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Bold Eagle Seeks Historic Win

Published: January 27, 2018 4:54 pm ET

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Bold Eagle can overcome recent defeats to clinch trotting's richest prize -- the Prix d'Amérique at Vincennes -- for a third consecutive year on Sunday if he can make his move at the right moment, his trainer told AFP.

The trotting sensation completed the French triple crown in February to become only the fourth horse in harness racing history to achieve the feat.

Should the seven-year-old cover the 2,700 metres ahead of the star-studded 18 horse field in front of an expected 40,000 people at the mecca of trotting on the outskirts of Paris, Bold Eagle's prize money will leap over the 4 million euros mark.

"Bold Eagle is on top form and ready to win a third Grand Prix d'Amérique, if (driver) Franck Nivard waits for the right moment and gets him in the right position on the home straight without having made too much effort," trainer Sebastien Guarato told AFP.

Of the 18 contenders Guarato is fielding five on Sunday with Carat Williams, Booster Winner, Valko Jenilat and Billy de Montfort.

Regular driver Nivard will be in the sulky again Sunday and after guiding five winners home in the prestige race he was measured on Bold Eagle's chances.

"Bold Eagle is good, even if he's not as snappy as he was last year. If we get a nice run he'll be in the mix," Nivard said.

In the build up to the race, Readly Express is joint 9-4 favourite with Bold Eagle and Propulsion was also heavily fancied.

Six-year-old Readly Express was described as a warrior by his Swedish driver Björn Goop, who is gunning for a first ever win in the race to add to his 6,000=-plus career victories.

"Readly Express is a warrior; to win we need to avoid bad luck. To win this race though you need the right tactics...we'll see," said Goop.

But it is perhaps the American-bred Swedish-trained Propulsion, who beat Bold Eagle in the Prix de Bourgogne over 2,100 metres, or Bird Parker trained by Philippe Allaire and who has beaten Bold Eagle twice this season.

Prix de Bourgogne 2017

A win in the 2018 Prix d'Amerique would put Bold Eagle in rare company as only four horses have posted three consecutive Prix d'Amerique victories: trotting greats Uranie (1926 - 1928), Roquépine (1966 - 1968), Bellino II (1975 - 1977) and Ourasi (1986 - 1988).

The race was named in honour of the assistance the United States gave France in World War One and was staged for the first time in 1920.

Here are the horses set to complete in the 2018 Prix d'Amerique:

Head # - Horse - Driver - Trainer
1. Tony Gio - Christophe Martens - Vincent Martens
2. Briac Dark - Matthieu Abrivard - Thierry Duvaldestin
3. Charly du Noyer - Yoann Lebourgeois - Philippe Allaire
4. Carat Williams - David Thomain - Sebastien Guarato
5. Ringostarr Treb - Gabriele Gelormini - Jerry Riordan
6. Booster Winner - Matthieu Mottier - Sebastien Guarato
7. Valko Jenilat - Eric Raffin - Sebastien Guarato
8. Readly Express - Björn Goop - Timo Nurmos
9. Belina Josselyn - Jean Michel Bazire - Jean Michel Bazire
10. Propulsion - Örjan Kihlström - Daniel Redén
11. Timone Ek - Enrico Bellei - Philippe Billard
12. Lionel - Göran Antonsen - Daniel Redén
13. Voltigeur de Myrt - Lorenzo Donati - Roberto Donati
14. Wild Honey - Daniel Olsson - Daniel Redén
15. Billie de Montfort - Alexandre Abrivard - Sebastien Guarato
16. Bird Parker - Jean-Philippe Monclin - Philippe Allaire
17. Oasis Bi - Pierre Vercruysse - Stefan P. Pettersson
18. Bold Eagle - Franck Nivard - Sebastien Guarato

(with files from AFP)


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