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ORPHEE DES BLINS DOMINATES AGAIN

Twenty runners and riders went to the start for the 123rd running of the Velka Pardubicka with Česka Pojišťovna. Promising 6-y-o BROKER was injured and had to miss the race.
The foreign participants were Slovak-trained BODYGUARD (Brečka), British-trained SHALIMAR FROMENTRO (de Chitray), three Irish horses trained by Enda Bolger - FRENEYS WELL (Ferris), MOUNT SION (McLernon) and ZEST FOR LIFE (Waley-Cohen), and also French-owned TROPIC DE BRION (Dragon), which had been prepared in the Czech Republic by Pavel Vítek since the summer.
After Broker was scratched, Thomas Boyer transferred to SPERANZA, which he had been riding in the course of the season, and following injuries to several jockeys in the earlier races, Michal Köhl replaced Josef Sovka on AL JAZ, and Pavel Kašný stood in for Marek Stromský on STATUS QUO.
The previous year’s winner ORPHEE DES BLINS (Faltejsek) was a hot favourite, and her biggest rivals were expected to be triple Velka winner TIUMEN (Josef Váňa, snr.), and also TREZOR (Bartoš), winner of two of the qualification races.
Right from the start, the favourite went into the lead, with TOMIS, KASIM, KLAUS, AL JAZ and CANTRIDARA in behind her. BODYGUARD was in the rear, and, surprisingly, TIUMEN was some lengths off the lead, while in previous years he had always gone with the leaders.
At the Small Water Jump, Irish-trained MOUNT SION fell and, unfortunately, he later had to be put down.
The first over the Taxis were ORPHEE DES BLINS, KASIM and CANTRIDARA. BODYGUARD was several lengths behind the field, and TIUMEN was in last place. They all got over the feared fence without making a mistake, and continued in the race.
Coming down from the Irish Bank, AL JAZ lost his rider (Köhl), and the next fence, the Popkovice Turn, was the end of the road for CANTRIDARA (Mitchell), SPERANZA (Boyer), and BUDAPEST, ridden by Josef Váňa jnr, which had set out with high hopes of finishing near the head of the field. All three horses lost their riders after landing.
At the French Jump, Irish-trained FRENEYS WELL (Ferris) fell and brought down TOMIS (Velek).
The English Jump saw off English-trained SHALIMAR FROMENTRO (de Chitray), which fell after a collision, and ZEST FOR LIFE, the last of the British and Irish representatives, lost his rider (Waley-Cohen) after the Drop.
All this time, ORPHEE DES BLINS was in the lead, and was jumping all the obstacles in accomplished manner. She was followed by KASIM, TREZOR, TROPIC DE BRION, PEINTRE ABSTRAIT, with NIKAS, KLAUS and the rest in the rear.
After jumping the Small Taxis, STATUS QUO lost his jockey (Kašný) in the plough, and when they went behind the copse again ORPHEE DES BLINS was still in the lead, followed by TROPIC DE BRION, PEINTRE ABSTRAIT, TREZOR, KASIM, KLAUS, NIKAS, and TIUMEN, SEŠLOST and BODYGUARD had moved up a bit closer.
SEŠLOST (Treadwell) was then pulled up behind the copse, and after the Big English Fence, BODYGUARD (Brečka) was also pulled up.
ORPHEE DES BLINS was first over Havel’s Jump, ahead of TROPIC DE BRION, PEINTRE ABSTRAIT and TREZOR. After landing badly, TREZOR lost his rider (Bartoš) and was out of the race.
ORPHEE DES BLINS (.Faltejsek) jumped the last three fences unchallenged and, with a dominant performance, she won the race by a distance, easing up.
When they came on to the grass track TROPIC DE BRION (Dragon) looked very well placed, but he dropped back towards the end of the race, and was caught by NIKAS (Andrés), KLAUS (Myška), KASIM (Novák) and PEINTRE ABSTRAIT(Matuský).
TIUMEN moved up a lot on the grass track, and at the turn into the finishing straight he was catching his rivals and getting ready to make a run. However, a loose horse ran across him before the last fence, he jumped badly and lost his jockey, Josef Váňa, snr. It was bad luck, as he was still in with a chance of taking one of the leading positions.
ORPHEE DES BLINS won in a time of 09:33,22. That is the thirteenth best winning time, but it in no way reduces the merit of her performance, as there was no competition for her in the race, and she did not need to take anyone on and run faster.
ORPHEE DES BLINS is only the fourth mare, after Victoria, Registana and Sixteen, to win the Velka Pardubicka twice. The legendary Lady Anne, at the end of the 19th century, is the only mare to have won the race three times.
The other places in the 2013 race went to experienced and dependable crosscountry chasers, and after some of the favourites and all the foreign horses dropped out, they deservedly took the leading positions in the race.
TREZOR, an impressive winner of a total of four qualification races, again disappointed. The Velka Pardubicka seems to be too long a race for him.
TIUMEN had a very strange race right from the beginning. He stayed in the rear for an unusually long time, and then he was extremely unlucky at the end of the race. Let us hope that some categorical words spoken by his jockey, Josef Váňa, snr., after the race were an expression of negative emotion and disappointment after his lack of success, and that we will see him at the start again next year. After all, the best way to celebrate the end of the season is with the Velka Pardubicka.


Orphee des Blins - Jan Faltejsek

OTHER RACES ON VELKA PARDUBICKA DAY


In the race for 3-y-o hurdlers, BIG MAGO (Váňa, jnr.) came out on top. Second-placed LUMPIK (Boyer) and third-placed VIVAT (Sovka), half-brother of classic winners on the flat, Veto and Vltava, also showed some quality. A disappointment was LUCYL (Novák), which had won at Bratislava in September. More had been expected from this sister of the outstanding Life Is Life.
The hurdles race for older horses was dominated by the promising Slovak-trained LUMINATOR (Brečka), which won easily by 14 lengths from the dependable TARO (Váňa, jnr.). Third place went surprisingly to NIKAN (Kovačík), a full brother of Nikas, runner up in the Velka Pardubicka later in the afternoon. The favourite, SKARABEUS (Boyer) and Hungarian-trained, Slovak-owned PEPPEROUS (Cagáň) both failed to show. DAMIETTA (Andrés), last year’s winner of the 3-y-o hurdlers’ race, also did nothing and was pulled up, bringing an end to her unsuccessful 2013 campaign.
In the crosscountry race for 4-y-os there were four well-fancied horses: KAI (Váňa, jnr.), REAPER (Myška), NADAL (Sovka) and SIXTYSEVEN (Faltejsek). However, NADAL did not get round, and KAI and SIXTYSEVEN did not feature in the finish. Only REAPER, son of the famous Registana, fought for the honour of the favourites, but he was narrowly beaten in a tight finish by NATALIE (Andrés).
The most interesing finish was in the Vltava Prize, in which the first three over the line were separated by just a head. The winner was the unfancied RENARD ARGENTÉ (Bartoš), with OHIO (Kratochvíl) in second place and PUNTARENAS (Rigo) third. Of the favourites, ZARIF (Váňa, jnr.) finished 6th and THALLIUM (Faltejsek) 8th. The non-finishers included last year’s winner SHERON (Kašný), JAM TAKI (Stromský) and FRASINI (Novák). The promising TUDUL (Myška) ran a good race, but he dropped back after the 2nd from home, and was pulled up.
The Popler Memorial was expected to be between KYSHANTY (Bartoš) and Slovak-trained CARDAM (Brečka). However, the dependable SHAMAN (Matuský) sprung a surprise. He led from the start, setting a quick pace, and did not let any of the others pass him, running out an easy winner by six lengths. KYSHANTY came 2nd, and GRILIAS (Kratochvíl) overtook CARDAM just before the line.
The favourite for the coveted Labe Prize was SILVER REGENT(Váňa, jnr.), winner of the September Velka Pardubicka qualification race. Others expected to do well were MOULA (Matuský), AMARAGON (Kratochvíl), DRÁCULA (Faltejsek), BORDERLAND (Andrés) and TER MILL(Köhl). In an open race, some others also had a chance. RUBÍN (Kašný) surprised with a fine performance, leading throughout the race, jumping the fences reliably, and he was caught only in the finishing straight by English-trained, French-bred SARIKA (de Chitray), which showed more quality in the run in. Third place went to TER MILL, and UNIVERSE OF GRACIE (Kousek) and BORDERLAND dead-heated for 4th place. SILVER REGENT came 6th, DRÁCULA 7th. AMARAGON fell, and MOULA lost his rider after landing awkwardly.
In the classical oval-track steeplechase, the hot favourites were last year’s Gold Cup winner, SOKOL (Boyer), and KHALSHANI (Myška). After his failure at Velká Chuchle, there was a question mark over the form of ČÁRIRAY (Andrés), but he did best of the well-backed horses, winning very easily by 9 lengths. KHALSHANI fell, and SOKOL dropped out of contention and was only able to finish fourth. ALANBROOKE (Faltejsek) put in a good performance to finish 2nd, and BASSO (Bartoš) came 3rd.
All the races had large and interesting fields. Among the jockeys, only Dušan Andrés managed to win twice, and he also finished 2nd in the Velka Pardubicka. None of the trainers had more than one winner.
Among the trainers, Josef Váňa will have been particularly disappointed. Big Mago fulfilled expectations in the first race. The Váňa team also had chances to win most of the other races, but luck was not on their side, and Tiumen’s demise in the Velka Pardubicka, the last race of the afternoon, was the last of a series of disappointments.

Pardubice 17.10.2013 Milan Tůma




Accreditation at the 123nd Velká pardubická s Českou pojišťovnou started

Starting on 1st September 2013 are running accreditation of journalists and photographers at this year`s 123th velká pardubická s Českou pojišťovnou at the Pardubice racecourse held on Sunday 13th October 2013.

Comleted application forms should be sent by email at press@synthesiapark.cz. Deadline for accreditation will be 20th September 2013. Later, the referral may not be accepted. Notification of award of accrediation will be announced no later than 30th September 2013.

Note for photographers: Capacity for photographers with access to the track is limited for safety reasons. Distribution of accredited photographers with access to the track and without entering the track will be created after deadline accreditation.

The application for accreditation ............. HERE


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Second Velka qualification race produces only 5 qualifiers

The 2nd Velka Pardubicka qualification race, the Major Svoboda Memorial, sponsored by Eltodo, was run on an extremely hot day at Pardubice on Saturday, June 30th. The much hoped-for rains did not materalize, but the heatwave did. The temperature was way up into the 30s Celsius. In the circumstances, the course was in less bad condition than might have been. Certainly, considerable efforts had been made. The grass track had been considerably watered, and was officially rated 3.1 - good (or should we say good-to-firm). The interior part of the course was officially 2.8 - firm. The first race was put back to 2 p.m., and the main race was not run until 6.10 p.m. However, it was still mighty hot, and the going had probably firmed up a little after the official measurements were made.


12 out of the 112 declared runners for the afternoon were withdrawn, several of them due to the firm ground and the heat. Out of the 17 acceptances for the qualification race, only 12 went to the start. Aspirant, Mandarino, Seslost, Imbir and Hipo Jape were the non-runners.


The lead kept changing in the first half of the race. Cim, Baggio, King of Gracie made the running, and they were joined by Belmont after he recovered from a poor start. Belmont's jockey Josef Bartos, back in the saddle after almost 3 months' absence following an operation for a broken vertebra, complained that he had intended to make the running, but got a bad start and he and the horse ate a lot of dust before he could get to the head of the field. Michal Kubik, on Vana-trained Grilias was unseated on the flat after the Garden Fence double. Flambion's jockey, Marek Stromsky, suffered a similar ejection on Flambion later in the race. Baggio, ridden by Liam Treadwell, made a big mistake at the Snake Ditch and dropped from the leading group to last place before the Big Water, after which he was pulled up. Sadly, this good horse, a real contender for the VP, had broken a leg and had to be put down.


Klaus, ridden by Sam Thomas, half demolished the side of the 6th from home, and dropped into last place of the 6 remaining runners. Thomas then moved Klaus forward as they crossed the course before and after the 4th from home (Havel's Jump), and he led into the third from home. At the second last, Karlsbad moved up alongside Klaus, and the race appeared to be betweeen the two of them. However, Klaus had been ridden too freely to have anything left for the run in, and Karlsbad was able to win fairly comfortably. Belmont moved into 2nd place, King of Gracie was 3rd, Klaus came 4th, and Argentan 5th. Only five finished and qualified for the VP. Lirain fell at the last. Grizli, Hamillpond and Cim were pulled up along the way.


This was of course a fine win for 16:1 outsider Karlsbad, owned K-K Metal, one of our longstanding owners of steeplechasers, and trained by Frantisek Holcak, who had trained Kadyny, winner of the Czech Derby at Prague Velka Chuchle a week earlier. Karlsbad was ridden by French jockey Thomas Boyer, who rides in Italy. Karlsbad's most notable previous performance had been when he finished 2nd to Valldemoso in last year's September qualification race.


Just five qualifiers for the Velka is not a satisfactory outcome. However, there are other opportunities for qualifying: the two remaining qualification races at Pardubice, at the end of August and in mid-September, any steeplechase over a distance of 4800 metres or more in France, the UK, Ireland or Italy, and any of the Crystal Cup races, e.g. at Waregem at the end of August. The loss of Baggio is very sad. It was probably due to his mistake at the Snake Ditch, and was not a direct result of the firm ground.


Velka Pardubicka - Tiumen and Vana complete their hat trick after problems at the Taxis

Fourteen horses lined up for the 121st running of the Velka Pardubicka, after Teviot was withdrawn due to injury. Following substantial rain on the previous day, the going was good to soft, and on a cool afternoon the conditions were good for steeplechasing. Zulejka did not get far, coming down at the second fence. As they approached the Taxis, Sixteen was surprisingly in the lead. Karlsbad came down at the Taxis. His jockey, Marcel Novak, explained that he had not got a good run in to the fence, and that you do not get over the Taxis without enough momentum. Tiumen made a mistake at the Taxis, and was at this point 5 lengths behind the field. Sixteen remained in the lead, setting a pace that all the others were able to keep up with. Flambion and Bremen Plan were prominent. Tiumen gradually made up ground, and nothing dramatic happened until the Big Water Jump. Here Klaus, which had been backed in to a rather short-priced second favourite, put a foot in, and unseated jockey Jaroslav Myska. The jockey was frustrated as his horse had not made any mistakes prior to that, and was going well. The next to go was at Havel´s fence. Trezor, which had not settled well in the first half of the race, had been started going better by this point, and his jockey, Bohuslav Matl, had begun to hope he might achieve a good finish. However, a fall put an end to his race. Sixteen was still in the lead, and by the second from home it became clear that there were only three left in with a chance. Sixteen was closely followed by Valldemoso, with Tiumen moving up ominously. They came to the last fence in that order, and Sixteen and Vallldemoso put in a rather better jump than Tiumen.



It was obvious that Tiumen´s 58-year-old jockey was going to have to drive his horse all the way to the line. He managed to find the strength, winning by half a length from Sixteen, ridden by Josef Bartos and also trained by Vana. Valldemoso tired a little, and finished 2 lengths behind in third place. The rest of the field was quite well beaten. Flambion came in 4th, 12 lengths behind, and then there was three and a quarter lengths back to Mandarino. Both of these exceeded expectations. The prize money for 6th and 7th places went to Bremen Plan and Aspirant, respectively. Amant Gris was 8th, and Wavelight Laser trailed in in 9th place. Lirain was pulled up at the beginning of the finishing straight when he was well beaten.
Josef Vana thus duly won his 8th Velka Pardubicka as a jockey and his 9th as a trainer, including hat-tricks on both Zeleznik and Tiumen. We obsevered yet another astonishing performance by the greatest personality in world steeplechasing. It is a sad reflection on our sport that his extraordinary achievement will presumably be ignored, or mentioned as a footnote, in those countries that doubtless have faster horses, but do not have a jockey capable of winning their toughest race at the age of 56 and 57, and now again at 58.
ALL 8 RACES ON CZECH TELEVISION http://www.ceskatelevize.cz/ivysilani/10322138461-121-velka-pardubicka-ceske-pojistovny/211471290330001-121-velka-pardubicka-ceske-pojistovny/

Refections on the 121st Velka Pardubicka as the 2011 season approaches its end
A week after the 2011 Velka Pardubicka, there does not seem to be much to add. The favourite won, and Josef Vana completed a hat-trick on Tiumen. This remarkable achievement barely made it into the racing press outside the country. If there was any mention of it all, it was inserted between notes on handicappers that had done well, or were expected to do well that afternoon, in midweek races on provincial courses. Sadly, the non-Czech speaking racing world must again rely on the Pardubice racecourse website and the Paddock Revue website for news and views on the main event.
No hard luck stories were told after the race. Jaroslav Myska said that Klaus was going well when he fell at the Big Water. He was in last place at the time, and the horse took off in synchrony with the horse that was a stride ahead of him, with predictable consequences. Klaus is only 6, and he could well be a contender in future years.
A detailed study of the video of the race, together with jockey Josef Vana’s comments, suggests that Vana was very nearly unseated at the Taxis, and that the horse, more than the jockey, resolved a very threatening situation. They lost only about 5 lengths in this incident, and Vana showed great experience and patience to make the ground up slowly and gradually. They did not join the rest until just before the garden double fence. Vana steered the perfect course throughout, and the horse responded instantly to his instructions. Vana again showed wonderful patience, relying on Tiumen’s stamina and waiting with his run until after the last fence, at which Tiumen made a slight mistake. No doubt a younger, race-fitter jockey could have ridden a stronger finish than the exhausted Vana did, but the horse did not need any more. According to Vana, Tiumen responded to the cheering crowd and stuck his neck out.
Second-placed Sixteen ran a marvellous race, taking the lead before the Taxis, and only being headed briefly by Flambion and by Bremen Plan in mid race, and in the final metres by Tiumen. Her owner has not yet said definitively that she will be retired and go to stud.
Jockey Dusan Andres said that 3rd placed Valldemoso ran a good race and had little left in the tank for the run in. 4th placed Flambion ran the race of his life. He was prominent throughout, but was beaten with 600 metres to run. 5th placed Mandarino was last of the remaining runners as they approached the 4th from home, but he stayed on better than some of those ahead of him. 6th and 7th place money will have been small consolation for the connections of Bremen Plan and Aspirant.
Amant Gris narrowly failed to get into the prize money. He finished lame, and will now retire: that had in any case been the plan for this fine but unlucky horse. His retirement home will be at his owner’s Albertovec stud, where he is a big favourite and will be among friends in beautiful countryside. The only other finisher was Wavelight Laser.
The non-finishers were Zulejka, which fell at the 2nd due to equipment failure. Karlsbad fell at the Taxis after running at the fence hesitantly; in doing so he interfered with Tiumen. Klaus unseated his rider at the Big Water. Trezor, after jumping poorly early on, settled a bit, but came down at Havel’s Fence, the 4th from home. Lirain was pulled up before the last fence, when he was already well beaten.
The official attendance was given as 14 800. There certainly appeared to be fewer people than last year, when the crowd was said to have been 'at least 30 000'. However, if the 2011 attendance was just 14 800, the 2010 attendance was not more than 20 000. And if last year's figure was over 30 000, this year's was at least 22 000. There certainly appeared to be considerably fewer Brits and Irish in the crowd. The unpromising weather and weather forecast, though in fact the afternoon was dry and not very chilly, probably accounts for the drop in Czech attendance, plus the fact that the whole afternoon was to be shown live on television.
The shortage of Brits and Irish can be put down to the lack of a British or Irish runner, and to the remarkable lack of publicity about this major horseracing event in the racing press in those countries, not to mention the pleas of temporary poverty from some regular visitors to Pardubice who did not make it this year. Only the Pardubice Racecourse website and the Paddock Revue website, it seems, give the Velka Pardubicka and its remarkable heroes, Josef Vana and Tiumen, the publicity they deserve in English language. This not enough - we need support and publicity from the big guns of the racing world.
Just about every year, the Velka Pardubicka is a spectacular race. The 121st running will be remembered for the hat-trick of victories by Josef Vana and Tiumen. Perhaps we should reverse that - Tiumen and Josef Vana. This was some performance by the horse. Both hope still to be around a year from now, when Tiumen will be 11 and Vana will be 8 days short of his 60th birthday. Sunday October 14th, 2012 - put it in your diary!
After the Velka Pardubicka meeting the afternoons shorten and winter approaches rapidly. The Czech racing season comes to an end within three weeks.
All that remains to be sorted out is the jumps jockeys’ championship. As on several occasions in the past, Dusan Andres would have won it by the end of September if only he had been told as a young man that he must learn how to ride a finish. In 2011 he has led the championship all year, but he is now ahead of Jaroslav Myska only on number of 2nd places. Next Saturday there will be 7 jumps races at Pardubice, and after that there will be one in each of the two subsequent meetings at Velka Chuchle, and two at the holiday meeting at Slusovice.
I assure you again, dear reader, that Dusan has many good things going for him as a jockey, apart from his deplorable efforts in the run in. He can steer and settle a horse, he is a good judge of pace, and he is not easily ejected from the saddle. He is the only jockey in modern times to have ridden the winner both of the Czech Derby (Temirkanov) and of the Velka Pardubicka (Sixteen). He won the flat jockeys’ championship in 2003, and has five times finished 2nd in the jump jockeys’ championship. He is famous for his mastery of little up-country courses, where the flat race circuit is usually not much more than 1200 metres and the jumps races are run mainly inside the flat race track. He celebrated his 40th birthday this summer. I will be cheering for whoever wins the 2011 championship.


Will Tiumen for the third time and Josef Váňa for the eight time?
Fifteen runners and riders will go to the start for the 121st running of the Česká pojišťovna Velka Pardubicka, which will be run on Sunday, October 9th. There will be no four-legged international participants. Only Swiss-based jockey Julien Lemée and Slovak jockey Jiří Kousek, who was born in Brno, will represent the rest of the world.
The favourite will be two-time winner of this race TIUMEN (ridden by Josef Váňa), which showed excellent form in winning the August qualification race, beating three horses, KLAUS (ridden by Myška), ASPIRANT(ridden by Lemée) and ZULEJ