina either. On paper, this filly is a truly fascinating prospect. GS 250223

Lady Foudine

Click to enlarge

Poetry in motion... / hesteguiden.com

Impressive Derby day win / hesteguiden.com

I Rest My Case with Kaia Ingolfsland on board

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

Left U Speechless's brother Good Fortune / E Bjoerklund

Danish bred with a winning pedigree

Left U Speechless – Good Fortune's brother

Left U Speechless is a full-brother Good Fortune, a highly successful runner trained by Sören Jensen. He won twice at his home venue Klampenborg as a juvenile, then developed into one of the best three-year-olds the following season, when he ran third in the Danish Derby before winning the Breeders' Trophy Classic and Jockeyklubbens Grand Prix at Bro Park in Sweden. He beat Hollywoodboulevard by 2 ½ lengths in the latter, while his win in the Breeders' Trophy Classic was gained at the main expense of Iron Butterfly, who was 1 ½ lengths behind him passing the winning post. Hollywoodboulevard was a well beaten third that day.


Keeping his form well at four, Good Fortune won the Breeders' Trophy Mile at Bro Park last September (this time beating Hollywoodboulevard by half a length over 1600 metres). He had earlier run second in the Listed Pokalløp at Klampenborg, where King David proved too good, and he opened his 2023 campaign by winning a valuable handicap at Meydan in Dubai, where he scored narrowly over 2000 metres. Good Fortune may be best from 1600 to 2000 metres, but Jockeyklubbens Grand Prix is contested over 2100 metres and he has also won over 2200 metres.


Left U Speechless actually looks a bit like his famous sibling, and he is an exciting newcomer at Skoganstallen. No races are won on paper, but he does have the pedigree to do well. His sire, Appel Au Maitre, was s Scandinavian champion and has done really well at stud, while his dam, the unraced Eko Palace Bay (Siyouni), has also produced Aperola with Appel Au Maitre. Aperola won 8 races from 1200 metres (at two) to 1800 metres. All of her wins have come on turf, the most notable in the Produce Stakes, and Aperola has also been placed in some tough stakes events, including a solid third behind Hollywoodboulevard and Master Bloom in the 2022 Skandinavisk Grand Prix (when Good Fortune had to settle for fourth place).


Acqualina Beauty (Montjeu), who is the second dam of Left Up Speechless, is well known as an excellent broodmare. Imported from the US, where she ran fifth on her only start, Acqualina Beauty is the dam of smart stakes winners Steinway (Danish Breeders' Cup, Danish St. Leger etc.) and Brunello (Danish Oaks, Vinterfavoriternes etc.). Her dam, Coolamon (Saratoga Six) won twice at Arlington International as a juvenile, scoring over 6 and 6.5 furlongs on dirt. GS 230223

Noble Mission / Juddmonte photo

Click to enlarge

Son of Frankel's brother

Money Mission – bred to improve with age

Money Mission, a son of Frankel's brother Noble Mission, was trained by Tina Smith as a two-year-old and he joined Annike's team late in 2022. He ran three time and was placed once in his first season, when second to Starlight Song over 1370 metres / turf on his racecourse introduction. Starlight Song went on to win the Tattersalls Heatheworld Cup and the Amacitalopning in Sweden, so one can safely say that Money Mission was a bit unlucky in picking the day to make his debut. Money Mission also ran in the Heatherwold, but could manage only fourth place. He next tried the Norsk Kriterium and came home in fifth behind the winner, Ami de Vega, Stripesof Stars, Give Me Space and Chadwick.


Money Mission's pedigree points to improvement with age. Noble Mission, who was much more than a training partner and brother to the incredible Frankel, has done really well as a stallion, and it's well worth noting that he has sired high class performers on dirt in North America as well as on turf in Europe. In fact, his best offspring to date is Code of Honor, who was an absolute star for New York trainer Shug “Easy Goer” McGaughey a couple of years ago. Code of Honor won the Travers Stakes (G1) at Saratoga – a race often referred to as the Midsummer Derby – and he beat subsequent Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) winner Vino Rosso in the all-aged Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park. He was also part of the controversial 2019 Kentucky Derby (G1), when Maximum Security was disqualified for having caused interference to War of Will – something that handed the win to Country House, with Code of Honor third. Code of Honor was about to gain momentum in his career then, and he got better in the second hand of the season.


Noble Mission was also a good three-year-old but he found his best form at five, when he won three Group One events; the Tattersalls Gold Cup over 10.5 furlongs at The Curragh in Ireland, Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (G1) over 2400 metres in France and finally the 10-furlong Champion Stakes (G1) at Ascot on his swansong.


Money Mission is out of the the lightly raced maiden winner Beckoning (Kodiac). Beckoning 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 second in the Hollywood Derby (G1) and third in the Shoemaker Mile (G1). GS 200223

Eye catching son of Wentworth

Run For Justice - he looks the part

Run For Justice is a well made, attractive juvenile is by Wentworth – a stallion that seems to be on the brink of making a name for himself in Denmark, where he was being trained by Bettina Andersen, after having been with Richard Hannon in his younger days. Wentworth, a son of high class sprinter and equally successful stallion Acclamation, was not a top flight performer – but he did well in his racing career, winning two of his three races as a juvenile before following up with strong handicap form at three, when he captured the valuable Betfred Mile at Glorious Goodwood. Wentworth beat the favourite Cape Peron at Goodwood, a rival that went on to win the Prix du Ranelagh (LR) at Chantilly in France on his next start. Wentworth had previously run well to check in fourth when favourite for the one-mile Britannia Handicap at Royal Ascot, where he went down by 1 ¾ lengths behind Beauty Flame, subsequent G2 winner with G1 placings in Hong Kong. Wentworth's best hour in Scandinavia was a win in the Pokalløb (LR) over 1800 metres at Klampenborg in 2014. He took that event with ease, beating Jubilance by 4 lengths, with Falconet back in third place.


Wentworth is a half-brother to Sandiva (Footstepsinthesand), a smart filly who ran fifth to Rizeena in the Coronation Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot as a three-year-old, before being exported to the USA, where she won three Grade 3 events over 8.5 and 9 furlongs, all on turf at Gulfstream Park.


Run For Justice is out of the lightly raced High Chaparral daughter Rivers Run, sold for €5,000 to York Stud at the 2017 Goffs February Sales. She had changed hands for 65,000 guineas in England as a yearling. Rivers Run's career was far too brief. She ran only five times and won a maiden heat over 12 furlongs at Kempton Park as a four-year-old, beating Start Seven, a good handicapper that went on win three races. Rivers Run is a half-sister to Pas de Secrets, winner of the Songline Classic (LR) over 2100 metres on dirt at Bro Park (beating Red Hot Chili) and Jägersro Cup over 3200 m / dirt (from Momentum), runner-up to Our Last Summer in the Norwegian Derby and third to Privilegiado in the Oslo Cup (G3), both over 2400 metres turf at Øvrevoll. Pas de Secrets was trained by Wido Neuroth. Rivers Run and Pas de Secrets were out of Quiet Waters, a daughter of NYRA Mile (G1) winner Quiet American trained by Andre Fabre in France. Quiet Waters ran rust three times without troubling the judge, and it's fair to assume that she had some sort of a problem.  GS 100223

Run For Justice as a yearling

Rivers Run's half-brother Pas de Secrets. Photo: S. Olsson

Impressive Derby day win / hesteguiden.com

I Rest My Case with Kaia Ingolfsland on board

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

Takeko winning the Wettermarks. Photo: S. Olsson

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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

Derby Mile '21: Tambora Queen breaks through / hesteguiden.com

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Full brother to Good Fortune

27 Jan 23: 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. (1st posted 15 Dec 22)  

Geir Stabell


Catalogue page Left U Speechless 

Left U Speechless at stud

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Youonlyliveonce / hesteguiden.com

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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

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Yukochan's sire Acclamation

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

Just touched off!

Djamila as a foal with her dam Dabiyla