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Webmaster & editor: Geir Stabell /

Øvrevoll Galopp  |  Programmes  |  Results  |  2023  I  2022   2021  |  2020 | 2019

Stabell talk...

Horse by horse guide - 31 pages

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

Annike talks 2023 with Tom W

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

Skoganstallen sweeps 5 awards

Leading role: Hard One To Please

Poster girl: I Rest My Case, of course!

28 Jan 22: The annual awards ceremony, when Norwegian thoroughbred racing celebrates last year's champions, became a night to remember for Annike's great team. Hard One To Please, a dead cert to grab the headlines once again, picked up no fewer than three awards; Horse of The Year, Three-year-old of The Year and Stayer of The Year, while I Rest My Case was handed the award as Best Homebred of The Year. To top it off Annike was handed the Achievement of The Year award. Five awards to our excellent stable. While I Rest My Case saw off a couple of lively challengers in her division, Hard One To Please was lengths clear in his categories – just like he was in his two impressive Derby winning performances.

Takeko (filly & mare division), as well as General de Vega and Youonlyliveonce (both the sprint division) were also nominated but had to settle for minor honours on the night. The ceremony and dinner was held at Thon Hotel Oslofjord i Sandvika on Saturday evening, with these winners announced; Hard One To Please (Horse of The Year, 3yo of The Year, Stayer of The Year), I Rest My Case (Norwegian bred), Master Zone (2yo of The Year), Could Be King (Sprinter), Duca di Como (Miler), Ascot Brass (Filly & Mare), Canmore (Handicapper). 

Hans Sköld and Annike Bye Hansen

Please go to the 2023 page for full coverage of our 2022 Awards success

Team I Rest My Case

Annike talks "Case"

Siri and Marina celebrating

1 horse, 1 trainer, 4 awards!

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

Djamila as a foal with her dam Dabiyla

Two new recruits

Interesting youngsters transferred

07 Jan 23: Two lightly raced three-year-old fillies have joined Annike's team; Djamila, formerly trained by Cathrine Erichsen, and Hwin, handled by Raphael Freire last year, are well bred, interesting newcomers at Skoganstallen. Djamila (Evasive) is a half-sister to champion homebred juvenile Purple Ace, while Hwin (Sir Lando) is a half-sister to I Rest My Case - one of our stars in 2022, when she became the top earner in Norway. These two fillies are both maidens, Hwin having raced twice and Djamila having raced just once. They will be presented in depth in the upcoming Stabell Notes series - in preparation for the 2023-season.

Hwin - well bred filly for sale

Five horses nominated

Horse of The Year Awards

The date is now set. Saturday, January 28 - that's when the excellent Horse of The Year awards dinner and ceremony will be held, and with some strong contenders in the mix we wouldn't like you to miss it. Five of the stable's 12 currently active 2022 runners have been nominated. Skoganstallen seems to be the stable of champions.

Hard One To Please

I Rest My Case



General de Vega

Hard One To Please, who must have a good chance of picking up the top award as Horse of The Year, has been nominated both in the 3yo and the stayers' division. I Rest My Case and Takeko are both nominated in the fillies & mares division, while the former is also nominated in the homebred division.   

General de Vega and Youonlyliveonce, like Hard One To Please sporting the famous Väsby Häst silks to success in 2022, have both been nominated in the sprint division.

All nominations - Norway's 2022 awards

Powerful looking son of Wentworth

15 Dec 22: Champagnegaloppen has secured a really interesting young colt by Wentworth - bought at the Scandinavian Open Yearling Sales in Denmark. His pedigree is strong, albeit it not glittering - and his sire is not all that well known, but take a close look at this colt. His appearance is that of a powerful, well balanced and thoroughly likeable individual. Plenty of those fail to make good runner though having a good conformation certainly helps, and I'd be surprised if this guy fails to make his presence felt at the races. 

His sire won the Betfred Mile Handicap at Goodwood as a three-year-old, when trained by Richard Hannon. He later joined Bettina Andersen in Denmark, where he captured Klampenborg's prestigious Pokalløb (LR) over 1800 metres. 

Run For Justice's dam, the High Chaparral daughter Rivers Run, won one of her five races when trained by Ralph Beckett in England, scoring in a 12-furlong maiden at Lingfield Park as a three-year-old. She is a half-sister to Pas de Secrets, winner of the Songline Classic (LR), runner-up in the Norwegian Derby and third in the Oslo Cup (G3) for trainer Wido Neuroth. Geir Stabell

Catalogue page Run For Justice  /  Pre auction Youtube video

Run For Justice at York Stutteri

Full brother to Good Fortune

15 Dec 22: Bred to be special, Left U Speechless - who will be joining Annike's team along with another youngster in Run For Justice next March - is a colt likely to get a lot of attention when his racing career gets underway. His brother Good Fortune won the Breeders' Trophy Classic as a three-year-old, when he beat Iron Butterfly, and he followed up with another valuable win when landing the Breeders' Trophy Mile as a four-year-old and opened his 2023 campaign by winning a valuable handicap at Meydan in Dubai. Good Fortune, who has 9 wins from 17 starts and total earnings of over 3.3 million kroner, is trained by Søren Jensen in Denmark, where Left U Speechless was bought by Väsby Häst at the Scandinavian Open Yearling Sales in September.

This well bred colt is a son of Scandinavian Champion Appel Au Maitre, who won 12 races, including Marit Sveaas Minneløp (G3), Stockholm Cup International (G3) - twice -, Stockholm Stora Pris (G3), the Swedish Derby (LR) and the Norwegian Derby.

Left U Speechless's dam Eko Palace Bay was unraced but quickly became a success at stud. She is also the dam of Aperola, a full sister to Good Fortune who won 8 races and was placed several times in stakes company. Her finest wins came in the Future Stars and Produce Stakes. (updated Jan 27)  

Geir Stabell

Catalogue page Left U Speechless 

Left U Speechless at stud

Annike on Derby day /

Stockholm Cup International / E Bjoerklund

I Rest My Case - top earner /

2022 season - facts and figures

Top earners, top strike rate, 

best average earnings

21 Nov 22: Annike Bye Hansen finished second in the trainers' standings, with 16 winners, 18 runners-up and 8 third place finishers from 75 starters. The stable generated total domestic earnings of NOK. 2,775,249. As many as 56% of all starters saddled by Annike finished in the first three and the stable's win strike rate was an impressive 21.3%, better than any other trainer with more than ten starters during the season. Average earnings per start, NOK 37,003, was also markedly the best return of all trainers with more than ten starters.

The stable's total Scandinavian earnings were close to 5.6 million.

I Rest My Case became the highest earning horse in Norway in 2022, with NOK 775,849 from eight runs. She just edged out her stable companion Hard One To Please on this list, as his domestic earnings were NOK 725,000 from four runs. Hard One To Please would probably get most votes if we decided to crown a Scandinavian Horse of The Year though, and perhaps it's about time to get those Scandinavian stats back up and running? With two easy Derby wins and a gutsy success in the Stockholm Cup International (G3), he earned NOK 2,812,764 all told – and he also became the highest earner in Sweden this year. His fellow Väsby Häst flag bearer Youonlyliveonce sits in tenth place on the list of top earners in Norway this year, with NOK. 322,600 from 11 starts that yielded 2 wins and six other top three efforts. GS

Top earners - Norway 2022

Top trainers - Norway 2022   Top five.  Please click table posters to enlarge.

Get complete list

All winners aged three and up rated 82 or higher

This year's winners from Skoganstallen

21 Nov 22: Annike Bye Hansen's winners in 2022, listed with highest handicap marks achieved this season in brackets. All of the stable's winners aged three or older achieved handicap marks of 82 kg or higher. 


Funinthesand Handicap – 17 November


Birkebeinern Handicap – 17 October


Sudost Handicap II – 2 October


Stockholm Cup International (G3) – 18 September


Norsk Mesterskap 2yo's – 15 September


Viviannas Dream Eliteløp – 8 September


Victoria Prada Handicap – 8 September


Norwegian Derby – 21 August

I REST MY CASE (82) 3yo

Drømemilen – 21 August


Sudust Handicap I – 21 August


Maiden race – 28 July

WE GOT THE BOSS (85) 6yo

None Shall Sleep Handicap – 21 July


Swedish Derby – 17 July

TAKEKO (87) 3yo

Margareta Wettermark's Minnesløpning – 17 July

I REST MY CASE (82) 3yo

E. Lyches Minneløp – 9 June


Heureux Handicap - 9 June


Eliteløp – 2 June


Maiden race – 2 June


Amolo Handicap – 21 April

Hard One To Please

I Rest My Case

Tambora Queen

Swedish Dream


Skoganstallen's 2022 winners ranked by best handicap marks, 

with number of runs, 1-2-3 placings and seasonal earnings

94 – HARD ONE TO PLEASE (6 st. 4-0-0)  2.812.765,-

93 – GENERAL DE VEGA (3 st. 1-1-0)  126.749,-

91 – SWEDISH DREAM (6 st. 1-1-0)  73.350,-

89 – YOUONLYLIVEONCE (13 st. 2-4-3)  347.417,-

87 – TAKEKO (7 st. 1-4-2)  548.478,-

86 – NOOSA PRINCE (9 st. 1-2-0)  91.900,-

85 – ADMIRAL DE VEGA (5 st. 3-0-2)  173.896,-

85 – WE GOT THE BOSS (12 st. 1-3-0)  144.400,-

83 – TAMBORA QUEEN (11 st. 2-1-2)  149.320,-

82 – I REST MY CASE (9 st. 2-3-1)  847.763,-

69 – TAKE A CHILL PILL 2yo (5 st. 1-0-1)  130.000,-

Average best handicap mark, winners aged three and up: 87kg

Closing day '22: Tambora Queen in top form.

Opening day '22: Tambora Queen in top form.

Final day - final winner

Tambora Queen wraps it up nicely

17 Nov 22: It would hardly be appropriate if the final raceday of the season had gone into the books without a winner from Skoganstallen, and that was never going to happen – of course it wasn't. Although, judged by how the punters saw it, that winner did come from a somewhat surprising stall.

Tambora Queen, who was making her eleventh start of the season, fought off a late challenge from Buckyboy (a winner of three races this term) for a very game half-length win in the Funinthesand Handicap over 1750 metres. Ridden by Jacob Johansen, Tambora Queen raced in fourth place early on, was forced to go three wide on the home turn, and delivered a sustained run coming down the home straight. She went by the longtime leader Hampus G with about 200 metres to go and ran on really well under pressure to win at just under 12-1. Tambora Queen gained her fourth career win and she has earned 358,805 kroner for her owners, Stall RH. Her handicap mark has now been raised back up to 83, which is her career best. She's not a high end stakes performer but she sure deserves full praise.

This was Annike's 16th winner at Øvrevoll this year, giving a nice 21% strike rate from 75 starters. As if by magic, Tambora Queen provided the stable's first success of the season when winning on opening day '22 and she also became the stable's last winner of the season on closing day, in what has been some campaign for Annike and her dedicated team. Tambora Queen appears to thrive in the autumn, by the way, she won on her last start in 2021 – when beating I Apple at good odds in late October.

Please check back for a seasonal facts and figures piece next week.

Yukochan continued her education in a juvenile maiden run over 1600 metres, finishing second, beaten only by the race favourite, Chadwick, who had previously run fourth in Norsk Kriterium and fifth in Vinterfavoriternas Pris at Bro Park. Yukochan fluffed the start was bounced around a little early doors. She was again running a bit erratically, though perhaps not through any fault of her own this time, and she was a well deserved, clear runner-up. This was another positive performance by the daughter of top class sprinter Acclamation. She will have learnt a lot from the outing. Reine des Mers, who had finished five lengths behind Yukochan over the same trip two weeks ago, snatched third place on the line. This looked a nice maiden heat likely to produce future winners. GS 

The 2022 season is over

Let's look forward to '23!

17 Nov 22: The season is over but work never stops at Skoganstallen, where next season is already very much in focus. Racing resumes on April 20, a Thursday evening fixture that will be the first of 31 racing dates at Øvrevoll in 2023. Pick up the full fixture list by clicking the poster on the right.

Carlos Lopez - rode Takeko in Sweden

Takeko a game third in 

Jockeyklubbens Avelslöpning

15 Nov 22: Back at the venue of her finest hour - success in the 'Wettermarks' on Swedish Derby day - Takeko ran yet another good race at Jägersro Galopp on Sunday. She fell three lengths short of entering the winners' circle this time, but her third place finish in Jockeyklubbens Avelslöpning was a nice way to round off what has been an excellent campaign for the daughter of Mehmas. This was a stamina test for her. Although 2400 metres is run around three turns, the distance takes some getting over this dirt track - and perhaps it was a bit too far for Takeko's liking. Restrained in last place early on, she tried hard coming down the home straight but could never get on terms with the two that beat her, Swedish Oaks winner Scarlett and Blue Gem. Only nine runners have earned more than Scarlett in Sweden this year. No prizes for guessing who is on the top of that list, by the way.

Youonlyliveonce accompanied Takeo to Sweden and he too ran with credit in defeat, finishing second to the front-running Plantstepsdream in the Handsome Hawk Open Handicap, run over 1600 metres. Youonlyliveonce raced too freely early on, when he failed to get cover sitting just off the leader, but he ran on with purpose at the finish and was beaten less than two lengths. Plantstepsdream is a tough performer with nine wins to his name, including one at Listed level. Nicolaj Stott rode Youonlyliveonce - while Takeko was ridden by Carlos Lopez. GS  

Still a maiden - but only just!

Yukochan runs big in defeat

6 Nov 22: Does Yukochan know that she didn't win today? Probably not. Making only her second start, she improved nicely on her runner-up effort first time out to lose by just half a head to the more experienced favourite Stripesof Stars, who was coming off a win over the turf course in September. Yukochan, ridden by Jacob Johansen, actually headed him marginally inside the final furlong, but he fought back and 'won the bob'. The photo could have gone either way. Yukochan raced a bit too freely early on in the 1600-metres dirt race, and she ran green also coming down the home straight. There was nothing wrong with her attitude though, she clearly wanted to be first past the post. Judged on this performance her day will come, no doubt about that. Takeko's half-sister may run once more this autumn - and she seems to be a runner to look forward in next season. 

Yukochan (2) just lost the bob in exciting race!

It's Breeders' Cup time - it's showtime!

The Breeders' Cup 2022 - Keeneland November 4 & 5

Download your official race programs via this link

French bred son of Postponed

Half brother to Swedish Dream to join the team

24 Oct 22: A half-brother to Swedish Dream, who retired the other week, will be part of Anniike's team in 2022. This French bred colt is a son of Postponed, a high class middle distance performer for trainer Roger Varian in Newmarket, who guided the son of Dubawi through an excellent career that included top level wins in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Juddmonte International Stakes and Sheema Classic. The dam, Demeanour, was a Listed winner in Sweden and she comes from the solid female line that also produced Irish St. Leger (G1) winner Dark Lomond, Dubai Gold Cup (G2) winner Chartres as well as Gothic Dream, runner-up in the Ribblesdale Stakes (G2) and third in the Irish Oaks (G1). 

PDF-catalogue page / Arqana Sales

Money Mission also to Skoganstallen

An interesting juvenile, Stall Mission's gelding Money Mission, is another new name on the training list at Skoganstallen. Previously trained by Tina Smith, this Irish bred son of Noble Mission has been placed second once from three starts this season. His sire is a brother to the world famous Frankel, while his dam, the lightly raced maiden winner Beckoning (Kodiac), is a granddaughter to Hellvellyn, who is best known as the dam of Fast and Furious, a smart turf performer in France and North America, where he was third in the Shoemaker Mile (G1). 

2201 c Postponed - Demeanour


Winning once is nice, twice truly delightful

20 Oct 22: There's nothing wrong with winning twice in a season, especially if your name is Youonlyliveonce! He has run some rock solid races against top flight performers, and this evening he gained his second win of the year by beating Monjazaat and Tambora Queen in the Birkebeinern Handicap, run over 1750 metres on the dirt track. Youonlyliveone earned 40,000 kroner for this empathic success, pushing his 2022-earnings to a healthy 324.060 kroner.

Yukochan made a promising debut in the juvenile maiden, finishing second to the hot favourite, Soulofchess. Another fine day at the races for "Team ABH".

Interesting newcomer on Thursday

Yukochan – you'll recognise her pedigree

18 Oct 22: This week's racing, set to take place on Thursday evening, will see four runners from Annike's team, We Got The Boss, Youonlyliveonce, Tambora Queen and Yukochan. The most interesting could be the latter, a well bred newcomer who runs in the the 2yo maiden over 1100 metres on the dirt track. Read her presentation from Stabell Talk '22, published at the beginning of the season;

Takeko will get a sibling amongst her training partners this year. A two-year-old filly named Yukochan, closely related to last year's runner-up in the Norwegian 1,000 Guineas, has been purchased in Ireland and is set to join Annike's team. Yukochan is out of Ahd, the dam of Takeko, and her sire is Acclamation, who is also the sire of Takeko's father, Mehmas. Mehmas has been dealt with under Takeko, but what was his father all about? Firstly, he was a really good, much better known, and above all immensely popular racehorse. He has been just as successful as stallion. Actually, that's not quite right, as it is safe to say that – good as it was – Acclamation's racing career can now be seen as notch below what he has achieved at stud.

Acclamation, who stands for €27,500 at Rathbarry Stud in Ireland, was a high class sprinter trained by small time handler Gerald Cottrell in England. He ran 16 times, won 6 races and amassed total earnings of £361,753 in a career spanning three seasons. He was bought for just £33,000 at the Doncaster Bloodstock Yearling Sales – an investment that proved to be very shrewd. The son of Royal Applause – another excellent speed merchant – made five starts as a juvenile, when he won a Sandown maiden on his second outing, then added to that success with a Novice Stakes win at Newbury and a far more valuable result when landing the £200,000 St Leger Yearling Stakes at Doncaster in the autumn. Ridden by Frankie Dettori, Acclamation took the race by 2 ½ lengths from Old Blue Yes, as he race favourite Captain Rio had to settle for third place. £151,800 of the big pot was thus credited his owners, Dulford Cavaliers. It was mission accomplished, no doubt, but there was more to come from this energetic runner – a lot more, though it would take some time before we saw what he was really capable of. >>>

Click on to read the full article


Stockholm Fillies & Mares Stakes: Takeko (9) finishing fast for second.

Strong runs in important events

I Rest My Case, Takeko placed in stakes

17 Oct 22: Just days after I Rest My Case ran such a good race to be placed in the Norwegian Oaks - where she was badly compromised by the slow pace - Takeko followed up with an strong runner-up effort in the Stockholm Cup Fillies & Mares Stakes at Bro Park. Finishing best of all after being waited with at the back, she lost the 2100-metres turf contest by just a neck, beaten by Go On Calras, whose rider, Nicolaj Stott, was handed a suspension for 'incorrect use of the whip' by the local Stewards. Takeko earned 82,500 kronor for this performance. Her stable companion Admiral de Vega was also in action at Bro Park on Sunday, having his first crack at stakes competition in the Mischa Kahn Memorial, run over 1600 metres on dirt, and he shaped well in third place behind Running Rolf and Chianti. Elione Chaves rode Admiral de Vega, while Jacon Johansen had the mount on Takeko.

Swedish Dream with part owner Ragnhild Gill and Annike after winning in 2019.

Ready for a new career

Swedish Dream retired

.10 Oct 22: Swedish Dream, one of the best horses in Scandinavia over the past three seasons, has been retired. He left Annike's stable last Saturday, and is embarking on a new career as a lead horse and teacher to young horses at Øien Gård. 

Stall Øvrevollkollen's stalvart turns nine January, when all thoroughbreds - regardless of foaling date - officially become a year older. He has had a remarkable career. A winner of one of his four starts in France before Walter Buick picked him out as a good prospect at the Tattersalls Sales in Newmarket, Swedish Dream won 9 of his 44 races and was placed second or third on 25 occasions. 34 times in the top three, from 44 runs - a record that speaks volumes for his racing attitude. His closing handicap mark is 90 kg, just 2 kg below his personal best - and his total earnings stopped at 1.4 million kroner. Read all articles about Swedish Dream, going back three seasons, on his dedicated page

359,849 kroner earned on Super Sunday

Noosa Prince back to winning form

I Rest My Case, Youonlyliveonce 

both very strong in stakes events

2 Oct 22: I Rest My Case came up short in the Breeders' Prize Classic, but only just, and what a race she ran - as she finished well after some traffic problems to take second, beaten just a length by Hear The Drums. Picking up a nice pay cheque, she contributed greatly to the team's daily earnings of 359,849 kroner. Annike thus consolidated her place as number two in the trainers' standings and, with a small stable like this, it has been a truly remarkable 2022. 

Noosa Prince, beautifully ridden by Willa, handled the soft ground really well and won the Sudost Handicap over 1600 metres, beating Mowaraaman comfortably by 2 1/.2 lengths, while Pirlo came home in third place. 

Youonlyliveonce, who is beginning to look like one of the most versatile performers around, ran a strong race to claim third place in the Arnfinn Lunds Minneløp (LR) and Take A Chill Pill did the same in the Black Moon Breeding Auksjonsløp


Upcoming racedays: Oct 6, 12 & 20.  Nov 6, 10 & 17

Noosa Prince much the best - and Willa knows it! / Photos:

I Rest My Case seeking revenge in Breeders' Prize Classic

Five runners on high class Sunday card

30 Sep 22: I Rest My Case, who ran sixth to Titannia in the Breeders' Trophy Classic at Bro Park three weeks ago, will try to get closer to the Danish Derby winner when they meet again in the Breeders' Prize Classic over 1980 metres at Øvrevoll on Sunday. This time with home court advantage, a longer distance, and hopefully a better start, Stall Ella's daughter of Deceptor will be seeking revenge, but Titannia is by no means the only horse to beat in this valuable contest. Giant Fortune, beaten just a nose by Titannia at Bro Park, is also in the mix - as is the successful gelding Hear The Drums. 13 horses are set to go to post, I Rest My Case drew well in stall seven and she will be reunited with Jacob Johansen. Jacob has also been booked for the exciting two-year-old filly Take A Chill Pill, going for the Black Moon Breeding Auksjonsløp, and for Youonlyliveonce - one of two runners for Annike in the Arnfinn Lunds Minneløp (LR), the other being Swedish Dream, who will be trying to win this prestigious event for a second time. Willa Synøve Schou partners up with Swedish Dream. She won on him three weeks ago. Willa also get the leg-up on Noosa Prince, as he runs in Sudost Handicap over 1600 metres. Noosa Prince is seeking his first win of the year. Interestingly, he won over this distance just over a year ago (with Willa on board), beating Kildare, one of his nine rivals on Sunday - when the first race is scheduled for 12.20.   Programme / Sunday October 2


Swedish Dream

Take A Chill Pill

I Rest My Case

Hard One To Please quickens sharply between Outbox (15) and Master Bloom to win the Stockholm Cup. Photo: Elina Björklund

Incredible finish to the Stockholm Cup

Hard One To Please wins big - again!

18 Sep 22: He looked beaten approaching the home bend, when he lost some ground, then got back into a rhythm that seemed positive enough to bring him back up to get some prize money. Turning for home he definitely looked like he was facing an impossible task - and that was the case also with just 200 metres to run. After  such a troubled trip, Hard One To Please had too much ground to make up. Or so we all thought - until he found the right gaps and kicked in with a serious finish close home that brought him up for a narrow, well deserved and impressive win. The Stockholm Cup International (G3) became Hard One To Please's third top class success. The Swedish Derby, Norwegian Derby and Stockholm Cup treble is truly unique and this horse is special - no doubt about that. 

Jockey Pat Cosgrave after the race; "We had a smooth start, but found trouble in running,  we got stopped turning for home, and the horse got me out of trouble - if he had been beaten it would have been my fault. With a clean run he would have won by two or three lengths. He is a very good horse - I hope I can come back and ride him again next year." 

This result confirms that Hard One To Please is a high class performer. Runner-up Outbox was second in this race also last year, when he went on to win the Amir Trophy (LR) in Doha, and he was now coming off a good third in the Geoffrey Freer Stakes (G3) at Newbury, behind Zechariah - a very good stayer who had been  beaten just a nose by this year's St. Leger (G1) winner Elgar Eldarov in the Queen's Vase (G2) at Royal Ascot. 

Takeko game third in Lanwades Stud

Takeko, incredibly also suffering from trouble in running at Bro Park this Sunday, ran a great race to finish third behind the hot favourite Ascot Brass and Silent Night in the Lanwades Stud Stakes (LR). She came from off the pace, got stopped twice in the straight, still stuck her head out and got up for third in the dying strides.   Geir Stabell

Stockholm Cup International winner!

Photos: Elina Björklund

Hard One To Please simply the best - at home and abroad

Norwegian Derby

1 Hard One To Please

2 Sea Lodge 3 Pas de Faux

Stockholm Cup International

1 Hard One To Please

2 Outbox 3 Master Bloom

Take A Chill Pill taking a pull close home. Photo:

Stakes winner on her second start

Take A Chill Pill Norsk mester!

15 Sep 22: Take A Chill Pill, confidently ridden by Willa Synøve Schou, went straight to the lead and was in full control throughout in Norsk Mesterskap for 2-åringer, run over 1170 metres over a good turf course on this Thursday evening. The daughter of Evasive, bred by Inger Skrede and Knut O Arnesen, gave Väsby Häst AB yet another big race win as she cruised home 1 1/4 lengths in front of the race favourite Sid Game, who was 1 1/2 lengths in front of Flower Power. This was Take A Chill Pill's second start. She turned the tables on Sid Game, who was the winner when she finished sixth on her debut in July. She clearly has speed but let's not forget that this filly is out of Perfect Spy, a well bred daughter of top class middle distance performer Nathaniel. Her second dam, Heavenly Whisper (Halling), showed high class form over 8 and 10 furlongs in England and there must be a good chance that this NM-winner will stay further in due course. Her next start will probably be in the Black Moon Breeding Auksjonsløp over 1370 metres on October 2. 

Read more about take A Chill Pill's pedigree on her dedicated web page. GS

Norsk Mesterskap on Thursday

Take A Chill Pill and Tambora Queen in action

14 Sep 22: Norsk Mesterskap this week folks, with valuable events for homebred 2-year-olds and 3-year-olds. Take A Chill Pill, a daughter of Evasive, goes for the juvenile contest, while the stable is not represented in the 3yo event, but Annike will also saddle Tambora Queen for a good handicap on this Thursday fixture. Willa Synøve Schou will ride both these  fillies. 

Annike is currently a close second in the trainers' standings. 2.097.500 kroner earned from 54 starters gives an impressive average per start of 38.842 kroner - far superior to any other trainer. Wido Neuroth is second best, with an average of 29.900 kr., Niels Petersen follows next with 18.999 kr., ahead of Tobias Hellgren, whose runners average 15.032 kr. per start to date.  GS

Tambora Queen

Pat Cosgrave /

Hard One To Please gets big test

Cosgrave booked for Stockholm Cup ride

12 Sep 22: The Stockholm Cup International (G3), with a full field of 15 runners, will be some test for dual Derby winner Hard One To Please. "Scandinavia's Arc" - the highlight of an excellent card at Bro Park on Sunday - means a first run against older horses for Hard One To Please, and it will also be his third big race over a third course. Dirt racing in Malmoe, turf racing over the undulating Øvrevoll course and at the flat oval at Bro Park, well, those are three very different tasks. It's rare that a horse produces his best form over all three of these courses. Then again, Hard One To Please appears to be a rare horse, and perhaps he is up to it. 

Pat Cosgrave, who has won the race twice in the past, has been booked to ride. A top jockey is obviously an advantage and stall 11 looks a good position to start from. The likely favourite, Germany's Virginia Storm, will break from stall 12, while Oslo Cup (LR) winner Quebello was handed stall 14 at the draw. One lane further out, in the widest stall, we find the English raider Outbox, who will be ridden by Hollie Doyle - one of the world's best female riders. She partnered Outbox to a good second in this event last year. Doyle is enjoying an incredible season, with wins in the Prix de Diane / French Oaks (G1) and Nassau Stakes (G1) on Nashwa as the high points - in a campaign that has  brought her 136 wins so far in England. 

Pat Cosgrave will also ride Takeko and Youonlyliveonce. The latter meets nine rivals in the Bro Park Sprint Championship (LR), while Takeko goes for the Lanwades Stud Stakes (LR), a race she finished fourth in last year. She will be renewing rivalry with Ascot Brass, who beat her when they ran first and second for Norway in the Bloomers' Vase (LR) at Bro Park in June. GS

Stocholm Cup International website

'Admiral' and 'Dream' both on fire

Nice Thursday double

08 Sep 22: It will happen, rest assured - a raceday without a win for Annike's team is bound to be a fact - though the form her horses are in right now it does not seem likely to happen anytime soon. It's been a remarkable season, with dream results from this small, but high quality stable. Undoubtedly one of the best in Scandinavia. This Thursday fixture produced another double, as Swedish Dream regained winning form by beating the Marit Sveaas (G3) runner-up Simply Minds over 1600 metres, and three-year-old Admiral de Vega followed up on his facile win on Derby day. He beat the in-form Herwegodandy (another Derby day winner) in a canter - and this son of Lope de Vega is looking better all the time.  Geir Stabell

I Rest My Case to Breeders' Trophy Classic

Stall Ella's wonderful filly I Rest My Case - who enjoyed a stroll on Derby day - will get a class test when she runs in the Breeders' Trophy Classic at Bro Park on Sunday. Set for her first start away from home, she will meet 14 rivals over 1750 metres. The likely favourites are Danish Derby winner Titannia and Hear The Drums. Sandro De Pavia has been booked for I Rest My Case, who drew stall seven for the 2.4 million kronor contest.    Bro Park racecard

Annike in the winners' circle - "home from home" - with Admiral de Vega.

Swedish Dream (left) taking charge. Photos:

I Rest My Case cantering home.

"Team I Rest My Case" celebrating.

I Rest My Case delivers in style

21 Aug 22: She ran a good second in the Derby Trial, performing really well over 2160 metres, and on Derby day I Rest My Case dropped down in distance, to 1600 metres in the valuable Drømmemilen. It was also a drop down in class, and the daughter of Deceptor was the day's biggest favourite. She did not disappoint - running like an odds-on shot should, she trounced her ten rivals to win by 15 1/4 lengths under Jacob Johansen. Here's a future racing quiz question to keep in the notebook; "Which trainer saddled two big race winners on a Derby day, that won their races with a combined 29 1/4 lengths?" 

I Rest My Case was gaining her fourth win from ten starts and, although this form is difficult to assess, it's fair to assume that this homebred filly is improving still. She was chased home by No Compromise, incidentally also coming out of the Derby Trial - a race won by Pas de Faux, who finished third in the Derby. 

This win was worth 312.000 kroner and I Rest My Case has now earned 656.100 kroner. Her next task is the Breeders' Trophy at Bro Park next month.

Doing a "Hard One To Please" - way clear.

Beat older horses on Derby day

Admiral de Vega takes next step up

21 Aug 22: Admiral de Vega contributed to a memorable Derby Day '22 by winning the Sudost Handicap, a 1600 metres contest where he was facing older horses in only his third career start. He justified favouritism by a nose verdict over Let's Go Crazy over this distance in July, and he moved up considerably here, beating the in-form Harrier Hawk easily by 2 1/4 lengths. Jacob Johansen, wisely booked for all of Annike's runners on the big day, enjoyed another easy ride. Harrier Hawk has won three races this season and he had won his last two going into the Sudost, while the third placed horse, Close To Perfection, is a runner who had showed good form when third behind We Got The Boss and Tambora Queen in July. Admiral de Vega is going the right way, no doubt about that. 

Results, Derby Day 2022

Admiral de Vega beats Harrier Hawk. /

Takeko, Youonlyliveonce 

with game efforts in defeat

21 Aug 22: Takeko proved once more that she is one of the best fillies in Scandinavia by running second, beaten just three parts of a length by the race favourite, Iron Butterfly, in the Lanwades Stud Stakes (LR) on Derby day. 

Youonlyliveonce, stepping in as a very useful sub for his absent stable companion General de Vega, was a 22-1 outsider in the Giant Sandman Polar Cup (LR) - and outran his odds to finish second, beaten only by Could Be King. 

Annike talks Derby with Birger Christensen

From outsider to leading contender

17 Aug 22: Øvrevoll Galopp's senior writer Birger Christensen's feature on Annike, where she reflects on her life in racing, how she feels that 'the horses should always get most of the attention' and looks forward to Derby day, when her contender Hard One To Please - who won the Swedish Derby as a massive longshot -  will be one of the favourites.

Click on to the article.

Norsk Derby gets 15 runners

Hard One To Please going for classic double

15 Aug 22: Hard  One To Please, who is set to start from stall five, goes for a Derby double on Sunday. Having outclassed his rivals on dirt in Sweden, he switches back to turf - in what promises to be an excellent classic. The Norwegian Derby drew a full field of 15 and Hard One To Please's toughest rival may be Pas De Faucx, who won the Derby Trial from I Rest My Case. She goes for Drømmemilen, rather than the Derby, while Swedish Dream goes for the valuable Marit Sveaas Minneløp (G3) and Takeko will be aiming for another stakes win in the Lanwades Stud Stakes (LR). Youonlyliveonce steps up in class as he has a crack at the Giant Sandman Polar Cup (LR) and Admiral De Vega will also be in action on the big day, in the competitive Sudost Handicap. Jacob Johansen rides all of our six horses. 

Derby Day racecard download

Hard One To Please going for classic double

Seven projected runners on Derby day

07 Aug 22: The countdown to Derby day 2022 is gathering pace and, with just two weeks to go, Annike has seven horses on her list of projected runners on August 21. This list is headed - of course - by the impressive Swedish Derby winner Hard One To Please, whose form was given a massive boost when Steinar, the horse he beat with ease at Jägersro, outclassed his rival in the Hurricanelöpning a week ago. The smart filly I Rest My Case, runner-up in the Derby Trial, is also under consideration for the Derby, "but a decision has not been made yet, she has an alternative in the supporting mile race (Drømmemilen) on the day", Annike says. She has two contenders for the Polar Cup where General de Vega should be one of the favourites. He came back a sick horse after his flop on dirt in Sweden (making us none the wiser about his feelings about dirt racing these days). Youonlyliveonce is also being aimed at the valuable sprint, while Swedish Dream - who shaped well in his prep race on Wednesday - takes yet another shot at the Marit Sveaas Minneløp. Takeo will be one of the top contenders for the Lanwades Stud Stakes and Admiral de Vega is likely to meet older horses in a handicap over 1600 metres. 

Derby day entry lists

Norsk Derby 1939

Read more about the history of Norsk Derby - first staged in 1930, when it was run at Bjerke Travbane - on Øvrevoll's website

Broke his maiden on second start

Admiral de Vega off the mark

28 July 22: Admiral de Vega, ridden by Jacob Johansen broke his maiden at the second time of asking on this nice summer evening - providing yet another winner for one of the most in-form stables in Scandinavia. 

Racing over 1600 metres on turf, he was a bit hesitant from the start but soon travelled well - a little bit too well actually, as he raced freely throughout the contest. He was fourth coming into the straight, and worked his way easily up to take the lead 200 metres from the winning post. Let's Go Crazy threw down a persitent challenge and there was only a head in it as they flashed past the winning post - though Admiral de Vega was always in control. He seemed to idle a bit in front and he has more learning to do, that's for sure. Once he settles, and understands more of what is required when you carry a number cloth, he could be a smart horse indeed. This form looks interesting. Let's Go Crazy and Trent, third home here, had run second and third in the Norwegian 2,000 Guineas - behind Hotline Bling, who was a good fifth to German star Rocchigiani in the Thoroughbred Stakes (G3) at Goodwood this week. That winner had previously run fifth in the prestigious Jersey Stakes (G2) at Royal Ascot. Admiral de Vega is a long way off Royal Ascot form of course, but it's nice to see formlines connecting our horsess to the cream of Europe giving positive signals. Comparing Admiral de Vega's run to the 4yo handicapper Harrier Hawk, who won over the same trip half an hour earlier, also augurs well. Admiral de Vega covered the 1600 metres 1.4 seconds faster than Harrier Hawk. That equals about seven lengths.

Youonlyliveonce ran a game race to finish second behind the in form Astron, who won for a third straight time, in the Giant Sandman Cup, while juvenile filly Take A Chill Pill went off favourite for the opening maiden event, though had to settle for fourth place behind Sid Game after showing good early speed before tiring late. She was not given a hard race. It was a promising debut run by the daughter of Evasive out of Perfect Spy (Nathaniel), a half-sister to River Tiber - a very useful turf miler who won at Ascot and Nad Al Sheba at four and five, having won a maiden for Aidan O'Brien in Ireland at three.  GS

Admiral de Vega (6) holding on gamely /

Guineas placed rivals outpointed

Admiral de Vega going down /

Take A Chill Pill /

Top 5 Racehorse Trainers, Sweden per 25 July 2022

Annike flying high in Sweden - third in the trainers' standings - from just a few runners.

Excellent 1-2 at Øvrevoll

'The Boss' gets new fan club members 

- representing a seriously talented team!

21 July 22: With Stabæk Fotball's ladies team ringside, We Got The Boss charmed them all on this Thursday fixture. He knows when to shine, this handsome and genuine six-year-old, something we learnt when he won his first race on Norwegian soil - on Derby day in 2019. This time he beat his stable companion Tambora Queen, in an excellent one-two for Annike's red-hot team. Back home just days after her famous big race double in Sweden, Annike enjoyed a nice 'bread and butter evening' - as this was the stable's sixth winner at Øvrevoll this year. That's from 34 runners, of which six have finished second and two have finished third. That's a sneaky good stat; 45% of all local runners from our stable have finished in the top three. We Got The Boss, who gained his eighth career win in the None Shall Sleep Handicap, has done so on three of his six outings this term. There could be more to come!

We Got The Boss - admired by top class footballers after his fine win.

We Got The Boss. Photos:

1 We Got The Boss 2 Tambora Queen

Super Sunday for Annike's team

Hard One To Please wins the Derby, Takeko takes the Wettermark

Hard One To Please and Oliver Wilson. Derby winners! Photo Svensk Galopp

Photos: Stefan Olsson / SG

Hard One To Please won Sweden's premier classic geared down by 2 lengths, after being given a patient ride by Oliver Wilson, undoubtedly one of the finest riders in Scandinavia these days. The winning margin could have been bigger and it's worth noting that the third placed horse, Downtown Leo, was outclassed to the tune of 9 lengths, with another 3 1/2 lengths back to the local favourite, Tin Win. This was a high class performance.     Click photos above to enlarge in pop-ups.

Hard One To Please demolishing his Derby rivals

17 July 22: Hard One To Please, masterfully ridden by Oliver Wilson, came from well off a strong pace to win the Swedish Derby - Jockeyklubben Svenskt Derby - beating his rivals with ridiculous ease. Wrapped up approaching the winning post, he was an easy winner from Steinar, while Downtown Leo had to settle for third place. The victory propelled Hard One To Please right up to the top echelon of thoroughbreds in Scandinavia, and his bankroll increased by a handsome 1.2 million kronor.  Read more on Svensk Galopp

Jockeyklubben Svenskt Derby 2022

HARD ONE TO PLEASE / A Bye Hansen / O Wilson

3 ch g Fast Company - Alyssum / New Approach

Owned by Väsby Häst AB  /  Bred by Lodge Park Stud

Results & Replays

Takeko outclassing her rivals

Wins Margareta Wettermarks with ease

Photos: Stefan Olsson / SG

Click photos to enlarge

Takeko took the important fillies' and mares' contest comfortably by 2 1/2 lengths and was back on the bridle well before passing the winning post. Her runner-up, fellow Norwegian raider Thunderey, got up to pip Numeira by a head, as Aperola was another 5 lengths behind in fourth place.

Takeko winning just as easily in the Margareta Wettermarks Memorial

17 July 22: Takeko went off favourite for the Margareta Wettermarks Minneslöpning, and she did not disappoint. Everything but a slightly hesitant start and a touch of eagerness in the early stages of the race was perfect - and coming down the home stretch she was simply superb, ridden by the jockey of the day - Oliver Wilson. Takeko won comfortably from Thunderey and Numeira, gaining her career's third success and earning 207.500 kronor in the process. 

Margareta Wettermarks Minneslöpning 2022

TAKEKO / A Bye Hansen / O Wilson

4 b f Mehmas - Ahd / Elusive Quality

Owned by Ninja Racing & Väsby Häst AB  /  Bred by Old Carhue Stud

Trio with big tasks on Swedish Derby day:

Hard One To Please, General de Vega, Takeko

15 July 22: Hard One To Please, who will be making his first start over a dirt track, goes for the Swedish Derby on Sunday afternoon, a valuable classic where he will be facing 13 rivals over 2400 metres. Oliver Wilson has been booked for the ride, and he will also partner Takeko in the prestigious Margareta Wettermarks Minneslopning, while Carlos Lopez gets the call on top class sprinter General de Vega in the Zawawi Cup. 

Read Annike's horse by horse talk to via this link

Pick up the Derby day racecard via this link


Make sure to get your Derby day tickets in time.

Six weeks to season's high point

Derby day 2022 - start preparing now

11 July 22: We can't say that anyone is suffering from Derby day fever, not just yet, but Norsk Derby 2022 is only six weeks away now - and in a month's time all the talk will be about the big day, "what horses will be in the premier classic, which ones are the likely favourites, and how about the excellent supporting card, what heavyweights will lock horns in the valuable Marit Sveaas Minneløp (G3), Lanwades Stud Stakes (LR) and Polar Cup (LR)?" It's shaping up to be a superb day of racing. 

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Big race contenders, trainers and jockeys are already preparing for the big day, and so should all racing fans be; your tickets can now be purchased from TicketCo.

Swedish Dream holds an entry for the Marit Sveaas, Takeko is on the list of entries for the Lanwades Stud, while Hard One To Please and I Rest My Case are both on the long list of Derby entries. 

Principal stakes entries: Norsk Derby, Marit Sveaas, Lanwades Stud, Polar Cup

Quartet ready for racing feast

Two going for classic glory on Saturday

20 June 22: We are just days away from one of the highlight fixtures of the year, Oslo Cup day, to be staged on Saturday evening. Annike reports that she has four horses ready to run, with Hard One To Please going for the Norwegian 2,000 Guineas and I Rest My Case set to contest the Norwegian 1,000 Guineas, a race the stable won with Unwanted Beauty two years ago. Takeko was a good runner-up in this classic last year, and it will be interesting to see how I Rest My Case handles this step up in class after her easy win against fellow homebreds last time out. Hard One To Please is also coming off a nice win and looks a live contender on Saturday, when Swedish Dream and We Got The Boss will both run in a top class handicap over 1600 metres, the same distance as the two Guineas races. Comparing the winning times of these three events may give us an indication of how good this year's three-year-olds are. Jacob Johansen has been booked for Hard One To Please and Swedish Draem, Shane Karlsson will partner I Rest My Case, while Malin Holmberg get the leg up on We Got The Boss. The action begins at 17.00 - with the popular Summer Party after racing - don't miss it!

Swedish Dream /

General de Vega, so close to making history. Photo: Elina Bjørklund

Game runner-up efforts at Bro Park

General de Vega, Takeko - elite performances

11 June 22: Bro Park's racing feast was dominated by visiting horses and General de Vega - going for back to back wins in Bro Park Vårsprint - and Takeko both played their part. Neither ended up on the top level of the podium this time, but they ran great races to finish second. General de Vega lost in a photo finish against his arch rival Could Be King, while Takeko finished strongly to take second behind Ascot Brass in the equally important Bloomer's Vase, confirming her standing as one of the best fillies in Scandinavia.

Another raceday - another double

09 June 22: Annike's team is on an absolute roll. Just a week after orchestrating a fine double with General de Vega and Hard One To Please, she repeated the feat with I Rest My Case capturing Brukseier Eivind Lyches Minneløp, and Youonlyliveonce taking the Heureux Handicap, after running second to General de Vega last time out. The latter was backed as if defeat was out of the question, going off as the 1.20-favourite under jockey Jacob Johansen. Those who took such short odds did get a scare, as Youonlyliveonce showed battling qualities to win by a nose, hard pressed by the second favourite, Herewegodandy. I Rest My Case was also odds-on to succeed, and did so in altogether more comfortable way - scooting home by 5 1/4 lengths from Byckybelle, with Queen of Antarktis 3 1/2 lengths further adrift in third place. This was a homebred event so perhaps we should not get too carried away - though I Rest My Case's form is beginning to look quite smart.

Brukseier Eivind Lyches Minneløp 2022:


I Rest My Case (Deceptor) in the winners' circle after her easy win, flanked by (from left to right) Søren Pedersen, Knut Martin Torgersen (breeder), Marina Lie, Siri Christensen, Annike and Sergio Martin - Jacob Johansen in the saddle.


An excellent day for Väsby Häst AB

02 June 22: Väsby Häst AB, great supporters of Annike's operation - and of Scandinavian racing in general - enjoyed an incredible half-hour on this Thursday evening fixture, as three of their horses made it to the winners' circle after the first two races on the card. Well, 'only two'  won of course - but it was a fine gesture to invite General de Vega's gallant runner-up, Youonlyliveonce, to the enclosure as well. 


Early-June silk fashion is green and white! 

Stable companions General de Vega - who was prepping for a bigger task at Bro Park in ten days' time - and Youonlyliveonce ran 1-2 in the first race on the night, a high class sprint over 1170 metres on turf. While General de Vega - last year's champion sprinter, was held up at the back - Younlyliveonce went to the front and set a good pace. He kept on really well up front but General de Vega cruised up to him, took over 200 metres from the winning post, and was pushed out for a tidy win. The two stable companions had the race between them throughout the finish. General de Vega landed de odds easily by half a length and there was a 4 1/4-length gap between Youonlyliveonce and the third placed horses, Backcountry, a winner of 22 races.  Half an hour later the exciting

three-year-old Hard One To Please (right pic) followed up by winning a good maiden heat over 1600 metres. Making only his second start, the son of Fast Company raced too freely going down the back straight but settled better when negotiating the turn. Front-running Holiday had opened up a massive lead at this point and looked strong - though Hard One To Please reeled him in with a smooth run coming up the homes straight. He passed the leader just below the distance and held on gamely to beat the staying-on Sugar Crust. Holiday and Sugar Crust ran second and third behind Game Changer - albeit on dirt - four weeks ago.

We Got The Boss also signaled a return to form with a fine runner-up effort, beaten just half a length behind Valence, later on the card. Please check back for more on Monday. GS

General de Vega after his big win last spring. Photo: E Bjoerklund.

Two to run on Thursday

Three aiming for stakes glory next month

23 May 22: Racing resumes with an interesting card on Thursday, when Noosa Prince and Youonlyliveonce, both representing Väsby Häst AB, will run in the Francis Handicap over 1370 metres on the turf course (race 6). Noosa Prince gets star apprentice Willa Synøve Schou in the saddle, while Youonlyliveonce will be ridden by Muriel Silva Machado. 

Big day in Sweden

Next month offers several important racedays in Scandinavia, none more so than Bro Park's fixture on June 12, when last year's winner General de Vega will cross borders in an attempt at defending his tilte in the Bro Park Vårsprint (LR). Takeko and Tambora Queen are being prepared for a crack at the Bloomer's Vase (LR) on the same day. We have plenty to look forward to!

Strong seasonal debut

Takeko runs second in 'Nagell-Erichsen'

17 May 22: Takeko, making her first start of the season, proved that she belongs in the elite of fillies and mares by taking second in the traditional Fam. Nagell-Erichsens Hoppeløp on this high profile raceday. She had to surrender to the odds-on favourite Iron Butterfly but ran on really well to hold second from For The Roses, while Tambora Queen wound up in fourth place. Takeko was ridden by Oliver Wilson. She dwelt slightly from stall one but was soon in a prominent position, racing a bit freely in third / fourth through the first part of the race. She was second coming into the home straight, as Smooth Escape continued to lead, and went ahead alongside Tambora Queen, who took the lead with about 300 metres to go. She could not sustain her run, however, and Takeko gained the upper hand 200 metres from the winning post. Iron Butterfly came from off the pace and swept by to beat her - in a race that promises so much for both these four-year-olds. I Rest My Case ran a fine race to take fourth in Forsommerløp for 3yos. GS

Takeko running on gamely /

One down - more to follow!

Tambora Queen gets the ball rolling

21 Apr 22: What a way to start the new season! Tambora Queen was an explosive winner on opening day - slamming the race favourite My French Dream by 4 1/2 lengths under jockey Jacob Johansen. A week and a half earlier, trainer Are Hyldmo told Øvrevoll Galopp's Birger Christensen that My French Dream - a half brother to Swedish Dream - is a horse he had fancied quite strongly before injury ruled him out of the 2021 Derby, so this four-year-old is obviously held in high regards. Let's not get too carried away here - after all seasonal debuts are just starting points to the new campaign, but Tambora Queen proved so much the best, beating My Swedish Dream as if he is just another handicapper. Something he may prove not to be. Tambora Queen's  winning margin could have been greater and she was the undoubtedly star on the first raceday of 2022. With seven rivals behind her, and a massive 28-length spread from first to last, her performance was more than just visually impressive. She stopped the clocks in 1.41.6. The day's two other winners over the distance recorded 1.44,7 (Skytale) and 1.46.7 (Precious). Whichever way you look at this - Tambora Queen's third career win was a run that makes us look forward to seeing what she can actually achieve this season. GS

Tambora Queen winning hard held. Photo:

General de Vega winning at Bro Park. Photo: E Bjoerklund

Prestigious award

General de Vega the champion - it's official!

03 Apr 22:  General de Vega was handed a well deserved Sprinter of The Year Award at the ceremonies held at Thon Hotel Sandvika last night. The son of Lope de Vega captured two Listed races in Sweden; the Bro Park Vårsprint and Bro Park Sprint Championship, on both occasions defeating his arch rival Could Be King, and enjoyed an excellent campaign in 2021. He won three of his seven races, and earned 842,611 kroner - taking his career earnings past the million-kroner mark. With performances likes these, General de Vega is one of those unique horses that manage to put Scandinavia  on the international racing map. 

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Stabell talk 2022 - horse by horse

GEIR STABELL's horse by horse presentation of Annike's high quality team for the 2022 season is up and running - with new articles posted weekly, leading us well informed up to the new season.

Swedish Dream

New name at Skoganstallen

Admiral de Vega – unraced Lope de Vega son

Väsby Häst AB secured an interesting recruit to Annike's team at the Tattersalls Horses in Training Sales in Newmarket last autumn, 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

Tattersalls catalogue page

Admiral de Vega / ex-Aljasur

Well bred youngster

Case Closed - half brother to Semper Fi

A gelded son of of Deceptor, the two-year-old Case Closed is out of the Academy Award mare Candyfloss, who won twice and was runner-up eight times in a career spanning 17 starts. Candyfloss was no star but she was a game and genuine handicapper who won over 1800 metres at Klampenborg in Denmark and over 2400 metres at Gothenburg in Sweden, where she defeated the six-time winner Sir Benjamin. Her best piece of form was probably when she ran second to Ray in the prestigious Sceptre Stakes over 2200 metres at Klampenborg as a four-year-old. She was also second best in the Breeders' Cup Consolation, run over 1800 metres at the same venue, during the same campaign. Bred by Stutteri Hjortebo in Denmark, Candyfloss earned handicap 79 at her best. She was trained by Søren Jensen. Her record at stud is a work in progress as she has thus far produced one smart winner, namely Semper Fi, a daughter of Scandinavian champion Appel Au Maitre. Semper Fi is a name racing fans warmed to fairly easily last year. She was a quick learner for trainer Raphael Freire and became one of the best juveniles around, winning the Breeders' Trophy Juvenile at Bro Park in her fourth career start. She beat Bearium, Smooth Operator and Titannia in the September feature and it is fair to say that expectations are high for this filly's classic season. When sent to Sweden, Semper Fi was coming off a good second to Hear The Drums in Skandinavisk Mesterskap for 2-åringer at Øvrevoll in August. Her maiden win happened over 900 metres on her second start but she had no issues with 1400 metres in the Skandinavisk Mesterskap and 1370 metres at Bro Park, so there must be a good chance that she can stretch out to a mile this year, although to assume that juveniles will definitely get furter at three can often be a detrimental way of thinking and planning. Judged on her pedigree the prospects of staying further than a mile are fair, and only time will give us the answer. Appel Au Maitre stayed 12 furlongs really well and Candyfloss was also effective over that distance.

Case Closed's sire Deceptor, on the other hand, is a son of a French champion miler, Machiavellian, and his dam, Satin Flower, won the Jersey Stakes (G3) over 7 furlong at Royal Ascot. Deceptor's pedigree is not that of a potential speed sire, but it does lend itself more to speed than stamina, that's for sure. That said, Deceptor is the sire of Giovanni Nobile, who Annike also trained. Giovanni Nobile was a winner of 8 races, and he stayed 2400 metres all right (winning three times over that distance). He was out of Born To Win, a Chilean bred mare by Special Quest – who won the Prix Noailles (G2) over 2200 metres in France as a three-year-old and did well over shorter distances in North America subsequently, winning the Millennium Mile Handicap (LR) at Golden Gate Fields. GS 220425

Semper Fi winning at Bro Park. Photo: E Bjoerklund

Champion sprinter! Photo: E Bjoerklund

Sprinter of The Year ' 21

General de Vega - mister reliable

With just twelve starts under his belt, General de Vega is a relatively lightly raced five-year-old, and it is not at all impossible that he can improve his form again this season. Sprinters often progress at age five, six, some even when they become older – and there's plenty of mileage left in this horse. He has won five of those twelve races, and been placed second or third on six occasions. In other words, or in numbers if you like, this top sprinter is sporting a healthy 91% top three record – incredibly impressive. He has been unplaced just the once, when fifth in Sysav Voterlopning over 1730 metres on the dirt track at Jagersro as a juvenile. The distance was wrong, the surface was wrong, and he was probably rather an immature youngster at the time as well. As a turf sprinter, General de Vega has become the dream horse – a performer that always gives his best, and delivers again and again. He is at his absolute best over a flat track, however, and his best chances of further success are thus likely to be found at Bro Park. That said, he has some solid results also on home soil, including a win over Abolish in a handicap over 1170 metres at Øvrevoll last June. The winning margin was half a length that day, and Abolish was conceding 2kg. The runner-up ran the better race but that was not going to be repeated when they met again in the Bro Park Vårsprint over 1200 metres at Bro Park ten days later. General de Vega won the race by a measured length from Could Be King, while Abolish finished fourth. Could Be King hit back in the Zawawi Sprint Cup at Klampenborg in August, a course that suits him better than 'the General'. They ran one-two again, with half a length between them. The final round, for now, came as they clashed once more in the Bro Park Sprint Championship in September; and General de Vega came out on top, beating Could Be King by a length. Abolish did his bit for the stable once again, picking up 62,604 kroner for finishing fourth. Good money but a far cry from what the winner earned. General de Vega's win was worth 417,360 kroner. Having a champion makes all the difference. GS 220418

Represents famous Aga Khan family

Hard One To Please - a classic hope

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. Hard One To Please's dam has a juvenile daughter by Dandy Man currently in training with Ralph Beckett in England. That filly was sold for £45,000 at Tattersalls last autumn, and she is a candidate for the valuable Tattersalls October Auction Stakes. 

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. Whether Hard One To Please will appreciate a test of stamina is impossible to say at this stage - but there is some staying power in his family and he holds an entry for the Norwegian Derby in August.  GS 220413

Tattersalls Catalogue page / Hard One To Please / PDF download

Hard One To Please at Tattersalls

She did a lot quite quickly

I Rest My Case - highly promising homebred

She has only raced four times but I Rest My Case, a taking daughter of the Machiavellian son Deceptor has come a long way in short space of time. This homebred runner has experienced no more than 5.4 minutes of racing action thus far, yet she has gained two wins, both in stakes company, been placed once in stakes company and earned a nomination to the prestigious Horse of The Year Awards in Norway. Several of her contemporaries work a lot harder, and for considerably longer, to get even close to such recognition.

So how good could this filly be when she matures? Hard to say, homebreds have been getting consistently better over the years, with the likes of Ragazzo, Theatrical Award and Lorofino competing successfully at the top level. To expect I Rest My Case to become as good as that trio would be, well if not downright silly, then at least rather optimistic. Then again, who knows? The beauty of this game is that dreams are actually being fulfilled – from time to time. Then there is that mysterious element called luck. Sven Hanson, who bred and raced one of the best fillies in the world, the phenomenal Pride, and also won the Epsom Oaks with Fair Salinia and French Derby with Reliable Man, is one of the internationally most successful Scandinavians in this sport. When asked what had been the key factor to his excellent results on the turf, Hanson candidly replied; “There is so much talk about being shrewd, clever and so on in this game, but I'd say the main thing that has helped me is pure luck”.

There you have it then. All we need is luck. No not quite, and that wasn't what Hanson meant either of course. He also pointed out that without a good team around the horse you have no chance. You need a good horse, with a racing attitude, you need a good trainer, a good rider, and – when all of those things are in place – you need the right racing conditions on the days that matter, and luck. I Rest My Case certainly is a good prospect, and she is in the best of hands at Annike's stable. After running fifth on her debut, beaten five lengths behind Semper Fi over 900 metres over a soft turf course in late July (when she was just a length behind the runner-up), I Rest My Case went for Norsk Mesterskap for 2-åringer in September. Stepping up in class and distance, she was being asked to tackle 1170 metres on the turf course – on this day labelled as good. Once more ridden by Kaia Ingolfsland, I Rest My Case showed significant improvement and won the big race. She fought it out against Queen of Antarktis and won by half a length. Interestingly, I Rest My Case went off favourite for the eight-runner contest. Racing fans had obviously noted her down as a nice prospect after her debut seven weeks weeks earlier.

I Rest My Case renewed rivalry with both Semper Fi and Queen of Antarktis in Norsk Forening for Fullblodsavl Løp in October, and this time she had to settle for third place. Semper Fi won with ease, while Queen of Antarktis got the better of I Rest My Case in the battle for second in the 1370 metres long contest. The placed horses both performed with great credit. Losing to Semper Fi is something quite a few juveniles experienced in 2021. She was coming off a big win at Bro Park in Sweden, where she landed the Breeders Trophy Juvenile by beating Smooth Operator by 2 ½ lengths.

Norsk Rikstotos Oppdrettsløp, run over 1600 metres on the dirt track in late October, meant a third meeting with Queen of Antarktis, and I Rest My Case displayed more stamina than her arch rival, beating her readily to win by a length under Cornelia Hartsmar. It was a perfect ending to a near perfect first season on the track, and Stall Ella's filly closed her campaign out on a progressive note. It will be fascinating to follow her as a three-year-old, when the waters will be a bit deeper of course. Judged on how she went about the game at two, I Rest My Case appears to have the talent to do well also in 2022. She is a highly promising homebred. GS 220411

I Rest My Case winning NM for 2-åringer

Lady Foudine

Well bred juvenile filly

Lady Foudine - a truly fascinating prospect

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   

Lady Foudine pedigree page / PDF download

Noosa Prince

Six-year-old with more to offer

Noosa Prince - high end handicapper

Having visited the winners' circle after two of his ten starts in 2021, six-year-old Noosa Prince will soon be embarking on his second season in Norway, and this is a horse we can hope to see making his presence felt in the better handicap races at Øvrevoll in 2022. He won twice within seven days last September, defeating Prince Of Tides by three parts of a length in the Vista Hermosa Handicap over 1370 metres, and following up by beating Kildare by 2 lengths in the 1600-metres Wattan Handicap. Both races were staged on turf. Winners of 12 races in 2021 were behind him when he beat Prince Of Tides, and the competition was strong also when he proved much too good for Kildare, a rival with 8 career wins on his CV. Noosa Prince had winners on 8 races in 2021 in his wake on that occasion. He is clearly a good runner, and he held his position as a genuine 80 plus rated performer through the season. Noosa Prince went into '21 on handicap mark 84 and he closed it out on 86. His current mark is 85, after the handicapper dropped him one kilogram after a fourth place finish over 1750 metres on the dirt track in October, his final outing last year. Noosa Prince was beaten Like A King, Buckybabe and and stable companion We Got The Boss in that event. His best form has come on turf though it's worth remembering that Noosa Prince won three times on the dirt track at Bo Park in his younger days - scoring over 1400 metres and 1600 metres as a juvenile and over 1600 metres once more at three.

Noosa Prince is a son of Kodiac, a highly successful stallion. Kodiac is a son of Danehill out of Rafha (Kris). Rafha was a top class middle distance performer for legendary trainer Henry Cecil. She won the Prix de Diane Hermes (G1) – French Oaks – at Chantilly back in 1987. Ridden by Willie Carson, she beat Moon Cactus by half a length in the French classic. That filly was also trained by Cecil, while Andre Fabre had to settle for third place with his contender, Colour Chart. It was a finish of future broomares all right. Moon Cactus, who had won the Prestige Stakes (G3) as a two-year-old, became the dam of King George VI & Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Stakes (G1) winner Doyen and Epsom Oaks (G1) heroine Moonshell. Colour Chart passed her talents on to her daughter Tempera, who captured the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), and to her son Equerry, winner of three G3 events in France and third to the mighty Hawk Wing in the Eclipse Stakes (G1) at Sandown Park in England.

As a son of Danehill and Rafha, the four time winning sprinter Kodiac was always going to find a place at stud – though nobody expected him to develop into an elite sire. Which is exactly what he did. His racing record was nowhere near as good as his pedigree – Kodiac failed to win a Group race (he was third in a G3 and managed fourth in the Prix Maurice de Gheest, G1). His career at stud has been miles better. Kodiac has sired more than 140 stakes performers and he holds the record for most juvenile winners in a single season. He has been sire of two-year-olds both in Europe in 2018 and Ireland / Great Britain. In addition, Kodiac sired more winners than any other stallion in Europe in 2018. Among his best known offspring are Campanelle, Kodi Bear, Hello Youmzain, Tiggy Wiggy and Best Solution. Kodiac is a half-brother to Invincible Spirit, another sprinter who became a top stallion.

Noosa Prince's pedigree lends itself mainly to turf racing but there is some dirt influence too. His dam, Something Magic, is a daughter of Lexington Stakes (G2) winner and Kentucky Derby (G1) runner-up Proud Citizen. Something Magic raced ten times without success in England. Her best runs came over 6 and 7 furlongs on turf. She is a daughter of Comeback Queen, who was a Listed placed mile winner and became a useful broodmare. Comeback Queen is a daughter of Miss Universe and thus a half-sister to Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf winner Donativum. GS 220404

Possession with Ulrika Holmquist

When he won, he won so well

Possession - there should be more to come

Possession won once from eight starts last year, when he was also placed twice. Having rounded his four-year-old campaign off by running second over 2400 metres on the dirt track in early November, he goes into the new season on handicap 73 – making him one of the better run of the mill horses active in Norway these days. 2400 metres / dirt was also the task as he found his way to the winners' enclosure back in September, when winning the Taniec Handicap with such ease. They way he cruised home that day made one think that much better form would soon be just around the corner. He was so much the best, storming home 5 lengths ahead of Moonflash, a clear runner-up fully 12 ½ lengths in front of Perfect Illusion, who ran 6 ¼ lengths better than the fourth placed horse, Twisted. These were most unusual margins and do not for a minute believe it was as a result of the race being uncompetitive. Yes, Possession only had five to beat but those five have 26 wins between them as these lines are being written, and Possession slipped effortlessly away from horses that were in good form at the time. Moonflash, who has 9 wins, boosted the form with two subsequent wins, while three-time winner Perfect Illusion also went on to win again later in the autumn. Twisted, beaten 17 ½ lengths by Possession, has won 8 races and Hodor, who was hopelessly beaten into fifth, was coming to Norway with a strong CV, having notched up three wins on the trot in Sweden in the summer. Any one of these five could have won, without it being billed as a shock result – but none of them stood any sort of chance when Possession got into full flight.

Willa Synøve Schou partnered Possession in this race, while Jan-Erik Neuroth had the call when the son of Iffraaj ran second to Pine River two months later. Producing another game performance, Possession went down by 1 ½ lengths on that occasion, beating Red Valley by a length for second place. Scandinavia is a small corner of the racing world, but there are plenty of international connections to keep us on the map. Emma Nordin, who partnered Pine River to victory at Øvrevoll, is currently riding at the championship meet at Gulfstream Park in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, one of the most important racing venue in North America. Losing against her partner Pine River was no mean feat. That filly, trained by Sandra Brolin, was hitting top form at the time and she went on to run two good races in defeat at Bro Park later in the month.

So what can we expect from Possession this term? As half-brother to Privilegiado, he has always been a horse with plenty to live up to. He has the looks and he is talented but it seems clear that, unlike Privilegiado, Possession has not been a precocious, fast developing sort. Whether the dirt track is where he will always feel most at home is hard to say. The form book may argue that it is, but Possession ran well on the turf when third behind Smazig and Perfect Illusion in Norsk Rikstoto Cup over 2400 metres on the lawn last July. He was going to gain revenge on both, as Smazing was last on the day when Possession won. This is often the nature of the game in the handicap division. While some horses find form in the second half of the season, others see their form tail off a bit. Hopefully, Possession will be in for a campaign of consistency, and more success, in 2022. There should be more to come from this runner. 

GS 220314

She's got a long term future

Takeko - just the type we need

Something is happening in Takeko's family – all the time. Which is why this makes her just the type of filly Scandinavian owners and breeders should import. Many will argue that it's not all that easy to spot a talented filly with her profile but, let's be honest about it, 'how hard can it be?' Take knowledge on horses, their conformation, their potential as runners, and combine it with a bit of homework, then narrow the search down to those that tick most of the boxes. It's still a longshot to buy a young thoroughbred – but those that make sure it's not an absolute shot in the dark do stand a better chance of success.

Takeko ticks quite a few boxes. Her sire Mehmas, offers that invaluable asset called speed, and his influence could well become even more productive, as she goes through with her racing campaign. She's not a star, but she has very good form and she comes from a family producing winners that go on as older horses. Her unraced dam, Ahd, who is a daughter of Evasive's father Elusive Quality, saw three more wins from her offspring in 2021. Her Zoffany son Hot Team won two 9-furlong handicaps at Hamilton Park and is thus now a winner of 4 races. He is also a Listed winner, having captured the Bordeaux le Bouscat in France as a juvenile. That's it you see, a winner at two that keeps up the good work at five. The kind of runner that sreves the sport in nothing but a positive way. His half-sister One Small Step (Footstepsinthesand) also doubled her tally in 2021, winning a 10-furlong handicap at Windsor, while yet another runner representing Ahd, the Anjaal son Allihies, won on his racecourse bow in Ireland, scoring in a 7-furlong maiden at Limerick. He ran just once more, and it's worth noting that he took part in the Eyrefield Stakes (G3) at Leopardstown. Yes, he was unplaced that day, but it's interesting to note that his connections decided to aim that highly with him. He is a gelding so it obviously wasn't with a brave move with a stud career in mind.

Ahd never raced – she was most certainly bred to, being a by a high class stallion out of Abby Road, who won the St. Hugh's Stakes (LR) and Newbury in her seven-race career. Abby Road was sent to the Keeneland November Sales in Kentucky, one of the world's most prestigious auctions for broodmare prospects, where she changed hands for $875,000. She has produced three winners, including Ajraam, a winner of 5 races. One of the others, Always Waitin, is also interesting – she was sold for $140,000 at the Keeneland Sales when she was just a foal.

These prices tell us one thing; that the horses were correct and seen as good broodmare prospects. Takeo seems to be in the same mold. Her racecourse record stands at 2 wins and 5 placed efforts from 13 starts, and she may be open to further improvement at four. Her two wins came over 1600 metres on the turf and she was also runner-up in the Norwegian 1,000 Guineas, beaten 1 ½ lengths by Iron Butterfly, who went on to win the Danish Derby on her subsequent start.

Although two of her siblings have won over further than a mile, Takeko's resume spells miler and that is also essentially how she was bred. Mehmas was a very smart juvenile, winning the July Stakes (G2) and Richmond Stakes (G2), and finishing second in the National Stakes (G1) and Coventry Stakes (G2). He only raced at two. His best son to date is the speedy and precocious Supremacy, winner of the Middle Park Stakes (G1) and Richmond Stakes (G3) in his first season.

Digging one generation back in Tekeko's female family, we find two high class US turf runners, half-brothers to Abby Road; namely Ballagh Rocks and Eh Cumpari. The latter won the Palm Beach Stakes (G3) over a mile at Gulfstream Park, while Ballagh Rocks was a hardy, tough miler who won 7 races up to the age of seven. His high point was a win in the Poker Stakes (G3) over a mile at Belmont Park. It may not be all that relevant, but talking about this family without mentioning Unbridled's Song would hardly make it justice, as he was champion juvenile colt in North American back in 1995, when he landed the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1). He was a son of Godspell, who was a sister to Abby Road's dam. Did Unbridled's Song carry his class through to the next season? You bet he did. He won the Florida Derby (G1) and Wood Memorial (G2) before his non-staying fifth in the Kentucky Derby (G1). He's not been too shabby as a sire either. Unbridled's Song is the father of the incredible Arrogate. And by the way, was Unbridled's Song also a correct, scopey and appealing young animal when sent to the sales? It does seem that way. Why else would Hiroshi Fujita fork out $1.4 million to secure the colt when he went through the ring at the Barretts Breeze Up Sale?

Whatever happens as Takeko continues with her racing, she will make a popular broodmare prospect when she retires. Let's just hope that we see her run, and win, a lot more before she gets to that stage of her life. GS

Takeko's relative Eh Cumpari winning the Palm Beach at Gulfstream Park

Winning on Derby day - it tastes good! Photo:

Nice dilemma to have

Tambora Queen - dirt, turf? A bit both perhaps?

Stall RH's game filly Tambora Queen is preparing for her third season at the track and, while we know that she is a talented runner, one question lingers; is this daughter of Outstrip going to prove best on turf or dirt? She won on both surfaces last year. Her turf win came in the more high profile race, as she absolutely crushed the opposition in Energima Derby Mile on Derby day in August. Yes, the race was worth considreably more and she sure looked smart on the day, but a closer look at the form, compared to what she did when successful on the sand towards the end of the season, indicated that it was her dirt success in late October, not her win over the lawn on the biggest day of the season, that was best. The jury may still be out, but if her dirt win was her best performance, well who's to complain? Nobody connected with a young, progressive filly closing her three-year-old campaign off on a high note have ever complained, nor gone through the winter with anything but warming hopes. We should not trigger too high expectations here though, after all Tambora Queen is not in the same league as stakes performers – but her win in the autumn did come in what can safely be called a 'key race' – an event form students mark down as a source of future success. She beat I Apple by a quarter of a length, with Monjazaat 3 ½ lengths further adrift in third place. It was Tambora Queen's last race in 2021, with Elione Chaves aboard she signed herself in for a well deserved winter break. What happened next with those she beat? What happened next was that I Apple and Monjazaat clashed again in a similar contest in November, filling the first two places, albeit in reverse order, in a race where Seeyouincourt took third. Sound form indeed, and one of two nice boosts to Tambora Queen's form. Even Quelle Eleganze, who finished last behind Tambora Queen, came back and won on her subsequent outing.

Tambora Queen's win on Derby day was gained at the expense of Yellow Submarine, Azzardo and Ravaillac. The second and tird did litte for the form in their upcoming starts, while Raivaillac won twice at Klampenborg in the autumn – it may or may not have been relevant.

So there you have it, Tambora Queen beat overmatched rivals on turf and she battled home by a much narrower margin against rivals who went on to confirm the form when winning on dirt. Perhaps she is one of those invaluable runners who is equally effecive on both surfaces. Her pedigree tells us little about any potential for dirt racing, though what has never been tried isn't necessarily unlikely to work. Her sire was a high class juvenile on