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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 of 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 turf, and he is a son of the top class turf sprinter Exceed and Excel. Her dam, Dudley Queen, is a daughter to top class turf miler Excellent Art. Dudley Queen never raced, but she has been a good broodmare. She is also the dam of Poet's Dawn (Poet's Voice) a winner of 6 races in the north of England, where he was successful on turf at York, Beverly and Ripon. Furthermore Dudley Queen is the dam of Nathless, a winner of two turf races at Øvrevoll, both over 1600 metres. He was runner-up on the all-weather track at Wolverhampton in England as a two-year-old, and perhaps he could have done well on dirt as well – like his half sister Tambora Queen, a filly with several options this coming season. GS 280222

Winner in 2021, with Rolf Saether

Racecourse gallop

Winner in 2018, with Ragnhild Gill

High class eight-year-old

Swedish Dream still going strong

Horses like Swedish Dream do not come around too often. A real bargain buy at the sales in England in 2016, he has been one of the best horses in Scandinavia over the past four seasons. He has turned eight now, so many will want to call him a veteran and in some ways he is but his form has not dipped much, has it? How about these handicap ratings published after his nine starts in 2021; 91 - 91 - 90 - 90 - 90 - 91 - 91 - 90. Perhaps we should just call him a very, very good racehorse, still - and not be surprised if he delivers similar form in 2022. 

The son of Helmet has raced 38 times to date, with 8 wins, 12 second places and 3 third places, giving him a 60% top three record. His highlight last year came when he won the Road To Mandalay Handicap over 1600 metres in August, beating Simply Minds, one of the better three-year-olds in Scandinavia and a rival bang in form at the time; he went on to stroll home by over four lengths in a similar event next time out. Simply Minds could not handle Swedish Dream, however, as a late surge put half a length between the two rivals at the post. Swedish Dream was back in the winners' enclosure and he was about to find good autumn form. Two months later, he ran second to Knicks Go in Arnfinn Lund's Minneloep (LR), a race he won himself back in 2019. Looking back on his 2020 campaign, one result sticks out for Swedish Dream on that page; a game runner-up effort in the prestigious Marit Sveaas Minneloep (G3) on Derby day. Running right up to his best, he split Knicks Go and Square de Luyunes on that occasion. 

Whether he can reproduce such form in 2022 remains to be seen, but we all know that it's a mistake to write him off. He will make his presence felt also this year, that's for sure. Bred by Swedish connections in France, Swedish Dream is out of Demeanour (Giant's Causeway). She won Jockeyklubbens Jubileumsloepning (LR) in Sweden, and comes for a good family. Her half-brother Gaspar Van Wittel ran third in the Solario Stakes (G3) at Sandown Park as a juvenile and he was second in the Easter Stakes (LR) at Kempton Park at three. Demeanour represents the family of the famous filly Dark Lomond - who became a champion stayer in Ireland after beating the boys on the Irish St. Leger Stakes (G1). 

Swedish Dream has earned 1,339.643 kroner thus far. Walter Buick picked him out at the Tattersalls Sales in 2016, and bought him for just 20,000 guineas (approximately 250,000 kr). That it was a good buy was obvious already at the time, for the horse had been led back unsold after an unsuccessful €70,000 bid at the Arqana Breeze Up Sale earlier the same year. That it would prove to such a good buy, on the other hand, well, that was impossible to guess. One could hope though, and dream of success. Sometimes, at the races, dreams do come true. GS 220221

Mr consistency

We Got The Boss - seeking more success

We Got The Boss is six years old and seeking more success heading into his fifth season and, as we know, six is no age for a racehorse – particularly for if it's trained by Annike. Looking after the horses, and work for longevity rather than a quick return, has always been Annike's way. “Take care of the horses, and they will take care of you” – it's a well know phrase in racing circles – and it fits so well when it comes to the daily life at Skoganstallen, where We Got The Boss has been residing since moving across the Swedish border in the spring of 2019.

He won twice for Annike in 2019, moved up in class the following year, when he won twice again, forcing him yet another step up the ladder of racing grades. Guess what? It wasn't a problem, he ended up in the winners' circle twice also in 2021. The handsome son of Street Boss, who came to Norway as a rather delicate and somewhat insecure throroughbred almost three years ago, has improved with every season. He is one of those rare horses that always gives his all on racedays. Which is why he has kept in getting better. We Got The Boss's handicap mark was 71 back in 2019. His best mark to date is 87 and he is currently on 85.

So what's left to say about this gelding, one of the most consistent runners around, that hasn't always been said already? When it comes to his racing merits, not much to be honest, as he has been in the headlines on a regular basis. One thing that is worth a reminder, is how well he has been performing with female jockeys on his back. All of his sixs wins at Øvrevoll have been achieved with assistance of the so-called weaker sex. He has won three with Ulrika Holmquist in the saddle, another two when ridden by Nora Hagelund Holm and once, his most recent win, with Willa Synøve Schou on board.

We Got The Boss has won both on turf and dirt. His first start, over 1200 metres at Bro Park when he was a juvenile, resulted in a win. He was tackling 1200 metres that day. He has since been successful over distances ranging from 1600 metres to 1800 metres and he is probably best described as a typical miler. That said, 1800 metres can be a testing distance at Øvrevoll so he is not at all void of stamina. His one try over further, over 2160 metres in 2020, resulted in a fifth placed finish though, and he runs pretty much to what could be expected from a glean at his pedigree. His half-sister Ezpz Lemon Squeeze (Pure Prize) won 4 races on turf in New York, all over 8.5 furlongs.

We Got The Boss is an ambassador for a family that has produced solid, durable runners over the years. His sire, Street Boss, was a top class dirt sprinter who peaked at four, when he won the Triple Bend Handicap (G1) over 7 furlongs at Hollywood Park and the Bing Crosby Handicap (G1) over 6 furlongs at Del Mar. Later that year, Street Boss ran second in the Ancient Title Stakes (G1) – nowadays the Santa Anita Sprint Championship – before finishing third to Midnight Lute in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) at Santa Anita.

Californian, Norwegian connection

Street Boss was trained by the late Bruce Headley, who purchased a nice property in Pasadena, near Santa Anita, after selling Street Boss for $5 million. Headley bred and raised most of his horses himself, and kept weanlings and yearlings in a self-made paddock / shelter area at the back of his home. Yes, it was supposed to be large garden – and it was – but it was a garden for young horses due to become champions. It was a far cry from places like Colmore Stud and Clairborne Farm but it clearly worked. Headley's first winner was a horse he had bought for $500. His career highlight came when he won the Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) with Kona Gold, one of 6,212 victories worth a total of more than $38 million.

Headley's Norwegian wife, Aase, made sure the horses never entered the house, by the way. If they had done they might have endangered her impressive collection of the traditional series 'Juletallerken' decorating one wall in the dining room. Headley was also affectionate about plants – not lovely roses one can pick and smell, mind you, his passion was for exotic plants, big ones, and he had created a small forest of such plants at the front of their home. “It helps cooling the property”, he explained, “I often sit amongst these palm trees and plants and think up racing plans for my horses”, he said. Like his four legged friends, Headley was tough and durable. His training career spanned 61 years.

Back to We Go The Boss, and his relatives. The best examples of what a productive family he comes from are Majestic Empire and Valid Miss Chain. Majestic Empire was a half-brother to We Got The Boss's maternal grand dam, Unchained Princess. He enjoyed a remarkable career as a hardy bread and butter performer. 50 starts resulted in 19 wins and 13 placed efforts. His best performance was a win in the John J. Reilly Handicap at Monmouth Park. Majestic Empire won his debut run, at the Meadowlands as a two-year-old, and he went on to win races also at Aqueduct, Garden State, Philadelphia Park and Rockingham Park. The son of Majestic Prince raced until he was seven (when he ran just twice) and kept on winning up to the age of six. Valid Miss Chain (Valid Appeal), a half-sister to We Got The Boss's dam, We Got a Lemon, was a fan favourite at Suffolk Downs and Rockingham Park. She won 9 of her 56 races. Valid Miss Chain was also placed 20 times, including twice in stakes company. She was unraced at two, broke her maiden at the second time of asking at Calder as a three-year-old and kept on winning until she was eight. Like Majestic Empire, she had just two runs in her final season, when she was nine. These are the types of runners that keep making owners happy, keep the game going, and they are invaluable to the sport. Like We Got The Boss. GS 220214

We Got The Boss. Photo: Hesteguiden

Street Boss - sire of We Got The Boss. Photo: Darley

Interesting newcomer

Yukochan – you'll recognise her pedigree

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. 

He had some issues at three, when he ran just twice in the latter stages of the season, finishing third on both occasions; in the Diadem Stakes (G3) at Ascot and in Bentninck Stakes (LR) at Newmarket. Looking at the betting for these races, it is interesting to note how quickly punters wanted him back on their side. He went off at 25-1 at Ascot, where he was beaten 2 ½ lengths behind Crystal Castle, but was 7-2 joint favourite when third to Needwood Blade at Newmarket.

The following year was going to significantly more productive. Acclamation faced the starter eight times as a four-year-old, and at the end of the year he was well established in the elite. He opened the campaign by running third behind the classy filly Airwave in the Temple Stakes (G2) at Sandown Park, a traditional stepping stone to Royal Ascot, where Acclamation turned up for the King's Stand Stakes (G2) – one of Europe's most prestigious 5-furlong events. He performed to a high level on the prime time stage, but Australian raider Choisir ran even better, beating Acclamation by a length. The improving three-year-old Oasis Dream finished third and it was he who would be the hero when these three met again in the 6-furlong July Cup (G1) at Newmarket just over three weeks later. He powered home for a popular home win over Chosir, who just managed to beat Airwave for second place. Acclamation failed to fire, finishing 11th in the 16-runner field. A near two-month break followed and when we saw him at the races again, it was at one of his favourite haunts, Doncaster. A drop in class it was, though it was still nice to see him back to winning form, albeit in a dead-heat with Chookie Heiton. Acclamation used the race as a prep for a crack at the Nunthorpe Stakes (G1) over 5 furlongs at York. Once more he proved that he belonged in the top divisions, taking third behind Oasis Dream and The Tatling. Next up was a Listed contest at the tricky Goodwood deep in Sussex, and Acclamation handled it just fine, winning the Starlit Stakes by a head from Torosay Spring. Not many horses manage to shine over courses as different as the flat Doncaster, the steadily climbing Ascot and the undulating, 'off balance' course at Goodwood. Acclamation had become the complete racehorse. He was sent back to Ascot for a second attempt at taking the Diadem Stakes (G2) and this time it all clicked. He won the race by three parts of a length from Polar Way.

His first start outside of England came just eight days later, and it was not a relaxing holiday trip. Acclamation went for the Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp (G1) on 'Arc' day. Frankie Dettori, who had partnered him at Ascot, stayed loyal to Cottrell's stable star and together they managed fourth place, just 1 ½ lengths behind the winner, Patavellian. An invitation to the Hong Kong Sprint (G1) at Sha Tin two months later was an extra reward. A trip like that would have been a far cry from what his connections were hoping for when paying 33 grand for him as a yearling. The turning Sha Tin course did get the better of Acclamation, who once more had Frankie on his back, but finishing fifth to the local champion Silent Witness was no mean feat. Silent Witness was unbeatable at Sha Tin, where he won 18 races all told, and he went in as the odds-on favourite. Acclamation was unusually far back in the early stages but he picked up a bit in the straight and stayed on to be beaten 4 lengths. As Dettori dismounted, that was it, it was the end of Acclamation's career. A career that proved how success at the top level could still be achieved with cheaply bought horses.

Acclamations career as a stallion has been even better. Whereas he failed to find Group 1 success as a runner that has not been a problem as stallion. He has sired a number of top class performers, most notably Breeders' Cup Mile (G1) winner Expert Eye and the two sprinters Equiano and Marsha. Equiano avenged his father defeat in the Royal Ascot event when capturing the King's Stand Stakes (G1), while Marsha's finest hour came when she denied North American wonder girl Lady Aurelia in the Nunthorpe Stakes (G1) at York. Acclamation is also the sire of Dark Angel, a fast juvenile who has become a very popular stallion, and My Sister Nat sticks out among his best fillies with mote stamina. She ran second in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) last year, having won the Waya Stakes (G3) on her preceding start. Both these races were contested over 11 furlongs. GS 220321


Youonlyliveonce at Bro Park. Photo: E Bjoerklund

Versatile sprint / miler

Youonlyliveonce - can he bounce back?

A son of Sidesteps, Youonlyliveonce is a runner that has, during his first two seasons at least, lived up to his name – by making the most of his existence and winning races. He hit the ground running as a youngster, when he was successful at Jagersro in Malmoe and at Bro Park outside Stockholm. He followed up with a third trip to the winners' circle as a three-year-old, when he was successful once more at Bro Park. Then, in 2021, came the drought. Youonlyliveonce failed to win last year. Then again, he only raced four times du to an injury interrupting his campaign, so the opportunities were not really there. Can he bounce back this year?

Fresh opportunities await, as he has joined Annike's strong team, after having been trained by Ylva Brandt and Lars Kelp in Sweden. Youonlyliveonce had a brief look at Ovrevoll in his first season, when he ran unplaced in Norsk Kriterium. That effort told us little to suggest whether he will be suited to the courses in Norway. That he has done well over different tracks in Sweden augurs well, however. It's not a given that Ovrevoll will be to his liking but he appears to be more adaptable than most horses.

His first win came in maiden company at Bro Park in the early autumn of 2019. Tacking 1200 metres over a good turf course, he beat Garcia readily by 2 ½ lengths that day. Fast forward almost three months, right to the tail end of the season, and he stepped up on his maiden winning form to capture the Manoustieloepning at Jagersro, this time showing sharp form on dirt – again racing over 1200 metres. Jan-Erik Neuroth was in the irons and he he steered Youonlyliveonce home for a comfortable 6-length win worth 100,000 kronor. Maid had to settle for a non-threatening second, while subsequent Derby winner Bullof Wall Street finished third. It was a taking performance by the winner but also a run that meant expectations would be high in his three-year-old season.

He trained on well into his sophomore days and proved up to winning in tough company again that autumn, taking a highly competitive Guldhandicap over 1400 metres at Bro Park, ridden by Jacob Johansen. Youonlyliveonce produced yet another game effort to pip Lush Lashes in a tight finish, as Miss Maybach was a close third. Lush Lashes, who carried 3.5 kg less than Youonlyliveonce, is a winner of nine races and a well known horse in Sweden. That Youonlyliveonce was up to beating this accomplished rival came as no big surprise though; after all he had been a good runner-up in Mischa Khans Minnesloepning seven weeks earlier, splitting Hot Bagatelle and Globemaster in a race where Swedish 2,000 Guineas winner Everest Voice checked in fourth. The distance was 1600 metres on dirt.

Lush Lashes and Youonlyliveonce met also last season, when Lush Lashes gained revenge in a Guldhandicap over 1400 metres / turf at Bro Park. This time, Youonlyliveonce had to concede 7 kg and it turned out to a bit too much. He was the best horse on the day, however, going down by just a length, narrowly ahead of the third placed My Motivate Girl, who was a length better than Herewegodandy, a Norwegian raider taking fourth place in the contest.

Youonlyliveonce has quite an international pedigree. Bred in France, he is sporting Australian lines in his top half with European lines in the bottom half. His sire, the Exceed and Excel son Sidestep, was a high class two-year-old down under, where he won the Pago Pago Stakes (G2) and ran second in the prestigious Golden Slipper Stakes (G1), both over 1200 metres at Rosehill. Youonlyliveonce's dam, Feelin Foxy, is a daughter of high class sprinter Foxhound. Feelin Foxy was a very useful, and incredibly durable, sprint handicapper in England, winning 9 of her 83 races and finishing second or third on no fewer than 32 occasions. She is also the dam of Karaktair, a mile winner by Olympic Glory, and Feelin Dickie, a sprint winner by Dick Turpin. Feelin Foxy's half-brother Josh (Josr Algarhoud) was a smart sprinter who won twice, ran placed twice in Listed company and was officially rated 100. There's a lot of speed in Youonlyliveonce's immediate family but he has himself shown good form at up to 1600 metres. Proven on dirt and turf, this is a horse that has plenty of options and it will be interesting to see how he gets on during the 2022 season. GS 220207

Dates for your diary

2022 Stakes schedule all set

06 Feb 22: Stakes fixtures 2022 for Norway, Sweden and Denmark are now out - as we approach what should be an exciting racing season in Scandinavia. 

Pick up your PDF publication with all races, conditions and dates via this link or by clicking the cover photo. 

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

I Rest My Case and connections - strong contenders for best homebred award.

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

Tattersalls Catalogue page / Hard One To Please / PDF download

Hard One To Please at Tattersalls

Seeyouincourt /

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

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

I Rest My Case - winner of two important stakes events for homebreds, and truly an exciting prospect looking ahead to 2022.


Tambora Queen, daughter of Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf winner Outstrip, producing a game performance to beat I Apple .


Mestre Dos Magos - so determined /

Mestre Dos Magos with Isabel and Jan-Erik /

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. 

General de Vega /

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

Arnfinn Lunds Minneløp 2019: Swedish Dream powering home. On Sunday he tries to win the race again. Photo:

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%.  

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. 

I Rest My Case, ridden by Kaia Ingolfsland, winning Norsk Mesterskap for 2-åringer, with plenty left in the tank. 


Noosa Prince, again partnered by Willa Synøve Schou, gaining his second win in seven days. Photo: 

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,, 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

Job done! Noosa Prince and Willa - uncatchable. Photo:

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.

Possession first - the rest nowhere! Photo:

Ragazzo / Photo: Roger Svalsrød

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

Ragazzo with Jacob Johansen. P: S Olsson

Ragazzo with owners.

Ragazzo beating Easy Road.

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

Tambora Queen - proving hard to pull up after easy win.

Seeyouincourt cantering home. Photo:

Easy Saturday win

Seeyouincourt impresses

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.   

General de Vega - ready for the Polar Cup. Photo: Elina Bjoerklund

Swedish Dream - ready for the Marit Sveaas. Photo:

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. 

Calcaterre and Mestre dos Magos will both run in Norsk Forening For Fullblodsavls Løp over 1750 metres on Saturday, when Seeyouincourt is set for the Severio Handicap, run over 1600 metres.

Geir Stabell

Birger Christensen's Derby day previews and selections

Swedish Draem disappointing Simply Minds with a game rally

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

Abolish and Kaia Ingolfsland winning with ease.

Abolish in the winners' enclosure. Photos:

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

Takeko - winner of Giant Sandman Cup / Photo:

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!

Seeyouincourt striding clear /

Enjoyable and comfortable! /

Seeyouincourt - a maiden no more /

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.

We Got The Boss and Willa Synøve Schou in command /

"It's in the bag!" /

We Got The Boss - a winner again! /

01 July 21: We Got The Boss, ridden by Willa Synøve M. Schou, returned to winning form by beating stable companion Mudjimba in the Lazy Lord Handicap, taking the contest by 1 1/4 lengths.  

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.

General de Vega rock solid, Abolish fourth by the rail (screenshot).

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. 

Takeko with Siri Norset Christiansen, Marina Lie, Annike Bye Hansen and Cathrine Fortune in the winners' circle /

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!

1 General de Vega 2 Abolish /

Mudjimba /

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

We Got The Boss (far side) in a exciting finish against Face Of Energima /

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. 

Swedish Dream /

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 

Stabell talk 2021 - horse  by horse

Geir Stabell's horse by horse presentation of Annike's excellent team for the 2021 season is now complete. 

Download your copy of the free 19-page magazine.

Possession. Photo:

Abolish (middle) going close in Goteborg Stora Pris. Photo: S Olsson

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

Annike with Calcaterre. Photo:

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 (far side) running third in Dubai.

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 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

I Rest My Case

Madame Krug

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 winning with ease /

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 winning at Bro Park as a juvenile. Photo: Elina Bjoerklund / Svensk Galopp

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 - winner on dirt and turf. Photo: S Olsson

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 h​e 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. Photo:

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.

Takeko's Tattersalls pedigree page