Apollo San surprises the entire competition by becoming the new trotting king on snow
The highlights of the second race Sunday of White Turf on the frozen lake of St. Moritz were provided by an outsider and an illustrious duo. 22:1 outsider Apollo San became the new trotting king on snow in the BMW – Great Trotting Prize of Pontresina, Berrahri, just like last year – was the outstanding winner of the GP LONGINES, and Pinot with Alfredo Lupo Wolf were victorious in the CREDIT SUISSE – GP of Sils.
“We had a far greater number of spectators on the track and feel extreme joy and gratitude. The team’s work was outstanding”, said Thomas C. Walther, CEO of the Rennverein St. Moritz, and added: “For safety reasons, we marked the track out on the opposite side. The technological innovations have proven their worth. Thanks to the devices, we can, so to speak, see between the ice layer and the racetrack.”
Despite strong wind, an overcast sky and light snowfall, about 10,500 spectators turned out today on the frozen lake and for the seven races, we had a turnover of around 57,000 Swiss francs at the betting counters, which can be judged as a success. Twelve months ago, 9,500 spectators had created a betting revenue of 65,634 Swiss francs.
Apollo San dominated the BMW – Great Trotting Prize of Pontresina
The main event on the second race Sunday came from the trotters. During the last two years, Spike had won the BMW – Great Trotting Prize of Pontresina in a supreme manner. A week ago, he had been unable to cope with the deep surface snow and pulled up in the first bend. However, the betting public had not envisaged a changing of the guard, Spike started the race with a victory rate of 1.80:1 and thus as the clear favourite,followed by newcomer Vincenzo Augenaies. However, it all turned out differently. The 22.60:1 outsider Apollo San left his opponents with no chance. The Jurassian Daniel Grüter as owner, trainer and driver rolled into personal union and was thrilled with his clear victory in front of Ramona Lap and last Sunday’s winner Super
Berry Chenou. Once again, with the surface too soft for his liking, the favourite Spike had to be content with a very unusual last place.
In the second trotting race of the day, the Sport Mind AG prize, we again saw a family duel between last Sunday’s winner Silvan Krüsi, with the mare Anshy, who this time had to concede victory by a hair’s breadth to his mother Barbara in the sulky pulled by Aladin Volsin. Aladin Volsin won by an advantage of a mere hundredth of a second. Ubar Rose was clearly behind in third place.
**Just like last year, Berrahri proved unbeatable in the GP LONGINES**
This was already Berrahri’s fifth visit from England to the Engadine, and just like a year ago, the now eightyear-old gelding was ahead of his opponents in the GP LONGINES. However, the 2.60:1 favourite trained by John Best in England had to produce an effort against grey mare Fiesta following strongly behind, to maintain his advantage of a quarter length up to the finish. It was Berrahri’s fourth victory at White Turf. He has always won with different jockeys. Today, Dennis Schiergen had the pleasure, who had already won the GP LONGINES a week ago with New Agenda.
This success means Berrahri cemented his position as a joint favourite for the LONGINES 80th Grand Prix of St. Moritz. Prizemoney in this horserace is a matter of no less than 111,111 Swiss francs, the highest in Switzerland. Dennis Schiergen, who already won last Sunday’s GP LONGINES with New Agenda, will again be at the start with New Agenda in the Grand Prix. “I accepted last week, and I stand by my word. Even though Berrahri was very impressive,” said the jockey who lives in Switzerland but grew up in Cologne and is in the leading position for the LONGINES Silver Jockey Trophy at White Turf.
In the GP Christoffel Bau Trophy, the favourite Hakam had to succumb to the superiority of Filou, who was handicapped because of a lost horseshoe a week ago and therefore had no chance. This time, Filou with his regular jockey Raphael Lingg took over the lead and never conceded it again. Despite Hakam’ efforts, he crossed the finishing line several lengths behind, but remained second, clearly ahead of Dancing Diamond.
Philipp Schärer trains the eight-year-old Swiss breed on behalf of Ruedi and Maya Günthardt.
Joint favourites with Swiss lady jockeys in the saddle were in action in the two other flat races: The Sigma Lenses Prize was won by Heloagain with Silvia Casanova, and the Friends of the Rennverein St. Moritz Prize went to the colours of twelve-year-old Runaway with Astrid Wullschleger in the saddle. She led in front in superior manner right from the start.
**High tension at the CREDIT SUISSE King’s Cup before the grand finale: thanks to the victory of Pinot everything is wide-open again**
The CREDIT SUISSE – GP of Sils, the second race of the Credit Suisse Skikjöring Trophy was highly disputed. Neither last Sunday’s winner Strade Kirk with Jakob Broger nor the acting Queen of the Engadine, Valeria Holinger with her Usbekia, were able to compete for victory. They eventually came in fifth and fourth,respectively. Pinot, who galloped behind at the back of the field for a considerable time, fought for victory after a tactically clever race by Alfredo “Lupo” Wolf, who outdistanced Valeria Selina Walther with the outsider Get Ready Freddy by more than three lengths. Third place was taken by Acteur de l’Ecu with Erich Bottlang
just ahead of Usbekia with titleholder Valeria Holinger. Carina Schneider trains the winner Pinot for her parents Maya and Berti Schneider in the Zurich Oberland.
Going into the finale next Sunday, Alfredo “Lupo” Wolf leads with Pinot on 11 points, ahead of Jakob Broger (Starde Kirk) with 9 points and Erich Bottlang (Sociopath/Acteur de l’Ecu) with 8. Valeria Selina Walther (Get Ready Freddy) with 5 points, also has a mathematical chance of overall victory. On the other hand, Valeria Holinger with Usbekia can no longer successfully defend her title.
**Taifuna and two new winners in the pony race**
One week after the first pony gallop race in the history of White Turf, the race ponies with a height of up to 140 centimetres and their young girl and boy riders, again delighted the spectators at the Calixus AG winter prize. This time, there were two new winners in the different categories. Taifuna again won Category C with Julia Gutekunst, just in front of his stable mate Maharatja. In Category B, victory this time went to Nikita – who had become rider-less last week – with Ardis Müller. Among the smallest ponies, the 19-year-old grey mare
ridden by Florence Gähwiler dominated.
**Final cancellation deadline for the LONGINES 80th Grand Prix of St. Moritz**
Ahead of the final cancellation deadline for the 111,111 Swiss francs race for next Sunday’s LONGINES 80th Grand Prix of St. Moritz at the White Turf finale, there are still 11 horses from Germany, England, France and Switzerland in the line-up. Among them, last year’s winner Nimrod, his runner-up Berrahri, as well as last year’s fourth placed Jungleboogie, the winner in 2016. The cancellation deadline is on Tuesday, and on Wednesday noon, the eagerly awaited starting list for the anniversary addition of this prestigious race will be published.
PRESS St. Moritz, 10th February 2019