Following problems on the far side of the track, all the races on Sunday, 14th February had to be held on the 800m finishing straight. Patchino won the most important trotting race with Evelyne Fankhauser and Zarras was convincing as a well-known snow specialist with the gallopers. The Skikjöring could not take place – but nonetheless had a winner in Erato. The 9000 spectators bet a total of 37,516 Swiss Francs.
The favourites could not impress in the ‘BMW – Grand trotting prize of Pontresina’. Victory went to 13-year old Patchino with Evelyne Fankhauser in the sulky. The trainer is Theo Fankhauser from Werrikon, who did not expect a victory either – in spite of the changed starting situation: ‘Normally, Patchino is a horse for long distances. But he is in good shape at the moment’.
The ‘GP Stud Farm Lasbek’ had a convincing winner in the form of Italianec. Heiner Bracher was celebrating long before reaching the finishing line, and even more so since he is responsible for training the gelding.
Two horses from trainer Philipp Schärer decided the ‘GP Christoffel Bau Trophy – supported by Jockey Club of Turkey’. Once again, Zarras owned by Scuderia del clan, proved to be a true snow specialist. Under Raphael Lingg, he easily left his stable mate Soundtrack (Daniele Porcu) behind and quickly gained an advantage of one length. In this the main race for the gallopers, the ‘Jockey Club of Turkey’ made its sponsorship debut in White Turf. In doing so, the Turkish horse racing association has done much to boost its international activities in Switzerland as well. On 15th May, a White Turf race will take place at the Veliefendi racetrack in Istanbul.
In the ‘GP Prestige’ four-year-old Vale of Iron was the much-acclaimed winner, looked after by the British trainer John Best who has been well-known for a long time in St. Moritz. Under Robert Havlin, the stallion passed the finishing line with an advantage of three and a half lengths.
After nine owners out of ten had withdrawn their horses from participation in the ‘CREDIT SUISSE GP of Silvaplana’, only one horse remained: Erato trained by Philipp Schärer, was the sole starter. According to the rules, the race did not have to take place, so victory went to Erato and Erich Bottlang, who would have normally raced the gelding. Under the name of Scuderia del clan, White Turf CEO Silvio Martin Staub is the owner of Erato. He donated the prizemoney (6,300 Swiss Francs) to the St. Moritz Ski School for the Blind.
Credit Suisse has been a loyal partner of White Turf for the past forty years. Reason why the main sponsor had thought a very special event and creating a lasting legacy. In addition to the prizemoney, the driver of Erato received the ‘Credit Suisse King’s Cup’, created especially for the occasion on behalf of Credit Suisse by the young Swiss artistic duo ‘Aubry Broquard’. Next Sunday’s winner as well as the overall winner of the ‘Credit Suisse Skikjöring Trophy’ will also receive a trophy.
The ‘H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan Listed Cup’, in which Raphael Lingg was aiming for his second victory of the day, finished with a surprise. The four-legged star of this race was the mare Nil Kamla, trained by Franziska Aeschbacher and owned by her husband Urs Aeschbacher. The history of Arab races on the frozen lake of St. Moritz reaches back to the dawn of this millennium. Between 2000 and 2002 six of these races took place. Contact was re-established with the Middle East in 2013. This coming Sunday will see the next race for Arab thoroughbreds take place.
The ‘2016 Wroclaw European Capital of Culture prize – White Turf Jockey Club’ was supposed to be run as a hurdle race. It was decided earlier that only the flat racetrack would be used. However, after the warm-up for the horses the decision was taken that this race (like all the others) could only take place over 800m. That opened the way for seven-year-old Mateur, trained by Meret Kaderli for her husband René Kaderli. Fabian Xaver Weißmeier was in the saddle. In autumn 2015, a White Turf race had already taken place on the racetrack in Breslau (2016 European Capital of Culture). Now it’s time for the return visit with the objective of having an increasing number of horses from Eastern Europe competing in St. Moritz.
Ladies first – that was the final and appropriate result in the ‘Valentine’s Day Matchrace – Trade Association Prize of St. Moritz’, which was won by Astrid Wullschleger in the saddle of Arable, leaving her companion Olivier Plaçais on Maxim Gorky well behind.