ANNIKE BYE HANSEN
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Horse of The Year Awards Norway 2021
General de Vega, Takeko, I Rest My Case
and We Got The Boss all nominated
Nominations to the annual Horse Of The Year Awards in Norway have been released and Annikes team, numerically small but big on quality, houses no fewer than four candidates; top class sprinter General de Vega, the excellent filly Takeko (who will have a sibling as a stablemate in 2022), the ultra game We Got The Boss, as well as the talented juvenile I Rest My Case.
Due to the pandemic, the date for this awards ceremony has not been set.
A Happy New Year,
and a successful 2022 season!
Our website has a winter break - new updates and articles will begin in early February.
Represents famous Aga Khan family
Hard One To Please joins the team
01 Dec 21: One of the new horses in the stable for 2022, the Fast Company son Hard One To Please - bought by Walter Buick on behalf of Väsby Häst AB at the Tattersalls Sales in Newmarket - is an unraced colt from one of Aga Khan's best known families. Unraced, Hard One To Please is out of Alyssum, a filly trained by Jim Bolger in Ireland. Alyssum ran just four times and her runner-up effort in a Naas maiden on her debut was her best placing. She is a daughter of top class performer New Approach and Alasha (Barathea). Alasha was trained by Sir Michael Stoute, who handled her to win the Dick Hern Stakes (LR) over a mile at Bath, and run second in the E P Taylor Stakes (G1) over 10 furlongs at Woodbine in Canada. Her best piece of form, however, was when she finished third, beaten just half a length behind Kazzia, in the 1,000 Guineas (G1) at Newmarket. Alasha became the dam of Alanza, a smart 7-furlong performer by Dubai Destination. Alanza won the Ballycorus Stakes (G3) at Leopardstown and the Sceptre Stakes (G3) at Doncaster.
The third dam, Alanasa (Darshaan), was a half-sister to Aliysa, Champion 3yo filly in England and at the centre of the 'doping' scandal that robbed her connections of a win in the Epsom Oaks (G1) back in 1989. Alanasa was not in the same league but she was a useful filly, trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre in France. She won twice, scoring over 1,600 metres at Dieppe and over 1,800 metres at Saint-Cloud, and she stretched her stamina to finish third over 2,100 metres at Longchamp. She produced a Listed winner called Alaiyma and became the granddam of the G2 placed Listed winner Shared Ambition, a winner of 7 races in Australia.
Hard One To Please's sire, Fast Company (Danehill Dancer), was a highly talented juvenile but unfortunately he raced just three times. He won the 7-furlong Acomb Stakes (G3) at York, easily outpointing Lucifer Sam by 3 ½ lengths, and went on to run second in the Dewhurst Stakes (G1) over the same distance at Newmarket, checking in half a length behind Hard One To Please's broodmare sire New Approach. GS
Well bred filly acquired
Lady Foudine - a truly fascinating prospect
25 Nov 21: Roar Hoel, of Stall RH, has imported an interesting young filly; the Danish bred Lady Foudine, a soon to be two-year-old daughter of Moohaajim. 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). Lady Foudine 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, Lagrune (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
Well bred, good miler
Prince of Fjords joins the team
22 Nov 21: Prince of Fjords, a dual winner at Gøteborg Galopp in Sweden, where he has been successful at age two and three, has joined Annike's team. Soon to turn four, this good looking son of Prince of Lir has finished in the first three in seven of his nine races to date, and his current handicap mark is 83, making him a really interesting player for 2022. He won a 1400-metre maiden on his second start as a juvenile, outclassing seven rivals to score by ten lengths under Paco Lopez. Prince of Fjords had three subsequent winners behind him that day and it was clear that he was a runner somewhat above the average. He raced just once more as a youngster though, finishing second to this year's Danish Derby winner Iron Butterfly over 1100 metres on the dirt track at Øvrevoll.
Prince of Fjords was gradually finding his form in 2021, running ninth, fourth, second and second again on his first four starts of the campaign. This progress set him for a win over 1600 metres in Sweden in July, when he ran out an easy 5-length winner, beating Sophie B, who was 4 lengths better than the third placed horse, Cutie. With these results, Prince of Fjords has earned 239,874 kroner to date. He made his racecourse bow over 900 metres and has since been running over distances ranging from 1100 metres (his only start on dirt) to 1600 metres. His two wins were gained on good and good to firm ground. His dam, the twice raced Eccellente Idea, is a daughter of top class miler Excellent Art. From a good family, Eccellente Idea is a half-sister to prolific stakes winner Off Limits (Mastercraftsman), whose highlight was a win in the prestigious Matriarch Stakes (G1) over at mile at Del Mar in California when she was a five-year-old. GS
Season finale on Sunday
Two runners rounding off a great season
12 Nov 21: With 18 winners from 104 runners, and 46% of all runners having finished in the top three, Annike can look back on an excellent 2021 campaign when the season comes to a close on Sunday afternoon. Last year was difficult, in more ways than one, but the team at Skoganstallen has certainly bounced back – and they have done so in an impressive way. Annike's win strike rate – 17% – is the joint best of the top four in the trainer standings, and only Wido Neuroth, also on 17%, has managed a better top three record (52%).
Two horses will represent the stable on Sunday. Mestre dos Mago, set to be ridden by Willa Synøve Schou, goes to post in race four on the card, Høstbonus Bronsedivisjon Mile over 1600 metres / dirt, an eight-runner contest worth 37,500 kroner to the winner. This will be the veteran's eleventh outing of the year. He won over this trip in October, when beating Point Boy by a neck after a thrilling finish. With 93,450 kroner in earnings thus far in 2021, his season mirrors his 2020 exploits, when he won once from 13 starts and earned 96,652 kroner. This nine-year-old son of Academy Award has been a grand servant.
Seeyouincourt has been declared to run in the penultimate race of the year. She will meet five rivals in a 3yo Handicap, also over 1600 metres on the dirt track. Seeyouincourt ran out an easy winner over this course and distance in August, and she has since produced three good placed efforts on turf. The daughter of Juniper Tree, who will this time get Elione Chaves on board, is seeking her third win of the season. Her positive, game attitude gives her a chance of rounding 2021 off in style. That said, this is a contentious little affair and looks rather open on paper. Four of the six runners have a recent win in their formlines, with Seeyouincourt being Birger Christensen's racecard selection. GS
New arrival at Skoganstallen
Admiral de Vega – unraced Lope de Vega son
10 Nov 21: Väsby Häst AB secured an interesting recruit to Annike's team at the Tattersalls Horses in Training Sales in Newmarket last month, getting the final bid for Aljasur, a smart looking two-year-old son of Lope de Vega, the sire of Väsby Häst's high class sprinter General de Vega. This unraced colt, who has been renamed to Admiral de Vega, comes from a good Shadwell Stud family.
His dam, a well bred Dansili daughter named Ashaaqah, was trained by John Hammond in France, but never got much of a career. She ran twice as a three-year-old, finishing unplaced over 2,400 metres at Clairefontaine and over 2,000 metres at Compiegne. Sent to stud, Ashaaqah has made a much better impact as a broodmare. Prior to giving birth to Aljasur, she produced three useful winners, all by top notch stallions. Her daughter by Dubawi, Mahaarat, went into training with Sir Michael Stoute in England and won a Novice Stakes over a mile at Kempton Park as a juvenile, before being exported to Qatar, where she has also won. Mahaarat gained handicap 84 at best in England. Her half-brother Madeeh, a gelded son of Oasis Dream, is a prolific winner still in training in England, where he is being handled by Philip Kirby. Madeeh has captured seven races to date. At his peak he has been rated on 89 by the handicappers, and he racked up four consecutive wins over 12.5 furlongs at Newcastle in February / March this year. Finally, Ashaaqah is also the dam of a nice Kingman filly called Areehaa, trained by Gary Moore. Found worthy of 82 on the official handicap in England, she won a Novice Stakes over a mile at Chelmsford as a three-year-old in 2020, and she ran second in a good 7-furlong handicap at Newmarket this autumn. Also part of the well publicised Shadwell dispersal, Areehaa is set to go through the ring at the upcoming December Sales in Newmarket.
Admiral de Vega's second dam, Kareemah, a daughter of the brilliant Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Peintre Celebre, raced in France – winning the the Prix Charles Laffitte (LR) over 2,000 metres at Chantilly as a three-year-old. Like Ashaaqah, she was also trained by Hammond. She comes from a family full of winners, one of the best known being her half-sister Lahudood, who won the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) at Monmouth Park and Flower Bowl Invitational (G1) at Belmont Park, after having landed three Group races in France. This is also the family on the unbeaten champion miler Baaeed, winner of this year's Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (G1) and Prix de Moulin de Longchamp (G1). GS
Young talents providing quick fire double
Tambora Queen and I Rest My Case rock solid winners
28 Oct 21: Two of the stable's young horses lit up this late October evening. Juvenile filly I Rest My Case, previously an easy winner of Norsk Mestersskap for 2-åringer, followed up with another comfortable win in Norsk Rikstotos Oppdrettsløp. Tackling 1600 metres on the dirt track, the daughter of Deceptor never looked in any danger as she came home a length in front of Queen of Antarktis, who had been her runner-up also in Norsk Mesterskap. Cornelia Hartsman was in the saddle, as Stall Ella's talented young filly earned 60,000 kroner. The year older Tambora Queen had already been on the podium when this happened. She won the first race on the night, a 1600 metres Noviseløp, which she captured under Elione Chaves, taking the race in really determined style by a quarter of a length. I Apple finished second and Monjazaat was third home in this race. Annike has kept the winners coming in recent weeks, in what has been quite a remarkable autumn for the stable. With just two racedays to go before the season is over, it almost feels like we would like this flow of success to continue all the way up to Christmas. Then again, if Christmas comes early, what's left to complain about? Nothing at all. GS
The old boy back with a bang
Mestre Dos Magos gains tenth career win
21 Oct 21: A season without seeing Mestre Dos Magos in the winners' circle would not be quite the same, would it? Was the veteran runner, who will soon turn ten, going to let that happen? Of course he wasn't. It took some time this year, but Mestre Dos Magos was back in the groove on this floodlit Thursday evening card, winning the Creek Dancer Handicap in determined style.
A close-to-home-tussle developed, as Point Boy was equally game and would not surrender all that easily, but Mestre Dos Magos came out best of this fight to win the nine-runner sprint by a neck. Ruby Tuesday finished third and Silky Road filled fourth place, making it a clean sweep for Scandinavian bred horses. Mestre Dos Magos, who was winning for the tenth time in his illustrious career, was bred in Norway by Johan C. Løken. He was partnered by top rider Jan-Erik Neuroth, who had him perfectly placed a few lengths off the pace, going three to four wide around the turn – a route that often pays off in dirt track sprints. The son of Academy Award blew quite a few punters back to the drawing board, by the way, as he was a near 27-1 shot and the longest price on the tote board.
Strong runner-up efforts
Swedish Dream, General de Vega so brave
13 Oct 21: There is something about Swedish Dream and Arnfinn Lunds Minneløp, a high class Listed race run on the last big day of the season in Norway. He has won the race once and has has now been runner-up in the contest twice. Like General de Vega, who ran second in the Norsk Jockeyclub Sprintløp, he contributed to what was a very successful, albeit rescheduled, autumn fixture at Øvrevoll Galopp. It is so reassuring, as we are already looking ahead to 2022, to see how these two flagship performers continue to thrive and keep their form as late afternoons are drawing in - much like just about every other horse in the stable actually!
Racing's Super Autumn Sunday
Annike's star pupils in stakes action
29 Sep 21: This coming Sunday should not be missed by any racing fan. It's the last big fixture of the season at Øvrevoll, and it's a highly interesting card. General de Vega and Abolish will both go to post for Norsk Jockeyklubs Sprintløp, two weeks after they thrilled us with such fine efforts to fill first and third in the Bro Park Sprint Championship in Sweden. Annike's two classy speed merchants will bookend the nine-runner field from the stalls. Abolish drew the inside post for the 1170 metres long contest, and will once more get Oliver Wilson as his partner. General de Vega and his regular partner Jacob Johansen are set to start from the outside stall. The big sprint is the fourth of nine races on the card. Annike won this race back-to-back with Ragazzo in 2014 and 2015, and she sent out Captain America to win it two years ago.
I Rest My Case, shooting for her second stakes wins in just three starts, will have seven to beat as she runs in Norsk Forening For Fullblodsavl Løp, a juvenile contest restricted to horses bred in Norway. The daughter of Deceptor beat Queen Of Antaktis by half a length as they dominated in Norsk Mesterskap for 2-åringer, run over 1170 metres in September. Queen Of Antaktis will be amongst her rivals again on Sunday, when the task is 200 metres longer. I Rest My Case gets Jacob Johansen in the saddle and she will be breaking from stall six, which means that Johansen is in a good position to assess what's going on to his inside as the field runs down the back stretch, approaching the inner turn. Semper Fi, an all-the-way winner of the Breeders' Trophy Juvenile at Bro Park last time out, looks the one to beat.
The valuable Breeders' Prize Sprint, also over 1370 metres, has attracted 14 Scandinavian bred three-year-olds, with Seeyouincourt, set to be ridden by Kaia Ingolfsland, in the mix. The daughter of Juniper Tree has improved nicely with her racing this year and she may well step up again on Sunday, when further progress will be needed to make an impact against the likes of Thunder Mack, Masseto and My Jamil. Seeyouincourt drew stall nine for this evenly matched race.
Swedish Dream won Arnfinn Lunds Minneløp in 2019 and he was third in the race last year. He will try to win it for a second time this weekend. It's not going to be easy – as he will once more be clashing with last year's winner, Knicks Go, as well as last year's second, Valence – but one thing we do know about Swedish Dream is that 1600 metres on Øvrevoll's turf course suits him really well. Jacob Johansen jumps back on him this time, in what will be Swedish Dream's 38th career outing. He has 8 wins and 11 runner-up efforts in the book, in what has been a truly admirable career. It would come as no big surprise to see him making an impact once more.
Last, but by no means least, we can look forward to seeing Mestre dos Magos run in the day's finale, Norsk Forening for Fullblodsavl Løp for three-yer-olds and older horses. Mestre dos Magos, aged nine and thus the oldest horse in this five-runner contest over 1980 metres and, racing off handicap 74, he should be in with a winning chance. Kaia Ingolfsland has ridden him in his three most recent races and she sticks with him on Sunday. Update: This raceday has been cancelled due to weather - and will be rescheduled.
The Thursday card gets one runner from Skoganstallen, as Annike will saddle Mudjimba for the Gaston Handicap, a dirt race over 1750 metres. Set to be ridden by Willa Synøve Schou, Mudjimba meets five rivals. He was last seen in a game fourth place finish behind his stable companion Noosa Prince three weeks ago and looks to have a big chance of entering the winners' circle for a second time this year. GS
Annike sets the standard
Most winners – highest strike rate
As we are getting into the autumn weeks, and approaching the end of the season, it's very pleasing to note that Annike has saddled more winners than any other trainer in Norway this year, and that her strike rate is also better than what any of her rivals have managed to achieve. With 15 winners from 83 runners, she has been operating at an impressive 18% cent clip in 2021, marginally more efficient than Annette Stjernestrand (17.9%), with Wido Neuroth (17.2%) third best, ahead of Cathrine Erichsen (14.1%), while the leader in terms of prize money, Niels Petersen, is lagging behind on 10.6%.
Annike's magic, 'speedy touch' rubs off again - on two horses
General de Vega wins Bro Park Sprint Championship, Abolish runs third
19 Sep 21: Annike has been successful with all types of horses, winning in all divisions and categories, but there must be something special about her touch with sprinters. She guided top sprinter Ragazzo to a championship career, and she did the same with Captain America - now it's General de Vega's turn. Since joining Annike's team, he has done nothing but improve and he put down a strong case for being voted Sprinter of The Year when winning the Bro Park Sprint Championship (LR) in Sweden on this fine Sunday. For good measure, his stable companion Abolish filled third place. Stockholm Cup day offers the biggest stage of all in Scandinavian racing, and it was nice also to see how well Takeko performed to finish fourth in the Lanwades Stud Stakes (LR) - one of the most important fillies' and mares' events of the year.
Annike's magic, 'speedy touch' rubs off again - on two horses
General de Vega wins Bro Park Sprint Championship, Abolish runs third
19 Sep 21: Annike has been successful with all types of horses, winning in all divisions and categories, but there must be something special about her touch with sprinters. She guided top sprinter Ragazzo to a championship career, and she did the same with Captain America - now it's General de Vega's turn. Since joining Annike's team, he has done nothing but improve and he put down a strong case for being voted Sprinter of The Year when winning the Bro Park Sprint Championship (LR) in Sweden on this fine Sunday. For good measure, his stable companion Abolish filled third place. Stockholm Cup day offers the biggest stage of all in Scandinavian racing, and it was nice also to see how well Takeko performed to finish fourth in the Lanwades Stud Stakes (LR) - one of the most important fillies' and mares' events of the year.
Annike's magic, 'speedy touch' rubs off again - on two horses
General de Vega wins Bro Park Sprint Championship, Abolish runs third
19 Sep 21: Annike has been successful with all types of horses, winning in all divisions and categories, but there must be something special about her touch with sprinters. She guided top sprinter Ragazzo to a championship career, and she did the same with Captain America - now it's General de Vega's turn. Since joining Annike's team, he has done nothing but improve and he put down a strong case for being voted Sprinter of The Year when winning the Bro Bark Sprint Championship (LR) in Sweden on this fine Sunday. For good measure, his stable companion Abolish filled third place. Stockholm Cup day offers the biggest stage of all in Scandinavian racing, and it was nice also to see how well Takeko performed to finish fourth in the Lanwades Stud Stakes (LR) - one of the most important fillies' and mares' events of the year.
Two runners – two winners!
I Rest My Case on the up, Noosa Prince in smashing form
16 Sep 21: Annike had two runners on this evening card and, as they both won, we can safely say that this was a good day in the office – as well as a nice boost to the team ahead of bigger tasks at Bro Park on Sunday.
I Rest My Case did so much wrong for such a long way of Norsk Mesterskap for 2-åringer, but when the penny finally dropped about a furlong from the winning post, well, then she leveled off nicely and ran on really well to win the valuable stakes race staged over 1170 metres. She was a bit tardy from the stalls, raced with the choke out while seeing far too much daylight while pressing the pace going around the bend, fumbled a bit more in the early parts of the home straight, and still she proved to be the best of these juveniles. It makes lot of sense to assume that she was much the best in this field and that those she beat today will find it hard to match strides with her in upcoming races. That said, there were some debutantes on show, and it was obviously a good thing that I Rest May Case, calmly ridden by Kaia Ingolfsland, was given an introduction prior to this contest. She was chased home by Queen Of Antarktis, who was beaten half a length, and third place went to Gold Rush.
Noosa Prince brought us more joy half an hour later, as he added to his success last week by winning the Wattan Handicap over 1600 metres from Kildare and Seven Nation Army. Noosa Prince was ridden Willa Synøve Schou, who sent him straight to the lead. This horse really is at the top of his game right now. He was full of zest, yet nicely composed, in front, and when it looked like the cashing pack might cut into his advantage, he just quickened up again to disappoint them all in a matter of strides. Noosa won the contest very comfortably, passing the winning post 2 lengths in front of the runner-up.
Stockholm Cup day at Bro Park
General de Vega heads Annike's team
14 Sep 21: Stockholm Cup day at Bro Park, one of the most important dates in the Scandinavian racing calendar, will get four runners from Annike Bye Hansen's in-form stable. General de Vega heads the team. He is among the favourites for the prestigious Bro Park Sprint Championship (LR), where he will be joined by stable companion Abolish. Takeko - chasing a black type win in the fillies' and mares' division - and the ultra game handicapper We Got The Boss are both also live contenders on this racing feast.
We Got The Boss, looking for his third win of the season for his owners, champagnegaloppen.no, goes to post in race six on the big day, a Guldhandicap over 1600 metres. He will be ridden by Jacob Johansen, who partnered the son of Street Boss also when he was a good runner-up to Valence at Øvrevoll Galopp last week. We Got The Boss drew post nine in this 11-runner field and he is third choice on the program selections line, behind the recent course winner Good Eye and Buddy Bob, a contender who ran fourth to Takeko in July, and franked that piece of form by winning next time out.
Takeko will be in action in the following race. She meets 11 rivals in the valuable Lanwades Stud Stakes (LR), also contested over 1600 metres. Jacob Johansen takes this mount too, making this his fourth straight ride on Takeko, who is coming off a third place finish behind Ascot Brass in the Lanwades Stud Stakes (LR) on Derby day at Øvrevoll. Ascot Brass has since run second to Solveig in the Breeders Trophy Mile at Bro Park and the form looks quite solid. That said, Takeko meets stiff oppostion on Sunday and she will probably have to improve to win. Nouvelle Lune, representing Wido Neuroth's powerful team, and the locally trained star Silent Night are the two top rated candidates, in what looks a fairly open contest on paper.
Race ten on Stockholm Cup day is the Bro Park Sprint Championship (LR) over 1200 metres. This means yet another clash of the 'right names' in the top of the Scandinavian Sprint division. Annike will be taking two runners to the 660,000 kronor event; Abolish and General de Vega. General de Vega, winner of the Bro Park Vårsprint (LR) over course and distance in June, is one of the favourites. He has since been runner-up to Could Be King at Klampenborg and third behind Duca di Como and Could Be King at Øvrevoll. Could Be King is once more in the field, as are three runners from England, two of them representing trainer Archie Watson. He ships in with the 2019 winner of this event, Corinthia Knight, as well as Mighty Gurkha, in what looks an interesting two pronged attack. Corinthia Knight, who will be ridden by Luke Morris, has won his two most recent races, obliging twice in handicap company at Pontefract. Mighty Gurkha ran fourth to Judicial in the Queensferry Stakes (LR) at Chester last time he ran. He will be ridden by Hollie Doyle, one of the world's top female jockeys. The third visitor, Aplomb, is trained by Jane Chapple-Hyam and will be partnered by David 'Mishriff' Egan at Bro Park. Aplomb is winless in 2021 but he ran third to Sunday Sovereign in a good sprint handicap last month.
Can General de Vega be competitive against these? If he puts his best foot forward, then yes of course he can. Nicely drawn in stall five, he gets his regular partner Jacob Johansen on board. Abolish (Oliver Wilson / stall seven ) is not one of the favourites but he has shown his liking for Bro Park in the past and certainly deserves to take his chance. He was a game fourth to General de Vega in the Vårsprint.
Two runners at home
The stable will have two runners at Øvrevoll on Thursday evening, when Norwegian breeding comes into focus. I Rest My Case takes a step up in class as she goes for Norsk Mesterskap for 2-Åringer, where eight homebred juveniles will race over 1170 metres on the turf course, with a first prize of 80,000 kroner. I Rest My Case, a daughter of Deceptor bred by Øien Gård and owned by Stall Ella, made a pleasing debut when fifth to Semper Fi over 900 metres in July. Annike won this stakes event with Calcaterre back in 2013. Noosa Prince, coming off a solid win over 1370 metres last week, moves up to 1600 metres in the Wattan Handicap. He has eight to beat, and the main danger may come from Seven Nation Army, a winner over this trip in August and by means disgraced behind Simply Minds thereafter. GS
Tactical speed, a turn of foot, a powerful recipe
Noosa Prince hits winning form
09 Sep 21: Noosa Prince returned to winning form as he captured the Vista Hermosa Handicap over 1370 metres on St. Leger day, and he won the race by combining good tactical speed with a decisive turn of foot. Breaking well under rider Willa Synøve Schou, he put pressure on the early leader - Backcountry - from the outset, moved up to a joint lead going around the bend, took command early in the straight, and quickened smartly with about 300 metres to run. In horse racing it is not a question of how fast you go - it is always a question of how you are going fast, and Noosa Prince was doing it really easily on this occasion. Changing gears halfway through the penultimate furlong proved to be the killer. He opened up on his pursuers at that point and, although City Code and Prince Of Tides both ran on well, neither ever posed a serious threat to Noosa Prince, who prevailed by three parts of a length. His nearest rivals ran a dead-heat for second place. This was Noosa Prince's seventh career win from 30 starts and he turned the tables on both City Code and Backcountry, who had beaten him him similar contests last month. His total earnings now stand at an impressive 478,352 kroner.
We Got The Boss turned up yet again for a fine effort, taking third in the Vortex Elitehandicap over 1600 metres, a race won by the classy Valence, who ran fifth in Marit Sveaas Minneløp (G3) on his previous outing. GS
Ran rivals right into the ground
Possession's first win - and it's huge!
02 Sep 21: What was that? A procession? Well, actually it was Possession - and it was procession. Possession's first win was gained with style, as he quickened right away from his nearest rival, Moonflash, early in the straight and won the 2400-metres Taniec Handicap very easily by 5 lengths. Moonflash became rather lonely in second, passing the winning post 12 1/2 lengths ahead of Perfect Illusion. These two placed horses both went into the contest with decent form but they had no chance once Possession was let loose by his talented rider, Willa Synøve Schou. It was clear to see that Possession was about to hit form when he ran fifth behind Sankt Peder last time out - and on this Thursday evening he most certainly did. There should be more to come from this well bred runner.
Ragazzo is no longer with us
26 Aug 21: “He was one of the best horses I have ever trained, and he was so brave. It hurts to know that he is no longer with us”, Annike reflects on Ragazzo, who was sadly put down last week, after enjoying life as a riding horse with Marit Delebekk in Skjeberg outside Sarpsborg after his retirement in 2017. “Old injuries caught up with him and it was the right thing to let him rest now”, Annike says about the 12-year-old champion that she bought for just 75,000 kroner as a yearling. Six seasons later, Ragazzo concluded a career of 15 wins from 35 starts. Earning 2,593,912 kroner, he was one of the top sprinters in Scandinavia.
Annike was instrumental in Ragazzo's life right from the beginning. “I trained some of his siblings”, she recalls, “and runners like Orkan, Propan and Solan were useful performers with good form. They were all by Oktan, and I felt that their dam, Private Property was a very good producer, so I suggested to her owner, Johan C. Løken, that she deserved to be sent to better stallion. He agreed with me and chose Academy Award”.
The result of this covering was Ragazzo, a big strong colt. Annike decided to buy him at the yearling sales, and did so on the behalf of Stall Trotting, a partnership made up of Jan Andersen, Marina Lie and Ida Large. 75,000 kroner proved to be an absolute bargain. Ragazzo was a late developing sort but when he began to find his stride, he soon displayed class well above the average homebred. In fact, he was going to prove more than up to matching strides with the best imports too, winning the Polar Cup (G3) twice, as well as lifting the Polar Mile (LR), Täby Vårsprint (LR), Norsk Jockeyklubs Sprintløp (LR), Breeders' Prize Sprint and Norsk Rikstoto Grand Prix.
His Polar Cup wins on home soil at Øvrevoll came at the expense of classy sprinters like Giant Sandman, Giftorm, Liber and Easy Road. Ragazzo was just as good at Täby Galopp outside Stockholm, where he defeated Easy Road in the prestigious Vårsprint at the age of six.
Ragazzo's career was not nice and smooth throughout, however. Annike explains: “He began winning towards the end of his three-year-old campaign, but unfortunately, he picked up a serious leg injury that autumn, and his career was in the balance. The vets told me to give up but I could see that he was mentally strong and told them; “no, as long as he is fighting, we will fight for him”. Ragazzo made a full recovery and became a fan favourite at Øvrevoll, where he often received a standing ovation after winning on big days. His best handicap mark was 97kg, higher than any sprinter in action thee days, and obviously making him one of the best Norwegian breds ever. GS
Comfortable Derby Mile win
Tambora Queen breaks her maiden in style
22 Aug 21: Tambora Queen picked the right day to make her first entrance to the winners' circle as she broke her maiden tag in Energima Derby Mile, a 3yo event worth 100,000 kroner to the winner. Stall RH's well bred filly was many an expert's choice in previews to this race and the only surprising aspect to her comfortable success was that she returned over 4-1 on the tote. Ridden by Jacob Johansen – who partnered her also when she ran sixth in the Derby Trial two and a half weeks ago – Tambora Queen proved far too good for the short priced favourite Yellow Submarine, a filly coming off a third place finish in the Norwegian 1,000 Guineas, where she was beaten by Iron Butterfly and Takeko. The Danish trained Azzaro finished third in the Energima Derby Mile. Tambora Queen travelled strongly all the way. She sat in third place going around the bend, while Yellow Submarine tried to make all. She kept on well in front but Tambora Queen cruised up to her and quickened effortlessly ahead just below the distance. From there on and in it was only a matter of 'how far' and the winning margin was in the end 5 lengths.
Takeko once again proved that she belongs in stakes company by running a game third to Ascot Brass in the Lanwades Stud Stakes (LR), contested over the same 1600-metres trip Tambora Queen won over later on the day.
General de Vega also turned up in fine form on the big day, though he had to settle for third place this time, beaten by Duca di Como and Could Be King in the Giant Sandman Polar Cup (LR) over 1370 metres. The 60,000 kroner he picked up here pushed General de Vega's seasonal earning up to 375,251 kroner. GS
Easy Saturday win
21 Aug 21: Seeyouincourt, ridden by Carlos Lopez, gave Annike's team a nice boost leading up to Derby day when winning the Severino Handicap on this fine Saturday card. He raced prominently throughout the 1600-metres trip, forged ahead with 200 metres to go and won very comfortably from Geist, with Machine Gun back in third place. Earlier on, Mestre dos Magos ran a game race for second in Norsk Forening For Fullblodsavls Løp, won by Macjack.
Strong septet ready for Derby day
Annike will send out seven runners on Norwegian Derby day and, according to the inestimable form expert Birger Christensen's previews and selections, four of them are amongst the more likely win contenders on the season's main racing feast. Winning on Derby day is never easy though, so we should not be heading into Sunday thinking that this will some sort of a cakewalk for Skoganstallen's representatives. That said, there's little doubt that this is quite a strong septet and it will be an interesting Sunday. The show begins at 12.30. Pick up your racing programme via this link and start studying the form.
Swedish Dream in the best race of course
Swedish Dream landed the odds in no uncertain manner when beating Simply Minds under top weight in a handicap event over 1600 metres last week and he steps back up to top class company in the Marit Sveaas Minneløp on Sunday, an international Group 3 contest over 1800 metres worth 700,000 kroner to the winner (race 7). Some may think that the Derby is the best race on the day but the Marit Sveaas is much better. This is a race that always attacts the cream of older horses in Scandinavia and it has an impressive roll of honor. Swedish Dream belongs in this division, no doubt about that. He had one of his finest days at the races when runner-up to Kick On in last year's edition of the Sveaas. Kick On, coming off a win in the Swedish Open Mile (LR) at Bro Park, will once more be hard to compete with of course – and the 2019 winner Square de Luynes is also in the field, set for his first start in 2021. Swedish Dream has excellent recent form, however, and he should not be underestimated. Set to break from stall 7, he gets Jacob Johansen on board.
General de Vega vs. Could Be King, round three
Annike will saddle two runners for the big sprint of the day, as Abolish and General de Vega both have a crack at the valuable Giant Sandman Polar Cup, a Listed event over 1370 metres (race 4). General de Vega produced his breakthrough performance when landing the prestigious Bro Park Vårsprint (LR) over 1200 metres in Sweden in May, and he confirmed that it was no fluke by running second, beaten just a neck by Could Be King, in the Zawawi Sprint Cup at Klampenborg earlier this month. Could Be King was beaten a length by General de Vega at Bro Park and he will be in opposition once more on Sunday. As of today, the score is 1-1 between these two fine sprinters and it's a fair bet that one of them will be in the winners' circle on Sunday. Abolish finished fourth in the Bro Park Vårsprint and he has since won a good handicap here at Øvrevoll Galopp. His regular partner Kaia S. Ingolfsland will ride Abolish again, and Jacob Johansen mantains his good relationship with General de Vega, who has stall one, with Abolish set to break two lanes further out. The winner of the Giant Sandman Polar Cup gets 250,000 kroner.
Noosa Prince goes for the Thon Oslofjord Handicap (race 3), a sprint over 1170 metres worth 55,900 kroner to the winner. The son of Kodiac drew stall nine in a field of twelve runners and he renews rivalry with City Code, who beat him by a length into third place when winning over this course and distance last week, but escapes a penalty for that win and is thus greatly favoured by the weights. Noosa Prince will again be ridden by Jacob Johansen on Sunday. The Swedish trained pair Martini (second) and Ambiance (fourth), as well as Herewegodandy (fifth) and London Rock (seventh) all also come out of the race City Code won. It will be interesting to see how the cards fall on this occasion. Note that three contenders for this race were in action at Gøteborg Galopp on Sunday. Backcountry, who won the Gøteborg Stora Pris, earning 125,000 kronor after pipping Everest Voice in a tight photo finish, looks the most interesting. Like City Code, he also escapes a penalty as he goes for his third straight win on Sunday. Irish Prosecutor finished sixth to Backcountry in Sweden, while Tootick ran fifth in the Super Sunday Stakes at Gøteborg, beaten 1 ½ lengths behind Cromer.
Takeko, who has gone from being a maiden to one of the best three-year-old fillies in training in the space of five runs, meets nine other fillies and mares in the Lanwades Stud Stakes (LR), run over 1600 metres as race 5 on the big day. Takeko was runner-up in the Norwegian 1,000 Guineas in June, went on to beat the 2,000 Guineas winner Like A King when taking a handicap in July, and she was fifth in a strong handicap won by Swedish Dream on August 12. Jacob Johansen, who has ridden Takeo in her two most recent races, takes the mount again. It's a tough assignment but the official handicapper has these eight of these ten runners within 7kg on current ratings. The top rated candidate, Nouvelle Lune (91kg), may be better on dirt than she is on turf and the Lanwades Stud Stakes looks quite an open affair on paper.
The Energima Derby Mile, a contest for horses looking for an alternative to running in the Derby, goes as race 9, and Tambora Queen will be part of this field. The daughter of Breeders' Cup winner Outstrip has yet to break her maiden, but she has run a couple of promising races in defeat (second to Willow It Is over 1370 metres and third to Seven Nation Army over 1800 metres) and she has enough talent to be competitive in this Derby Mile. Tambora Queen will be ridden by Jacob Johansen.
Possession, like Tambora Queen in search of his first win, will be in action in race 10, the contest preceding the Derby. The Hotel Bristol Handicap, run over the same 2400 metres as the classic, gets nine runners and Possession returns to the distance he ran so well over when he finished third to Smazing in June. Kaia Ingolfsland rode him then and she will be his partner also on Sunday, when Possession runs from 'out of the handicap' – in other words, he carries a bit more weight that the official handicap requires him to, 3kg to be precise. This means that he needs to improve again to be competitive but, as a lightly raced horse, that is not at all impossible.
Swedish Dream ready for Sveaas
Perfect ride - perfect prep
12 Aug 21: Grab the early lead riding a zestful runner, slow things down, stack your rivals up nicely behind while you are saving energy on the lead - it's a very efficient way to race. You know that, I know that, and rising star Kaia Ingolfsland most certainly knows it too. More importantly, she is a pilot well capable of executing such tactics. It helps to be on the best horse of course, in this case Swedish Dream, but what a ride she gave the old warrior as they combined to capture the Road To Mandalay Handicap over 1600 metres on the turf course. Full marks to both her and Swedish Dream, who enjoyed a perfect prep for the Marit Sveaas Minneløp (G3) on Derby day (August 22). He led just about every step of the way, and said 'oh, no, you do not' as the smart three-year-old Simply Minds headed him for a couple of strides 200 metres out. Swedish Dream rallied gamely to retake the lead and he won the race readily by half a length. For The Roses stayed on for third, doing well from well off the pace. How good is this form? Well, Simply Minds is no pushover, he was runner-up to White Heart in the Derby Trial last month and he filled second to Takeko back in May. Takeko was also in today's race though failed to fire. She had to settle for fifth on this occasion. Swedish Dream, winning his eighth race from 35 starts, did not make himself the Sveaas favourite with this run but he showed us that he is going into the big race in fine form and he must have a chance. He ran second in the Sveaas last year. Noosa Prince put up a sound effort to take third in the Red Colori Handicap over 1170 metres early on this Thursday card.
Three good performances
Abolish wins, Tambora Queen and Possession both placed
22 July: It was only a matter of time of course, one day Abolish – racing for the internationally renowned CJ Thoroughbreds – would win in Scandinavia. This was the day, as the ex-French performer ran out a game length and a half winner of the Giant Sandman Cup Sprint. Abolish has run several 'winning races' in the past and his consistency has made life a bit tough for this Juddmonte bred son of Sepoy. His handicap mark (86) is there for all to see, and for him to beat. He went off the 2-1 favourite for this 1170-metres contest and rider Kaia Ingolfsland gave him a patient ride. Abolish seemed to race a touch freely going down the back stretch but he settled gradually and he was racing with great zest negotiating the turn. Kaia held on to him for a while in the home stretch, then produced him with about 300 metres to the winning post. Abolish picked up well and he got to the lead 100 metres out. He ran on in good style to win the race quite snugly. Screwbox Calras held on to second place, a neck in front of Martini, who had the same margin to spare over the fourth placed London Rock. The stable's most recent winner has shown remarkable consistency. Abolish's results since he joined Annike: 6723322421.
Kaia Ingolfsland also partnered Annike's two other runners on the night, Tambora Queen and Possession, who both ran well to be placed. Tambora Queen was beaten a length into third place behind Seven Nation Army in a maiden race over 1800 metres after having raced well in touch with the leaders throughout. She ran on well at the finish and is certainly capable of winning a race in this class. Perhaps she would be better off with a stronger pace than what she got here.
Possession took part in the 13-runner Norsk Rikstoto Cup Stayer over 2400 metres. Turning for home, he looked most unlikely to earn any money at all, never mind get into the Trippel, but that's exactly what Possession did. Finishing fast from far back he got up for third place, beaten 2 ½ lengths by the winner, Smazing. He is on the right track now. GS
Beating 2,000 Guineas winner
Takeko wins Giant Sandman Cup
15 July 21: Takeko, who ran second in the Norwegian 1,000 Guineas, followed up with a win in the Giant Sandman Cup over 1600 metres on turf, where she not only beat the winner of the 2,000 Guineas but also proved far too good for older horses. This may have been a handicap though, in effect, Takeko was actually taking a step up in class here – and she is clearly one of the better three-year-olds in Scandinavia these days. Annike, with the help of Walter Buick, has once more proved that high class performers do not have to cost a fortune. Takeko was purchased for 12,000 guineas (about 150,000 kroner) at the Tattersalls December Sales and this win, worth 55,000 kroner, pushed her seasonal earnings to 155,000 kroner. Anything this daughter of Mehmas does from now on can be seen as a bonus. All being well with her, that bonus should be considerable, for Takeko just keeps on improving. This was only her fourth start, and second win, since she joined Annike's team.
Ridden by Jacob Johansen, Takeko captured the race by three parts of a length from Simply Minds, who held second by a neck from the staying-on Like a King. Like a King had won the Norwegian 2,000 Guineas on his previous outing, with Simply Minds a length behind him in fourth place. Like a King's winning time that day was just 1/10 sec. sharper than the time Takeko clocked as she was was runner-up in the fillies' classic.
Takeko was travelling noticeably well just off a strong pace in the Giant Sandman Cup, and she advanced to take charge approaching the 200-metres marker. Though 'take charge' may not be the right phrase, not quite that soon anyway, as five horses were all in with a chance at that stage. Takeko gradually drew off, and she won the race well, showing the same positive attitude we have seen from her in previous races. She ran third in a Dundalk maiden last October, and that race has now produced four subsequent winners of six races combined.
Annike said after the race that Takeko, owned by Ninja Racing, will be aimed at the Landwades Stud Stakes (LR) over this same course and distance on Derby day (22 August), “possibly with one run before that day”, according to the trainer. The Lanwades Stud is worth 150,000 kroner to the winner and has attracted 14 early entries; Ascot Brass, Bassoline, Buckybabe, Careless Whisper, Eesha My Flower, For The Roses, Freed From Desire, Nouvelle Lune, Queen Rouge, Rapidash, Sophie B, Takeko, Thunderry and Victiore Pisa. GS
A new month, new winners for Annike's team
We Got The Boss and Seeyouincourt is super form!
01 July 21: A perfect day at the races was complete as Seeyouincourt broke her maiden with a visually impressive win over older rivals in the Lisselan Handicap over 1750 metres on the dirt track. Alan Wallace was in the saddle.
The daughter of Juniper Tree travelled almost too well just off the pace in this event, and eased into the lead 300 metres from the winning post. She appeared to idle but still won by 3 lengths from Geist, who came from well off the pace.
Mudjimba set the pace in this 1750 metres long dirt race, while We Got The Boss was being held up at the back. He advanced going around the home turn, led with about 200 metres to go and won with authority.
1,000 Guineas contenders
Takeko, Tambora Queen up in class
23 June 21: Takeko, who made such a favourable impression when outclassing My French Dream over the classic trip just under two weeks ago, looks a strong contender for top spot when she steps up in class in Norsk 1,000 Guineas on Saturday. She will be joined by stable companion Tambora Queen, another improving young filly representing Annike in this important event - contested over 1600 metres on the turf course. Twelve runners are set to go to post. Takeko will once more be ridden by Per-Anders Gråberg, while Tambora Queen gets Kaia S. Ingolfsland in the saddle this time, having been partnered by Alan Wallace in her three starts so far this season. She has met Takeko once already but Tambora Queen missed the break completely on that occasion, and her recent runner-up effort behind Rocketman over 1370 metres puts her in a much better light.
Saturday is Oslo Cup day, and Øvrevoll Galopp is presenting an excellent menu with eight races. The Oslo Cup, an international Group 3 contest, gets eight runners, including last year's winner, Privilegiado. Norsk 2,000 Guineas has drawn a field of ten, with Smooth N Royal, an unbeaten visitor from Denmark, looking a most interesting challenger.
The racing feast kicks off with the Cafe Hygge Handicap, a really competitive race over 1600 metres. Swedish Dream (Jacob Johansen) and We Got The Boss (Alan Wallace) will be in the field. The latter coming off a strong third at Bro Park last time out, and Swedish Draem trying to turn the tables on Valence, who beat him by a length and a half when they met over 1800 metres here on June 3. Swedish Dream is now 2kg better off at the weights against the Swedish trained rival. GS
Get your programme for Saturday via this link.
Annike's fourth Vårsprint win
General de Vega in full command
13 June 2021: General de Vega, sporting the white and green silks of Väsby Häst AB and perfectly ridden by Jacob Johansen, broke through at the top level by landing the prestigious Bro Park Vårsprint (LR) in Sweden this afternoon. He thus became Annike's fourth winner of this important event. She has also saddled Ragazzo and dual winner Captain America with success in the 'Vårsprint'. In General de Vega, Annike appears to have found the perfect replacement for the stable's sorely missed champion Captain America. General de Vega came from off the pace and he proved a length too good for the race favourite, Could Be King, who had to settle for second best, half a length in front of Dardenne, who pipped CJ Thoroughbreds AB's ultra consistent runner Abolish by a nose in a fight for third spot. With Ramone taking fifth, this became an absolute clean sweep for the Norwegian raiders. General de Vega, who beat Abolish by half a length as they prepared for this contest at Øvrevoll nine days ago, returned almost 5-1 on the Tote, while Abolish was overlooked by the punters and went off at 22-1.
We Got The Boss, another performer that always gives his all, took third in the Bobbie Killicks Minnesløpning, beaten 2 lengths behind last year's Swedish 2,000 Guineas winner Everest Voice, trained by Wido Neuroth. Swedish Dream finished sixth in the Stockholm Stora Pris (G3), a race he was fourth in two years ago. With these results, Annike's strike rate in June is a healthy 29.4% winners to runners - pretty impressive, especially when we know that stable companions have been forced to take each other on a few times recently. GS
Swedish Dream, General de Vega,
Abolish and We Got The Boss off to Sweden
Top class Sunday menu at Bro Park
Super Sunday at Bro Park is certainly shaping up to be just that, as the Stockholms Stora Pris heads a programme where we will also enjoy Bro Park Vårsprint, Jockeyklubbens 2,000 Guineas, Svenskt 1,000 Guineas and Bobbie Killicks Minnesloepning - a race that gets We Got The Boss in the starting gate. Swedish Dream goes for 'Stockholm Stora', while Abolish and General de Vega are both set for the big sprint race on the day.
1,000 Guineas next
Takeko impressive in maiden breaker
10 June 2021: Takeko was the shortest priced favourite on this eight-race card but not many could have expected her to win the night's maiden event in the manner she did. Ninja Racing's filly, imported from England ahead of this season, absolutely bolted up under a confident Per-Ander Gråberg, beating My French Dream hard held by 2 1/2 lengths. She ran the 1600 metres in 1.39.7, exactly the same time clocked by Simply Minds as he took a good winners' race over the same distance half a an hour earlier. The ground was good, something that clearly suited the well actioned Takeko much better than the heavy ground she encountered on her seasonal debut. She advanced smoothly coming up by the stands' side rail at the finish and got to the lead 300 metres out, where she quickened right away. In a matter of strides, it was all over. Her stable companion Tambora Queen missed the break completely in the same race and was always trailing thereafter. She did make up some ground, however, and beat two home. Takeko's next start will be in the Norwegian 1,000 Guineas on June 26, a race Annike won with Unwanted Beauty two years ago.
Seeyouincourt created a favourable impression when third in the sprint maiden on the night, while Calcaterre (fourth) and Meste dos Magos (fifth) were both a bit below form in Norsk Forening For Fullblodsavls Løp, won by Pirlo. GS
Calcaterre, Mestre Dos Magos in feature
Homebred win machines to clash
08 June 2021: They have won 25 races and earned almost 2.5 million between them. On Thursday night Calcaterre, sporting the silks of Stall Vamos, and Mestre Dos Magos, racing for the equally famous Stall Isabel, meet in Norsk Forening For Fullblodsavl Løp, a contest over 1370 metres on the turf course that has attracted an evenly matched field of six runners. Mestre Dos Magos, sixth behind Mudjimba last week, will be ridden by Kaia Ingolfsland, while Calcaterre gets Willa Synøve Schou in the saddle. He is coming off a sixth place finish to high class sprinter Brian Ryan on his seasonal debut in May.
Our Boy John, Takeko and Possession - all three to be partnered by Per-Anders Gråberg, as well as Tambora Queen and Seeyouincourt, with Alan Wallace on board, will also be in action on this fine card.
Get the program via this link.
We are into June and the horses are running into form
Three winners, one runner-up on the night!
03 June 2021: Väsby Häst AB enjoyed a fine evening with a double at Øvrevoll Galopp, completed by General de Vega (above), as he ran out a game winner of the Hansinger Handicap over 1170 metres. Partnered by Jacob Johansen, he beat stable companion Abolish by half a length - giving Annike an excellent one-two in the sprint. Her four legged trainees are clearly running into very good form these days.
Mudjimba, ridden by Carlos Lopez, bounced back to form in the Holly Golightly Handicap over 1730 metres, beating Tatum readily by three parts of a length, with Hope And Glory in third place. We Got The Boss - who never runs a bad race - put up a tremendous fight in Hesteierforeningens Handicap, and shared the spoils with Face Of Energima as they ran a dead heat in this traditional contest. Swedish Dream, making his seasonal debut, ran a good second under top weight in a handicap over 1800 metres, and. A fine raceday for Skoganstallen's team! GS
Dead heat in Hesteierforeningens Handicap
Nora Hagelund Holm, on We Got The Boss, and Per-Anders Gråberg on Face Of Energima, put on a thrilling show in the valuable handicap, and in the end the judge could not separate the two.
Annike sends out nine runners
Swedish Dream returns to action
02 June 2021: Swedish Dream, getting his first run in 2021, heads a strong team of nine runners representing Annike Bye Hansen at Øvrevoll on Thursday evening. The seven-year-old son of Helmet has 7 wins and 1.194.721 kroner to his name. He is by far the most accomplished horse in the programme – and a hot contender for the Hovman Handicap, a turf event over 1800 metres set to go off as race five on an excellent card - with all eight races to be staged on the turf. Swedish Dream will come up against five rivals, getting Jacob Johansen on board. Johansen partnered him also when he ran such a fine race to finish second in last year's Marit Sveaas Minneløp (G3), also over 1800 metres on this turf course.
Three of his stable companions will clash in race three, Holly Golightly Handicap over 1730 metres. Mudjimba (Carlos Lopez) is ready for his second run of the campaign, while Mestre Dos Magos (Alan Wallace) and last year's impressive handicap climber Our Boy John (Jacob Johansen) will both me making a seasonal debut. A trio from Skoganstallen will also go to post for the sixth race, which is the first leg of Dagens Dobbel. The 1170 metres long Hansinger Handicap attracted Calcaterre (Elione Chaves), General de Vega (Jacob Johansen) and Abolish (Alan Wallace). This will be the second time this year they meet, as they all took part in a strong sprint won by Brian Ryan last week. Abolish, beaten just a length into second, did best of the three that day, while General de Vega was third, beaten a further half-length, and Calcaterre came home in sixth place. They meet on the same weight terms this week.
Last but by no means least, we will see We Got The Boss (Nora Hagelund Holm) and Noosa Prince (Elione Chaves) going for what looks a highly competitive renewal of Øvrevoll Hesteierforenings Handicap, a 1600-metres race Annike won with Minnie McGinn back in 2012. Noosa Prince and We Got The Boss were both given a prep run for this valuable contest when filling third and fifth respectively behind Kasai over the same distance in May. Kasai will once more be in opposition, as will his runner-up Ginmann be. GS
Abolish – consistency has its price
Imported from France ahead of the 2020 season, Abolish ran five times in Scandinavia last year – and produced solid form at three different venues. It almost beggars belief that he failed to win under Annike's management but the best horse does not always win in handicaps. Thoroughbreds rated as highly as on 85kg by the handicapper normally visit the winners' enclosure at least once through the campaign. Abolish was unlucky not to win last year and his consistency clearly had its price. When you keep on going close, time after time, you will not be dropped in the handicap list. Abolish is the type to keep up the good work as an older horse, however, and we can hope for success in 2021 with this horse. He ran a cracking good race when runner-up in Goteborg Stora Pris in Sweden in August, going down by just a neck to the smart filly Ramone, who carried 3kg less than Abolish. Accomplished horses like Match Maker, Shantou and Fiftyshadesfreed filled the places behind Abolish, making the form of the 1400-metres contest look particularly strong.
Abolish's next task was the Herbert Sachs Memorial over 1600 metres at Bro Park the following month, and he was once more game in defeat, finishing third behind Rapidash and Lush Lashes, beaten 2 lengths and a neck while giving weight to both of these rivals. His season was then rounded off with another third place finish back home at Øvrevoll in October. The competitive Advance Party Handicap, run over 1370 metres, was won by Sir Leo, with stable companions We Got the Boss and Abolish close up in second and third – and Abolish was once more the one who carried the highest weight of the principals. Abolish has been a sort of an 'in between horse'. The form he has shown is a few lengths below what is required to have crack at the Scandinavian elite, while it is so good that he will always end up with tough weights in strong handicap races. All of his 2021 starts came on turf, and he has proved effective from 1370 metres to 1600 metres.
A well bred Juddmonte gelding from the same family as champions Zafonic, Zamindar and Announce, Abolish joined Annike's team after being purchased on behalf of C J Thoroughbreds at the Tattersalls Sales in Newmarket in 2019. He had gained one win and been placed second or third four times in France that year, being successful in what looked a decent maiden heat over 1400 metres at Fontainebleau. Abolish progressed to take third twice when tried at the premier venues Saint-Cloud and Chantilly later on, both times tackling 1600 metres. His career record going into the new season stands at one win and seven placed efforts from just twelve starts to date. That's a healthy 66% top three record, and there should be more to come from this five-year-old. GS 140221
Calcaterre - age no hindrance
It is not at all unusual for sprinters to keep their form well as older horses. As we saw with our champion Captain America, age is no hindrance in this division. Calcaterre is another good example. Getting ready for this ten-year-old campaign, he is a tough, battle hardened fighter who recorded his 16th career win when landing the Giant Sandman Cup Sprint over 1170 metres on the turf at Øvrevoll last July. Ridden by Elione Chaves, Calcaterre produced a rock solid performance that day, pipping the smart filly Ramone while giving her 3kg. Backcountry finished third, with Martini filling fourth place. The win was worth 62.500 kroner. Calcaterre earned a bit more in the second half of the season and his career total now stands at 1.484.577 kroner. A look at his past two campaigns makes for interesting reading. He won twice in 2019 with 172.419 kroner in earnings and last year he actually picked up 181.698 kroner. Financially measured, he did slightly better at nine compared to when he was eight years old. Can he keep up the good work in 2021? Why not? Calcaterre continued to be competitive right to the end of the 2020 season, with three runner-up efforts in the autumn, including two such placings within a week in October / November, when he ran second in two valuable handicaps over 1100 metres on the dirt track, beaten by Shantou and Madi Banja.
Calcaterre, who won six times and was voted Handicapper of The Year back in 2017, stays further than pure sprint distances. One of his wins in 2019 came over 1600 metres. This versatility gives him options, which is obviously a big advantage when Annike picks his races. His consistency, on the other hand, means that Calcaterre will hardly ever be leniently treated in handicaps. His current handicap mark is 83kg, just 1kg lower than his end of season mark in 2019 and 3kg lower than his career high. Pretty remarkable for a horse with his sort of mileage on the clock.
Bred by Storfjord Stutteri, Calcaterre is a son of the well bred Juddmonte stallion Camacho out of the Desert Sun mare Chasing The Dream. Chasing The Dream won over 6 furlongs and a mile in Ireland. Her dam, Dream Of Jenny, was a fine broodmare who produced six winners, most notably Jack Dawson, who won 9 times (including twice in smart company over jumps) and Destinys Dream, a winner of 6 races. It's no big surprise to discover that Calcaterre comes from a family of strong and durable performers. With 53 top three finishes from 107 runs, he is a true credit to his trainer. GS 270221
General de Vega - lightly raced talent
General de Vega is a lightly raced four-year-old, formerly trained in Sweden, who was sent to Annike Bye Hansen's stable last year. He made just the one start at Øvrevoll, finishing a game third behind Backcountry and Match Maker in the highly competitive New Options Handicap in late July. Eight runners went to post for this turf contest, staged over 1370 metres on soft ground, and General de Vega was a slight favourite, taking a little bit more money than Match Maker, a winner over the same trip on his preceding start. Backcountry beat them both, however, coming home 1 ¼ lengths in front of Match Maker, with General de Vega a length further adrift. London Rock, a winner of four races in 2020, was almost four lengths behind him in fourth place. Backcountry franked the form by beating Dardenne in an Eliteløp two weeks later. The reason for General de Vega's subsequent absence from the races was that he underwent successful surgery to remove a bone chip in August.
Norwegian racing fans have yet to witness the absolute best of General de Vega. He had produced some taking performances previously, winning in a canter at Klampenborg in May after having been placed behind a black type runner at Meydan racecourse in Dubai during the winter.
We might as well deal with the Meydan race first; the Dubai Trophy (watch the race), a three-year-old conditions contest over 1200 metres on turf. It was won by one of the race favourites, Godolphin's Listed winner Platinum Star, who beat the 66-1 shot Hamama, while General de Vega was third at 14-1, passing the winning post 2 lengths behind the winner. Hamama was the big surprise but it's well worth noting that he ran third in a minor event at Jebel Ali next time out. Unfortunately, General de Vega became very ill afterwards, and he ended up in an equine hospital in Dubai, rather than in another race at Meydan. His previous trainer Lars Kelp later told galopsport.dk that General de Vega's illness had in fact been life threatening. His next outing came four months later, a visually impressive performance over 1400 metres at Klampenborg in May, when he beat Billy Byrnes comfortably by 2 ½ lengths.
General de Vega has two wins to date, from just five racecourse appearances. Back in 2019, the well bred son of Lope de Vega gained an easy 5-length win in a maiden race over 1200 metres on dirt at Bro Park, beating Never Think Twice in the style of a really talented runner. Dragonfly finished third on the day, beaten 12 lengths by General de Vega. He has had an interrupted career thus far, but what we have seen from him has mostly been positive, and General de Vega could well be a horse to follow in 2021. GS 070321
I Rest My Case - related to Al Buraq
I Rest My Case, a juvenile filly by Deceptor out of the Special Quest daughter Sweety, is bred to be good. Out of a mare that was fast and precocious, I Rest My Case comes from the same family as the highly successful handicapper Al Buraq. It will be interesting to see how she gets on when her racing career gets underway. Her sire Deceptor enjoyed success with a number of good runners, amongst them high earners like Vortex, Working Class Hero and Dickie Dickens.
Deceptor, a beautifully bred Darley product, ran just twice, winning a Doncaster maiden before finishing fifth in Listed company at Newbury – both these outings were made when he was a juvenile. He was a son of top class miler and excellent stallion Machiavellian out of Satin Flower, whose finest moment came with a win against colts in the Jersey Stakes (G3) at Royal Ascot. She went on to be a successful broodmare. Her best son, Lujain, was a top class juvenile who won the Middle Park Stakes (G1).
I Rest My Case's dam Sweety was a fast and precocious lady who enjoyed a fine career with five wins and 710.794 kroner in total earnings. She was an instant hit in her first season, as she won two of her five races at two, both of them were valuable events. Sweety made an impressive debut when proving much too good for her 14 rivals in Norsk Rikstotos Rekrutteringsløp over 1170 metres on turf. Her lack of experience was no problem and she captured the race easily by 3 lengths, chased home by Fredde and Rock The Boat. Sweety was made favourite for Skandinavisk Mesterskap for 2-åringer next time out, but she had to settle for fifth place in that event, staged over 1370 metres. Dropped back down to 1170 metres, she regained winning form in Norsk Rikstotos Oppdrettsløp, this time securing the prize by the narrowest of margins, getting her nose in front of Daydream Believer. Twelve others were stretched out behind these two rivals. Sweety's next two wins came on her first two starts as a three-year-old. She beat Rock The Boat in Norsk Rikstotos 3-Årsløp over 1100 metres on the dirt track, and followed up with a nice 6-length win in Forsommerløp For 3-Åringer, staged over 1170 metres on turf. Sweet as Candy ran second, while Daydream Believer filled third and Rock The Boat came home in fourth place. It was never going to be easy for Sweety to follow up on such good results as an older horse but she timed it well when gaining her fifth success. It happened in the Mini Cooper Sprint, a well paid minor event on dirt in Sweden. Out of Vista Hermosa, Sweety is a half-sister to win machine Al Buraq and Peer Gynt, both handled by Annike. GS 120321
Madame Krug - bred for speed
This two-year-old daughter of Intrinsic was purchased at the Tattersalls February Sale in Newmarket. Madame Krug's sire, a son of top class sprinter Oasis Dream out of Nell Gwyn Stakes winner Infallible, won the Stewards Cup at Glorious Goodwood – one of the most valuable sprint handicaps in England. That was one of Intrinsic's four wins from ten runs. Intrinsic has sired a handful of nice winners, including the speedy duo Intrinsic Bond and Topper Bill, both of whom have won three races and achieved handicap ratings in the mid 90's in England. Intrinsic Bond ran third on his seasonal debut at Redcar this April. Topper Bill is also still in training, having won two good sprint races at Meydan in Dubai early in the year.
Madame Krug's dam, Sun'aq, was trained by Sir Mark Prescott in Newmarket. A daughter of Kodiac, she was a very useful handicapper, winning three times and finishing second twice in a nine-race career. Sun'aq began her career perfectly with wins over 6 furlongs at Wolverhampton and Ffos Las in August of her juvenile season. Her third win came over 5 furlongs at Chelmsford the following year. Wolverhampton and Chelmsford both have an all-weather track (artificial surface), while Fos Las is racing on turf. Interestingly, Sun'aq was favourite for all of her three wins. Her dam, Zingeeyah (Singspiel) was a maiden but she is well known as the dam of ten-time winner Reckless Lad, who was successful at up to 10.5 furlongs. Nine of his wins were gained on the all-weather circuit. Further down in this pedigree we find a number of black type performers, most notably Shy Lady, a Listed winning mare who produced top class miler Zafeen and other smart performers. Madame Krug's closest relatives' results suggest that she will become a sprinter – though the family has also produced horses with some stamina. GS 140421
Mestre dos Magos, 54% top three
Mestre dos Magos was a winner also in 2020, having managed three visits to the winners' enclosure back in 2019. Representing Norwegian breeding, this tough and durable son of Academy Award has raced 74 times for 9 wins in his career – a career that will continue in 2021. Like Calcaterre, Mestre dos Magos is a runner that has been able to keep his form well with age. He is nine years old now and, with 909.107 kroner in earnings, Stall Isabel's pride and joy is within reach of becoming a millionaire this season.
He found winning form as early as on May 7 last year, when he gained a solid 2 1/2-length win in Court Circle Løp, a seven-runner contest over 1750 metres on the dirt track. Ridden by Alan Wallace, Mestre dos Magos went off 2-1 favourite and his market rival proved to be his closest rival also out on the course; Kildare, who went on to win Øvrevoll Hesteierforenings Handicap four weeks later, finished second without posing a serious threat, while The Kid was a well beaten third ahead of Erasmus.
Mestre dos Magos did not win again but he finished third in five of his eleven subsequent races in 2020, and it's well worth noting that he ran second Zahara on his seasonal debut. In other words, Mestre dos Magos was in the top three in seven of his 13 races last year, giving him an impressive 54% 'trippel' strike rate).These results spell it out; Mestre dos Magos is a game runner with plenty of appetite for the racing game. His third-placed efforts came behind Anachronist (1600 m / dirt), Two Times (1750 m / dirt), stable companion Mudjima (1750 m / dirt), and twice behind Buckybabe (1600 and 1750 m / dirt).
His three consecutive wins in 2019 came in August / September, when Mestre dos Magos was in excellent form. The win streak was completed as he captured a competitive handicap over 1750 metres on the dirt track. Ridden by Carlos Lopez, he was quite prominent throughout the contest, and he outstayed another prolific winner, Crossroad Blues, to take the race by a length. It was a fine performance, pushing his handicap mark up to 82kg. His career high is 83kg and Mestre dos Magos was dropped a bit by the handicapper towards the end of last season. His current handicap mark is 76kg, 4kg lower than the mark he won off last May. GS 180321
Mudjimba – one explosive performance
Mudjimba joined Annike's team last summer, after having won one of his four races while trained by Lars Kelp in Sweden, and he revealed his talent when successful at Øvrevoll Galopp in early October. The son of Kodiac captured the Zimoni Handicap by almost seven lengths - while also clocking what appeared to be a very good time for the 1750 metres over the dirt track. Mudjimba looked a progressive type on the day and there's every reason to hope that he can build on this form in 2021 – though he did disappoint next time out, when finishing fourth in similar company over 1600 metres, well beaten by the winner, Buckybabe. We Got the Boss and Mestre dos Magos filled second and third in the same contest. Mudjimba was so much better in his winning race. He broke perfectly, and jockey Maikel Narveaz Bravo sent him straight into a prominent role, chasing habitual front-runner Dickie Dickens. Mudjimba was travelling strongly just off the leader and he swooped past as they negotiated the home turn. Quickening right away, he opened up a clear lead and the result was never in doubt as he powered down the home straight. Mudjimba won by 6 3/4 lengths from Beau Nuage, a contender with good recent form behind winners like We Got The Boss, Our Boy John and Cockney Cracker.
Mudjima stopped the clocks in 1.50.5, while having more up his sleeve. It's well worth noting that Buffalo Soldier's time as he won over the same trip half an hour later was 1.54.2. The latter was 8kg below Mudjimba on the handicap list prior to this raceday so perhaps one should not read too much into these times. Then again, 3.7 seconds equals about 18-19 lengths, and, whichever way you look at it, Mudjimba has one explosive performance in the book as we are heading into the new season. He is a half-brother to three winners in England, including the smart filly Lilly Rules, who was second in the Musidora Stakes (G3) at York a few years ago - beaten only by Kirsten Rausing's subsequent Group One winner Madame Chiang. GS 260321
Noosa Prince – solid and versatile
A son of high profile stallion Kodiac from the family of a Breeders' Cup winner, Noosa Prince has already won six races in his career; four at Bro Park, one at Jägersro and one at Øvrevoll – where he was successful over 1600 metres in 2019. A new member on the team, he will be getting his first runs for Annike this season.
He broke his maiden racing over 1400 metres / dirt at Bro Park as a juvenile back in 2018, when he beat Approach by a neck in what developed into a two horse tussle at the finish. Lana Montana was 3 lengths further back in third place and the seven-runner field was strung out to the tune of almost fifteen lengths. This was Noosa Prince's second outing and he went off favourite. Two third placed efforts and an unplaced run in the valuable Vinterfavoriternas Pris (all on turf), were to follow before he found his way back to the winners' circle once more. It happened when he switched back to the dirt track, and it happened in some style. Noosa Prince was odds-on to beat three rivals over 1600 metres towards the end of the season, so the win was no big surprise, but he could hardly have been more impressive. Ridden by Shane Karlsson, he cruised home by 7 lengths from Romeo Bloom, with We Got the Boss back in third place. It was a nice way to wrap up a juvenile campaign that yielded two wins and two placings from six races.
Noosa Prince continued to do well at three. He beat the well known London Rock (who has 7 wins to date) easily by 3 ½ lengths in a three-year-old contest over 1600 metres / dirt at Jägersro in June 2019, and he was successful over the same distance at Bro Park in September, when he passed the winning post 3 lengths in front of another multiple winner, Bear Wells. A trip to Norway the following month proved lucrative. Noosa Prince lined up for Thon Hotel Oslofjord Sølvdivisjon, a hotly contested race over 1600 metres on turf. Horses that perform well with give underfoot on turf often take to the dirt, and the soft ground on the day probably suited Noosa Prince. His best previous form had come on dirt though he looked every bit as good on the lawn, and ran out a solid winner, beating Pirlo by 2 lengths, with We Got the Boss third home.
That Noosa Prince is efficient over different surfaces and courses was demonstrated once more when he captured a Guldhandicap over 1750 metres over a turf course described as good to firm at Bro Park in August last year. He was a comfortable 5-length winner, giving his runner-up Manassas no chance. Grimeford Lane was third and the Wido Neuroth trained visitor Delacroix filled fourth place. Manassas was coming off a win at the same level and went on to run second at the same level next time out, giving the form quite a strong look.
Although he has not been able to make the grade into stakes company, one has to say that Noosa Prince's record is quite impressive – and his versatility is a big plus. His dam, Something Magic (a daughter of high class dirt performer Proud Citizen), raced ten times without success in England. Her best runs came over 6 and 7 furlongs. Something Magic is a daughter of Comeback Queen, who was a Listed placed mile winner and became a useful broodmare. Her half-brother Donativum won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf for top UK trainer John Gosden. GS041021
Our Boy John's three wins in 2020
Photos: Roger Svalsrød / hesteguiden
Our Boy John - tough as nails
Our Boy John enjoyed an excellent campaign in 2020, winning three of his twelve races and running placed four times. Having a horse with such consistency and and appetite for the game is any racehorse owner's dream. Our Boy John certainly brought a lot of fun to his connections. His first success of the season was in a handicap over 1600 metres on turf in late July, when he overcame a far from ideal trip to get up for a narrow win over My Cup Of Tea, who beat Sonriente for second place. Stable companion Karen From Finance finished fourth. Just over three weeks later, on Norwegian Derby day, Our Boy John was once more in action over the same course and distance. The task looked quite a bit tougher on paper but he was more than up for it. Earning 51.800 kroner, Our Boy John won the Energima sponsored event by 2 ¾ lengths from Sunbreak, with Seraphine third and the race favourite Alsimsaam back in fourth.
Fast forward one month exactly, from Derby day on August 23 to September 23, and we find Our Boy John's third win as a six-year-old, and his eighth in total. Sticking to 1600 metres on the lawn, he beat Ocho Rios by a head. Hope And Glory was three parts of a length behind in third. Our Boy John had finished second to Sonriente on an outing in between these winning runs and he was clearly in great heart at the time. Like for his two previous wins, he was partnered by Jacob Johansen, who gets on well with Troy Durant's fine runner. Our Boy John improved steadily throughout last year. His handicap mark at the end of 2019 was 69kg and he has now been raised all the way up to 79kg. This means a much stiffer starting point as we head into a new season. Then again, Our Boy John is as tough as nails and a horse that takes his racing well. GS 100421
Possession - lightly raced
Possession, who moved across to Annike's stable after having raced twice for Niels Petersen last year, is a lightly raced four-year-old with potential to improve. He has has had just four starts to date, all at Øvrevoll in 2020. Possession was third to Raspberry Beret over 1980 metres last July and fifth to Macjack over 1730 metres the following month. Both these races were on turf.
He is a half-brother to Privilegiado, one of the best horses in Scandinavia in recent years. Privilegiado won the Norwegian Triple Crown in 2019, having been one of the best juveniles in Scandinavia the preceding year. He went on to win the Oslo Cup (G3) last season. Privilegiado is a son of Sea The Moon, while Possession is by the more speedy sire Iffraaj.
Iffraaj – who is a son of champion miler Zafonic – was a high class performer who did his best work over 6 and 7 furlongs, the distance he tackled when winning the Lennox Stakes (G2) at Glorious Goodwood and the Park Stakes (G2) at York as a five-year-old . Out of the Nureyev daughter Pastorale, Iffraaj has a world class pedigree and he has been very successful at stud, with Group 1 winners like Ribchester, Wootton Bassett, Rizeena, Chriselliam and Jungle Cat flying his flag. Possession's dam, Scarlett's Pride, won twice in France and once in Canada. She was successful over 1200 and 1400 metres at home, and she gained black type as runner-up in the Grosser Preis der Sparda Bank Hannover (LR) over 1200 metres in Germany. Scarlett's Pride's win in Canada came over 6.5 furlongs at Woodbine. She is also the dam of Libello (Archipenko), a strong stayer with eight wins to date. This is also the family of Whakilyric, an excellent mare who produced French Derby winner Hernando as well as Johann Quatz.
Seeyouincourt - from family of winners
Seeyouincourt, an unraced three-year-old filly bred by Christer Svanholm AB in Sweden, came to Annike's stable after being bought at the yearling sales at Bro Park in 2019. Seeyouincourt is by Juniper Tree (Galileo) out of the highly successful Fraam daughter Blusher (GB), who won 8 races in England and Sweden. Blusher developed into a serious runner in Scandinavia, blossoming after joining Claes Björling. Blusher began her career in England, where she was trained by Mick Channon and won over 7.5 furlongs at Beverley. That was useful form but Björling improved her no end in Sweden. He made her successful in the Amacitalöpning, Svelanadlöpning and Scania Sprint, and she was also placed 15 times, including when fourth in the Rosengårdlöpning. Her earnings grew to an impressive 750,164 SEK., and Blusher has done well also as a broodmare. She is the dam of the hardy runner Label, a gelded son of Layman who has 7 wins and and 30 placings on his cv.
Blusher's dam, Quickstyx (Night Shift), was a winner at three and she enjoyed an incredible run at stud, producing nine winners. Amongst them is Medievel, who won three times and ran second in the Prix Francois Boutin (LR) at Deauville. Another half-brother worth a mention is the Singspiel son Haymarket, who picked up five wins on the flat and also won over hurdles, while Blusher is also a half-sister to the useful mare Hairspray – a winner of four races and better known as the dam of Epsom Icon, who captured the Princess Elizabeth Stakes (G3) at the Epsom Derby meeting. Epsom Icon was also trained by Mick Channon. Digging a bit deeper in this pedigree, it's impossible not to notice the name Red Fort, a very smart performer who was a half-brother to Blusher's second dam. Red Fort won the prestigious Wolferton Stakes (LR) at Royal Ascot as a three-year-ld and he was later on placed twice in the Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap (G1) at Hollywood Park in California. He was also twice runner-up in the Inglewood Handicap (G3).
It is safe to say that Seeyouincourt comes from an international family full of winners, so she has a fair bit to live up to. Bred to possess a mix of speed and stamina, she is a fascinating thoroughbred. Her sire, the fashionably bred Juniper Tree, ran just three times while trained by Ireland's champion handler Aidan O'Brien. He thus never got the chance to give a return on his hefty 950,000 guineas yearling price, but his stallion career in Sweden has shown promise. His daughter Ascot Brass was one of the best juveniles in Scandinavia in 2019, earning 1.2 million kroner in her first season. Juniper Tree has also sired Powerpoint, a mare with 5 wins and over a million kroner in earnings. GS 290421
Swedish Dream - keeping top company
Swedish Dream, who won the 2019 edition of Arnfinn Lunds Minneløp (LR), was mixing it with the very best again in 2020, when he produced two excellent performances to be placed behind Kick On; finishing second to him in Marit Sveaas Minneløp (G3) over 1800 metres at Øvrevoll in August, and third to him in Arnfinn Lunds Minneløp (LR), run over 1600 metres in early October. Swedish Dream was the 'forgotten horse' in the 2020 Marit Sveaas Minneløp. Going off at 47-1, he reminded us all of his talent by being beaten just 1 ¾ lengths by Kick On, with Square de Luynes 1 ¼ lengths behind him in third placed and Privilegiado filling fourth spot. These horses are in the absolute elite in Scandinavia. Square de Luynes went on to win his second Stockholm Cup International (G3) next time out, while Kick On took Arnfinn Lunds Minneløp (LR) by a length from Valence, when Swedish Dream was 2 ½ lengths off the winner in third place.
Prior to these big races, Swedish Dream's season had got off to a good start with a win first time out, comfortably beating Backcountry under top weight in a handicap over 1600 metres in late May. Whether to use the word frustrating is appropriate or not, it does feel a bit that way to see such a classy horse finishing second or third in four of his seven runs during a campaign. Swedish Dream keeps himself in very good company, however, and he keeps on proving that he belongs in the most valuable events. His 2019 season yielded three wins from eight starts, with the 'Arnfinn Lund' success as the highlight. He blew any chance by getting upset in the preliminaries for the Marit Sveaas that year, but came back to reverse the form with top rivals in the Listed contest; beating Buddy Bob (who had filled second in the Sveaas), with Victor Kalejs third and Learn By Heart fourth. The latter had previously captured the Stockholm Stora Pris (G3), a race Swedish Dream finished fourth in.
This son of Helmet has compiled a really solid record and let's hope there's big win in him this season. Swedish Dream's dam, the Giant's Causeway daughter Demeanour, won Jockeyklubbens Avelsloepning (LR) and two other races in Sweden. She is also the dam of the good filly Moravia (Siyouni), a G3-placed winner in Ireland. Looking further back in this family, it's interesting to note Swedish Dream's third dam, the famous Dark Lomond, an Irish St. Leger (G1) winner trained by the legendary Vincent O'Brien.
Demeanour has two representative in Norway these days. Her promising three-year-old son My French Dream (Myboycharlie) is in training with Are Hyldmo. My French Dream was a good second on his third and final start as a juvenile. While he will be going for a maiden win as his next step forward, Swedish Dream will be embarking on a new season with handicap 91 and just over 1.1 million kroner in total earnings. His handicap mark is just 1kg lower than his career high. So obviously he must continue to compete with the best – as we know he can. GS 020521
Takeko - interesting young filly
Annike secured an interesting young filly at the 2020 Tattersalls December Sales as her agent Walter Buick got the final bid for Takeko on behalf of a racing partnership. Takeko, formerly trained by Henry de Bromhead in Ireland, she is a maiden but she has good form in the book - something her Irish handicap mark of 80 confirms. She ran third in maiden races over 6 furlongs at The Curragh and Dundalk. Her good run at The Curragh came in June, while the Dundalk performance happened in October. Takeko has run well when sent to the lead and when held up up, and she seems versatile. A well bred daughter of Mehmas, she is out of Ahd (Elusive Quality) - an unraced mare that has has also produced Hot Team (Zoffany), a smart gelding whose finest hour came when he captured the one-mile Grand Criterium de Bordreaux (LR) as a juvenile. He had previously won a 7-furlong Novice Stakes at Newbury. Takeko's second dam, Abby Boad (Danehill), was a fast 2yo filly for trainer Brian Meehan. Ridden by Frankie Dettori, Abby Road won the St. Hugh's Stakes (LR) at Newbury.
This is a family with a fair bit of speed, but it is also the family of Ballagh Rocks, a Grade 3 winning miler for top trainer Bill Mott in the USA. Ballagh Rocks has also finished second in the Maker's Mark Mile (G1) at Keeneland and third in the Fourstardave (G1) at Saratoga. He is still in training. With good results and a decent pedigree, it's reasonable to assume that Takeko will make her mark this year. For a start, she must be one of the best maidens in Scandinavia.
Tambora Queen - untapped potential
A half-sister to Nathless, a winning miler who ran third in the Norwegian 2,000 Guineas, Tambora Queen raced three times as a juvenile last year, when she was trained by Tina Smith. All of her races came on turf, while she shortened up in distance each time. After a third behind Zeraphine and Ravaillac over 1370 metres in July, Tambora Queen ran fourth to Zeraphine in the prestigious Eivind Eckbo Legats Vandrepokal over 1170 metres the following month. Likeable performers No Lie and Yellow Submarine filled second and third that day. Tambora Queen's final outing at two, a maiden event over 900 metres, saw her taking fourth place behind Noble Justice, who passed the winning post three lengths in front of her. Given her breeding, it was quite interesting that she displayed sufficient speed to be competitive over such a short distance. While Nathless is a son of top class middle distance performer Nathaniel, Tambora Queen is by Outstrip, who won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) over a sharp mile at Santa Anita Park.
Tambora Queen's dam, Dudley Queen (Excellent Art), never raced. She is well related though, being a sister to Lucy The Painter, a Listed placed winner of five races, and a half-sister to Harvest Queen (Spinning World), who won two Listed event and became the dam of Helene Happy Star, a high class performer in Hong Kong after being exported from England. Further down the page of this family we find the third dam Queen Helen, a Listed winner who was placed both in the Sun Chariot Stakes (G2) at Newmarket (now a G1 event) and the St. Simon Stakes (G3) at Newbury. Queen Helen was a half-sister to the top class stayer Sought Out, a mare that is best known as the dam of Epsom Derby (G1) winner North Light and Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (G1) winner Gamut. This is an excellent family. It has also produced top class performers like Golan and Tartan Bearer. GS 220421
We Got The Boss - keeps on delivering
We Got The Boss won twice at Øvrevoll in 2019 and he repeated the feat in 2020. Keeping busy through the season, he raced 12 times, won two races, finished runner-up four times and ran third once. This is the sort of consistency everyone connected with thoroughbred racehorses hope to experience. Every time We Got The Boss went to post one could expect a good effort. His first win of the season came when Ulrika Holmquist – who rode him to victory also in 2019 – guided We Got The Boss to a solid half-length win in a good handicap contest over 1600 metres / turf in June. Cockney Cracker, a winner on his subsequent outing, chased him home, while future stakes winner Match Maker finished third.
Match Maker gained revenge when meeting We Got The Boss again over 1370 metres over the same course a week and a half later. We Got The Boss ran another sound race though, to be beaten just 1 ½ lengths. Ulrika Holmquist was again in the saddle, as she was when We Got The Boss was ready for another visit to the winners' circle next time out. He was being stretched successfully out to 1800 metres, a distance that poses quite a test of stamina at Øvrevoll. Sent straight to the lead, the son of Street Boss was always travelling sweetly while controlling the pace, and he finished the race off in style to win by 1 ¾ lengths from C'est la Vie. It's quite unusual to see a horse going from a strong performance in a sprint to winning over this distance, and We Got The Boss is clearly versatile. Annike decided to try him over 2160 metres two weeks later but he had to settle for fifth place that day, passing the winning post five lengths behind the high class winner Master Bloom.
We Got The Boss came home in fifth place also on his subsequent start, before running four honest efforts in defeat in the autumn. He was third behind Valence and Swedish Dream in an Elitehandicap over 1600 metres on turf, then checked in second three times on the trot; half a length behind Wishformore over the same trip, a neck behind Sir Leo when dropped back down to 1370 metres on the turf, and finally he was second to Buckybabe over 1600 metres on the dirt track in late October, beaten a little over two lengths as the pair drew way clear of the rest of the field. We Got The Boss thus achieved these results in 2020: 574121553222.
He has certainly been a good friend of everyone who likes to get involved in 'Trippel' betting at Øvrevoll, and that was the case also back in 2019. His two wins that year were gained on Derby day in August, when he captured the valuable Nordpool Spa Handicap over 1600 metres / turf (beating Good Eye comfortably by 3 ¼ lengths), and in September, when he tackled the same distance again to beat Rue d'Argent by 2 lengths. GS040521
A small team flying high
Six of Annike's stars in historical Top 100
15 Jan 21: Renowned racing connoisseur Knut Trulsrud recently released a list of the Top 100 earners in races at Øvrevoll Galopp over the years. Bank Of Burden tops the list ahead of Appel Au Maitre. Representing big stables, these classy middle distance performers earned 3.6 million and 3.5 million kroner respectively on home soil. The list consists of unforgettable performers and as many as six of them represent Annike Bye Hansen. That's some achievement, by a trainer whose motto has always been 'quality before quantity'. Skogan Stallen is housing a small team, but it has been flying high on a regular basis. Ragazzo, one of the top earners among homebreds, sits neatly in 16th place on the list, while Calcaterre, Captain America, Majestic Max, Mestre dos Magos and Swedish Dream all also made it into this Top 100. Click this link to go to the complete ranking.
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Six-time winner transferred
Annike to train Väsby Häst's Noosa Prince
11 Dec 20: Väsby Häst AB, owners of Mudjimba, General de Vega and Murcia, have sent yet another interesting horse to Annike Bye Hansen's stable; the highly rated Noosa Prince, an Irish bred son of Kodiac with six wins to his name. Formerly trained by Lars Kelp at Bro Park, this talented gelding will meet the 2021 season on handicap mark 83 - one kilogram below his career best. The peaks of his 2020 form represented strong form, including an impressive 4 1/2-length win over 1750 metres / turf at Bro Park. That race was run on good to firm ground, while Noosa Prince encountered soft turf when successful over 1600 metres / turf at Øvrevoll back in 2019, when he also won twice at the same distance over dirt tracks in Sweden.
Please check back later for Noosa Prince's dedicated page.
Back to Sweden for big task
We Got the Boss runs at Bro Park
10 Nov 20: We Got the Boss is a thoroughbred that has been flying different flags, and he is truly an example of how international breeding and racing has become these days. Bred in the US, he began his career in Sweden, before he ended up with Annike Bye Hansen in Norway last year. That proved to be a good move, as the son of champion sprinter Street Boss soon climbed up to a new level under Annike's care. With two wins in 2019 and two more in 2020, he has been a success story for his aptly named owners, Champagnegaloppen. This coming Sunday, he will be back at Bro Park, where he raced in his younger days, to run in the valuable SGS Stockholm Høsthandicap, a really hot 15-runner affair over 2100 metres on the dirt track. We Got the Boss is coming off three straight second place finishes, most recently when partnered by Nora Hagelund Holm over 1600 metres at Øvrevoll Galopp in October. Nora will ride him again on Sunday and the combination has been put up as the second choice by Bro Park's form expert Ulf Zeider. Drawn in stall six, "the Boss" is clearly in with a chance.
UPDATE: Unfortunately, Bro Park's November 15 fixture had to be cancelled.
Girl power prevails on closing day
Al Buraq so strong, ninth career win
11 Nov 20: You can't keep a good girl down, never mind three - and when Al Buraq, Annike Bye Hansen and in-form apprentice Cornelia Hartsmar joined forces in the Elgar Handicap on Øvrevoll's closing day it became an unstoppable combination. Cornelia, who partnered two winners on the day, gave Al Buraq a confident ride. She placed the mare prominently, and advanced smoothly going down the back stretch. Al Buraq responded well to pressure through the home straight and she got to the lead 200 metres out, outstaying the pace setting favourite Macjack to beat him by a length. This was Al Buraq's ninth career win from 48 runs, she has also been second / third in seven of her races, and this result was a nice way for the stable to end the season - though 2020 isn't in the books quite yet. We Got the Boss travels to Bro Park on Sunday.
Al Buraq, Calcaterre, Mestre dos Magos all set for finale
Three of the sport's true cornerstones round out the season
10 Nov 20: Annike sends out three runners at Øvrevoll Galopp tomorrow, as the course will stage the last raceday of 2020. It has been a season that brought out the best in several players, as organisers, trainers, jockeys and owners have all worked hard to get through the fixture list without a single cancellation - an achievement in itself. Annike's three that take part before the curtain goes down are Al Buraq, Calcaterre and Mestre dos Magos.
Al Buraq, a winner of 9 races to date and crowned Handicapper of The Year in 2019, will be making her 14th start of the season as she meets seven rivals in the Elgar Handicap over 2400 metres. This fine daughter of Crocker Road will be ridden by Cornelia Hartsman. Al Buraq has won once in 2020 and the good news is that, although she could become an excellent broodmare, she stays in training for 2021. Calcaterre takes part in the Emilio Handicap over 1100 metres. He will be partnered by Willa Synøve Schou. She rode Calcaterre also in his two most recent starts, both resulting in runner-up efforts over this distance. Calcaterre's consistency is a joy, but also a bit of a burden, because his handicap mark (84) has become quite constant - and understandably so. A winner of 16 races, one this year (when he has been in the top three six times), he has six to beat on Wednesday. Mestre dos Magos, who has 9 wins to his name, takes up the challenge in Ecuador's Dream Handicap, a tricky contest over 1600 metres. He will get Nora Hagelund Holm in the saddle. Like Calcaterre and Al Buraq, Mestre dos Magos has done a good job this year, winning once and finishing second or third six times.
It is quite fitting that it is this trio that will round out the season for Annike. The 2020 campaign has been difficult, in many ways, and these three horses, reliable cornerstones, certainly represent the fighting spirit of the team at Skoganstallen. GS
Annike to saddle winners of 38 races
13 Oct 20: We are coming up a fascinating lunchtime fixture this week, with two prestigious stakes races headlining the Wednesday programme. Annike will be busy of course, sending out five runners who have won no fewer than 38 races between them. They will all go to post with a chance - though these contests are naturally competitive.
Last year's "Handicapper of the Year", Al Buraq, will run in the Major Chr. F. Michelets Memorial over 2830 metres on the turf course - the day's opening race. She won over 2400 metres / dirt in August and it will be interesting to see her stretching out. Calcaterre will take his chance in Fearloeyloepet, an 1800 metres event for Norwegian breds. Very few of those are more accomplished than he is. The Advance Party Handicap, over 1370 metres, gets three runners from Team Bye Hansen; Abolish, We Got the Boss and Our Boy John - who is in the mix for the Handicapper of the Year title in 2020. Don't miss it folks - this looks a fine day for racing.
Kodiac son star of the show
Mudjimba's impressive stroll
08 Oct 20: This Thursday fixture at Øvrevoll Galopp may have been an ordinary run of the mill card but there was nothing ordinary about Mudjima's performance in the Zimoni Handicap, a race he won by almost seven lengths - while also clocking what appeared to be a very good time for the 1750 metres over the dirt track. He had unseated his rider at the start last month but Mudjimba broke perfectly this time, and jockey Maikel Narveaz Bravo sent him straight into a prominent role, chasing habitual front-runner Dickie Dickens. Mudjimba was travelling strongly just off the leader and he swooped past as they negotiated the home turn. Quickening right away, he opened up a clear lead and the result was never in doubt as he powered down the home straight. He won by 6 3/4 lengths from Beau Nuage, a contender with good recent form behind winners like We Got The Boss, Our Boy John and Cockney Cracker. Annike was understandably full of praise in the winners' circle, and Mudjimba could be an exciting horse for the future. His far more experienced stable companion Mestre dos Magos did his bit for the team by taking third in the same race - on a night when Aconcagua also ran a good race to get second in a sprint handicap. With Swedish Dream once more confirming his class by finishing third in the Listed Arnfinn Lunds Minneløp on Sunday, this has been a good week for the stable.
Mudjima, a three-year-old gelding owned by Vasby Hast AB, was completing only his second race in Norway. He stopped the clocks in 1.50.5, while having more up his sleeve. How good he might become is anybody's guess but it's well worth noting that Buffalo Soldier's time as he won over the same trip half an hour later was 1.54.2. The latter was 8kg below Mudjimba on the handicap list prior to this race day so perhaps one should not read too much into these times. Then again, 3.7 seconds equals about 18-19 lengths, and Mudjimba was without doubt the star of the show this evening.
Mudjimba is a half-brother to three winners in England, including the smart filly Lilly Rules, who was second in the Musidora Stakes (G3) at York a few years ago - beaten only by Kirsten Rausing's subsequent Group One winner Madame Chiang. GS
Going for second 'Arnfinn Lunds' win
Swedish Dream gets seven rivals
30 Sep 20: Swedish Dream, who won the 2019 edition of Arnfinn Lunds Minneløp (LR) is set to defend his title this coming Sunday, when the 1600 metres long turf contest heads an excellent card presented by Øvrevoll Galopp. We can look forward to eight races, with high class events in various divisions, and Arnfinn Lunds Minneløp has drawn a strong field of eight. Swedish Dream, to be ridden by Jacob Johansen, drew stall one and should get a good trip from the inside berth. Edging ever closer to the same prize money he earned last season (when he picked up 342,466 kroner), Swedish Dream bounced back to his best when runner-up to Kick On in the Marit Sveaas Minneløp (G3) on Derby day. He meets Kick On again on Sunday. Annike will also be represented in Calcaterre in the Selmer Holding Sprint Handicap while win machines Our Boy John and We Got The Boss are both set for the Energima Mile Handicap. This Super Sunday begins at 12.00. Where will you be?
His third win this season
Our Boy John prevails in tight call
23 Sep 20: Our sport certainly has its highs and lows, and Team Bye Hansen experienced both extremes in the September Handicap on this Wednesday afternoon. While Our Boy John, one of the toughest handicappers in Scandinavia these days, prevailed in a very close finish to win from Ocho Rios, his stable companion Mujimba came riderless up the straight. Unfortunately, he unseated Nora Hagelund Holm as the stalls opened for the 1600 metres contest. The good news was that Nora was fine after the incident. She was actually back in the winners' circle after the following race, having had a more enjoyable ride on Topas Royal. That happened half an hour after Out Boy John's third win of the season had been celebrated. Ridden by Jacob Johansen, he travelled like a winner in fourth place going around the bend, advanced to grab the lead 200 metres out and kept on to beat Ocho Rios by a head. The two were on opposite sides of the course, with Our Boy John racing by the outside rail. His reward, 30,000 kroner, boosted his 2020 earnings to 173,375 kroner and his career total now stands at 635,932 kroner. Nice figures, for a horse Durant Racing Stables bought for just 3,500 guineas in England. Prolific winners don't have to cost a small fortune.
Lille My, in search of her first success of the year, produced a taking performance to finish second to odds-on favourite Eternal Flame in the Water Garden Handicap over 1100 metres. A somewhat sluggish start did not help Lille My's cause, but the winner was too good on the day in any case and Lille My finished by far the best of the rest. She's in good form at present.
Marquee Sunday in Sweden
Abolish to Herbert Sachs Memorial
15 Sep 20: Abolish, who ran such a big race in defeat when second in the Goteborg Stora Pris last month, will be on his travels again on Sunday - as he is set to take on eight rivals in the Herbert Sachs Memorial at Bro Park outside Stockholm. The Herbert Sachs is a traditional supporting even on the high profile Stockholm Cup International day, contested over 1600 metres on the turf course. Abolish, who will get a new rider in Oliver Wilson, was beaten just a neck by Ramone in Goteborg, while giving the winner 3 kg. It was a fine performance and local tipsters make CJ Thoroughbreds' French import their favourite on Sunday. Bro Park program
Handicapper of the year in 2019...
Al Buraq back where she belongs!
03 Sep 20: She won five times in 2019, when she was voted Handicapper of The Year, and Al Buraq was obviously not going to find things easy this season. She has been creeping gradually closer to the winners' circle though, and today she found he way - winning the last race on the card, the TANIEC Handicap over 2400 metres on the dirt track, a race she took gamely by a quarter of a length from Twisted, with Two Times well beaten back in third place. Jacob Johansen partnered Stall Jersey's incredibly versatile homebred mare, who went off favourite.
Our Boy John shines again and
Swedish Dream runs big race in defeat
23 Aug 20: Swedish Dream bounced right back to his very best, perhaps he even ran up to a level above what he has achieved previously, when running second to Kick On in the high quality Marit Sveaas Minneløp (G3) on Derby day 2020. He sweated up a bit before the big race but it could hardly have affected him too much. He performed with great credit and made the winner pull out all the stops at the business end of the 1800 metres long contest. Ridden by Jacob Johansen, Swedish Dream proved too good for high profile names like Square de Luynes and Privilegiado. One horse was even better than him but this really felt like 'half a win' for Stall Øvrevollkollen's incredible six-year-old. He is clearly back in form and the autumn weeks coming upp could be very interesting. His efforts on this annual racing feast was rewarded with 235.500 kroner.
Jacob Johansen has been a good team player for the stable on many an occasion, and earlier on the day he rode Our Boy John to a win in the Energima Løp, a tough 13-runner handicap over 1600 metres. Our Boy John was the only one capable of catching the longtime leader Sunbreak, and he ran out an authoritative winner, gaining his second success from eight starts so far this season. Seraphine came home in third place, while the Swedish trained favourite Alsimsaam was fourth past the winning post.
Unwanted Beauty also signalled a return to form, finishing well from off the pace to take third in Erik O Steen's Memorial, a race she was runner-up in last year.
Swedish Dream to Marit Sveaas Minneløp,
Possession to the Derby, as Annikes saddles five
16 Aug 20: Derby Day 2020 is just days away, and Øvrevoll Galopp present a really good ten-race card on the big day,. with highly competitive races in all divisions. Annike will send out five runners on the day. Swedish Dream goes for the Marit Sveaas Minneløp (G3), Possession steps up in class as he goes for the Derby, Unwanted Beauty is a contender for the Erik O. Steen's Memorial - a race she ran second in last year - while Our Boy John and Aconcagua will both run in the Energima Løp.
Karen From Finance flying the family flag
13 Aug 20: Karen From Finance, who is related to the ill-fated champion Captain America, gained an emotional win for everyone connected to Annike Bye Hansen's stable as she outbattled the favourite My Cup Of Tea to win Øvrevoll Hesteierforenings Hoppeløp over 1730 metres on the turf. Getting on top in the last few strides, she displayed some of the battling qualities we saw when Captain America was at his best. She is not in his league but this four-year-old daughter of Eishin Dunkirk certainly is a game performer. Stable companion Al Buraq, a winner of five races in 2019, added further joy by staying with great interest to finish third. She had Jacob Johansen on board, while Karen From Finance was ridden by Elione Chaves. This was Karen From Finance's second win in 2020 and she has earned 72.388 kroner so far this season.
Captain America has sadly left us
10 Aug 20: This is a sad week for Annike Bye Hansen, her entire team, and not least for owner / breeder Espen Ski, as we are all trying to come to terms with Captain America's passing after a race at Klampenborg on Sunday, when he lost his life due to complications caused by dehydration. He leaves fond memories and also a void that it will be extremely hard to fill - if not impossible. At the age of nine, he was Sprinter of The Year in Norway last season. Horses like him do not come around too often. Below is our presentation of this top class sprinter published leading up to the 2020 season.
Captain America - a true champion
11 Feb 20: Norway's Sprinter of The Year in 2019 is getting ready for another season, and it seems logical to assume he will be pointed to some of the same races he took part in last year. Captain America returned from an injury break to make his mark in the sprint division in 2019, and selecting him as Sprinter of The Year must have been an easy choice for the panel of experts.
The imposing son of Academy Award burst back onto the top stage when gaining an impressive off-the-pace win in the Zawawi Bro Park Vårsprint (LR) in Sweden in June. Winning the 1200-metres event going away at the finish, he was much too good for the likes of Riwaj, Brownie, Land's End and Sarookh. Captain America was coming off an eye catching third over 900 metres at Øvrevoll ten days earlier, beaten less than a length when trying to give 12kg to the in-form sprinter Story Minister. Captain America's season continued in fine style after the Bro Park Vårsprint, though Sarookh gained revenge on him when they ran first and second in the Challenge Stakes over 1400 metres two weeks later. Perhaps three tough races within the space of 24 days was his undoing, but Espen Ski's champion lost by just half a length and he was game in defeat. That was the case also when he went down by a length to Scandinavia's best miler, Duca di Como, in the Giant Sandman Polar Cup (G3) over 1370 metres at Øvrevoll in August. Finishing strongly, Captain America snatched second from the Group 3 winner Brian Ryan in the dying strides. Getting second in this race was as impressive as it was frustrating but there were weeks left of the big race season and more to look forward to. Just under a month later, Captain America was back at Bro Park, to contest the Clarion Sign Bro Park Sprint Championship (LR) over 1200 metres. For whatever reason, Brian Ryan was sent off the 2-1 favourite for the 13-runner affair, while Captain America looked much better value at 11-2. He was actually 22-1 when taking the Vårsprint, and seems to be a horse the betting public underestimates. Now, both these Norwegian trained contenders lost on the day, but Captain America's fourth place finish, 1 3/4 lengths behind the English trained Corinthia Knight, was a fine performance. Brian Ryan was unplaced. With one big sprint left in the calendar, the Norsk Jockeyklubs Sprintløp (LR) over 1170 metres back on home soil in early October, Annike freshened 'the Captain' up for another crack at Duca di Como. Brian Ryan was in the mix once more, as rain made the ground soft. The weather did not bother Captain America, who closed his season out with another big win. He took the race by a length from the surprise package of the race, Prime Red, who beat Duca di Como by the same margin for third. That Duca di Como went on to win the Peas And Carrotts Mile in Sweden a week later did the form no harm at all.
Captain America is now on handicap 92, as high as he has ever been through a career spanning 63 starts with 17 wins and 2.372.219 kroner in total earnings. (12 Feb 2020 / G Stabell)
Four runners at home and
Captain America off to Klampenborg
04 Aug 20: Annike's team is heading into an interesting second half of the week, as the stable will have four runners on home soil on Thursday evening, when Unwanted Beauty runs in the Lanwades Stud Stakes (LR), while Captain America travels to Klampenborg in Denmark on Sunday, when he will participate in the Zawawi Sprint Cup (LR), a race that has also attracted the Wido Neuroth trainer Brian Ryan. Elione Chaves has been booked for 'The Captain' and Jacob Johansen gets the leg-up on Unwanted Beauty. Three stable companions all go for a particularly strong sprint handicap on Thursday. It is a race that smells of "Derby day prepping" all over, with Abolish (Jacob Johansen), Swedish Dream (Carlos Lopez) and Calcaterre (Willa Synøve M. Schou) all coming out to stretch their legs.
Tiz not over till...
Our Boy John is past the post!
30 Jul 20: Anyone who backed Our Boy John, the favourite for the sixth race on this interesting Thursday card probably felt like losers for the best part of the contest while watching the 1600-metres handicap. Our Boy John was pulling hard going down the back straight, wasting precious energy - before settling better by the time the field turned for home. Then, as the chips were down, he came under serious pressure and appeared to be struggling. Perhaps he was, but he was nothing but game and as the leaders began to feel the heat, Our Boy John began to find his stride. He gradually wore them to down for a tenacious win from the Swedish trained raider My Cup Of Tea. Sonriente - with two recent wins at this venue - was a close third. This was Our Boy John's sixth career win and his first since joining Annike Bye Hansen ahead of the current season. He was ridden by Jacob Johansen, who certainly deserved his fee for the job.
New name on the training list
Possession joins Annike's team
28 Jul 20: Possession, a well bred three-year-old previously trained by Niels Petersen, has been bought by Champagnegaloppen and joined Annike's team at Skoganstallen. This half-brother to Triple Crown winner Privilegiado looks a really interesting recruit. The son of Iffraaj has had just two runs to date, and he was a promising third to Raspberry Beret in an eight-runner maiden over 1980 metres on the turf course earlier this month - beaten just a length. Possession's catalogue page, Arqana Sales 2018
Norwegian debuts for exciting names
Wraps come off Abolish and General de Vega
22 July 20: Norwegian racing fans will get to see two interesting new names in the programme on Thursday, as Abolish - an import with good, winning form in France last year - and General de Vega - who has impressed in Sweden and Dubai - getting their first run for Annike. They are both set for the New Options Handicap, to be contested over 1370 metres. Jacob Johansen has been booked for General de Vega and Abolish will have Elione Chaves on board.
Recent Bro Park winner Karen From Finance (again with Jacob Johansen as her partner), Lille My (Ulrika Holmquist) and Our Boy John (Dale Swift) all go for the Rikstoto Cup over 1600 metres - on what should be an interesting day for the stable.
Start to finish win over 1800 metres
We Got the Boss strikes again
16 July 20: Obliging for a second time this year, We Got The Boss stretched out to 1800 metres for a game, front-running, win under Ulrika Holmquist - who always rides him so well. We Got The Boss broke smartly to take command from the start. He raced with great zest throughout and ran on strongly when coming under pressure inside the final furlong to beat C'est la vie by 1 3/4 lengths. He has always shown great tactical speed but Annike now wonders how far this this four-year-old can go. "Perhaps he could stay even further?", the trainer commented, "remember, 1800 at this course is a tough distance". It is indeed, and We Got The Boss was not exactly tiring at the finish. He is a son of Champion US sprinter Street Boss, a stallion that has sired very smart winners at up to 1 1/4 miles, and We Got The Boss is out of the unraced mare We Got a Lemon, a daughter of Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Lemon Drop Kid, a stallion with a strong influence for stamina - and also a stallion who has given quite a few high class turf horses capable of winning big races over 10 and 12 furlongs. GS
Calcaterre - he knows where the line is!
09 Jul 20: We all know how tough and game he is - but even his main admirers must have been impressed as Calcaterre stuck his nose first across the winning line after a battle with the smart filly Ramone on this Thursday evening at Øvrevoll Galopp. This remarkable nine-year-old has now won 16 races from 97 runs. Not just that, he has also finished second 15 times and third 19 times, for a deeply impressive 51% top three strike rate - and he has amassed earnings of 1.398.979 kroner.
CALCATERRE'S 16 WINS
Runners-up in brackets
2020: 1170 m dirt (Ramone)
2019: 1600 m dirt (We Got The Boss)
2019: 1170 m dirt (Pirlo)
2018: 1100 m dirt (Tertian)
2017: 1170 m turf (Vallance Road)
2017: 1100 m dirt (Barny)
2017: 1170 m turf (Backcountry)
2017: 1100 m dirt (Rossmos Secret)
2017: 1370 m turf (Dickie Dickens)
2017: 1100 m dirt (Pretty Perfect)
2016: 1100 m dirt (Pretty Perfect)
2016: 1100 m dirt (Pretty Perfect)
2015: 900 m turf (Sir Silk)
2014: 1600 m turf (Pocket Aces)
2013: 1170 m turf (Skrik)
2013: 1170 m turf (The Sin)