Winterwind is the winner’s name of the Gübelin 72nd Grand Prix of St. Moritz. The stallion trained by Carmen Bocskai and ridden by Georg Bocskai passed the finish line in front of Pont des Arts and Tarkheena Prince, accompanied by snow flurries. At the Grand Prix BMW the snow specialist Maître de la Piste was not prepared to lose. And at the Skik- jöring Bergonzi and Franco Moro were victorious and at the same time took the overalltop place of the Credit Suisse Skikjöring Trophy.
The excitement at the Engadine Grand Prix was unsurpassable. The unexpected victory went to the 45.8:1 outsider Winterwind, trained in Avenches for Markus Gräff by Carmen Bocskai. Coming from last position, jockey Georg Bocskai took up the chase on the opposite side, arrived in the best position on the straight and passed the finish line first with an advantage of three-quarter’s of a length. ‘What an excellent performance. Winterwind could simply not have done bet- ter’, exclaimed Carmen Bocskai her husband, and both showed their joy. Carmen Bocskai: ‘We have previously won the Grand Prix once after Quiron was disqualified but this was just the crowning event!’ Pont des Arts (Fréderic Spanu) came second, just a short head in front of Tarkheena Prince (Pierantonio Convertino).
Just before the start of the race day, Raphael Gübelin, CEO of the Gübelin Group, announced that Gübelin will continue to sponsor the Grand Prix of St. Moritz. The contract is effective for two years with the option to renew.
The final White Turf day began with the victory of the German guest Libretto, trained by Hans-Walter Hiller for Ulrich Zerrath, at the Grand Prix Prestige. Filip Minarik was in the saddle and beat Lodano (Steve Drowne) with a one head advantage to second place. Aged thirteen, the second runner-up Sacho (Alexander Pietsch) took farewell of the race courses.
African Art assured a start to finish victory for trainer Philipp Schä
rer and jockey Eduardo Pedroza at the Grand Prix Sport Mind. It was already African Art’s second win at the 2011 White Turf.
Franco Moro is the winner of the Credit Suisse Skikjöring Trophy. After last Sunday’s victory, nobody could interfere in the final Grand Prix Credit Suisse where he won with the four-legged star Bergonzi, trained by Christian von der Recke. King George (who participated in his last race) and Jakob Broger finished second, while Leo Luminati and Gallardo came third. The same order, Moro (18 points) in front of Broger (15 points) and Luminati (11 points), was the final result of the Credit Suisse Skikjöring Trophy. Franco Moro may now enjoy being the ‘King of the Engadine’ for a whole year. He thus secured the title for the sixth time.
Maître de la Piste, the big favourite, won the most important trotting race with the Grand Prix BMW and consequently confirmed last Sunday’s victory. Laurence Kindler led Jean-Francois Johner’s protégé with two and a half lengths across the finish line in front of the strongly attacking Quatuor de Martza (Renaud Pujol). Kodex (Evelyne Fankhauser) came third. At the other trotting race, the Grand Prix Gaggenau Hausgeräte, Christine Rother took an early lead on Magic Day, trained and owned by Roland Müller. Runner-up Paléo des Champs (Evelyne Fankhauser) finally ap- proached to within half a length.
Further prizes were presented to the active riders in four sectors. The BMW Snow Trotting Trophy went with 21 points to Haras de Peccau. Evelyn Fankhauser ensured the La Margna Silver Challenge Drivers’ Cup with 24 points. Eduardo Pedroza obtained the same number of points at the Crystal Silver Challenge Jockey Cup. Miroslav Weiss left the race course with three kilos of silver after having won the Soldanella Silver Challenge Trainer Trophy (46 points). Two kilos of silver went to Phillip Schärer and one kilo of silver to Christian von der Recke (both 35 points).
11,500 spectators (a total of 32,500 visitors on all three race days) bet 112,606 Swiss francs on the final day. The stakes for the three race days amounted to 293,178 Swiss francs as compared to 301,262 Swiss francs twelve months ago. For the two races incorporated into the French PMU programme, a little more than half a million Euros were bet.
Press release: whiteturf.ch
Images: Andrea Derungs