At the Vincennes track In Paris, France, on Sunday, Ready Cash turned the tables on Royal Dream in the 400,000 euro Prix de France, with 200,000 euros to the winner. Ready Cash, the runner-up in this year's Prix d'Amerique and the winner of that classic in 2011 and 2012, prevailed over his rival in a spirited stretch drive, but only by a nose. The mile rate time for the 2,100-meter race (about 1 1/3 miles) was 1:55 on the cold day with snow flurries in the air.
The Prix de France is raced with a mobile start, as is used in North America, and Joseph Verbeeck shot Timoko to the lead from post nine. Ready Cash started from post two and driver Franck Nivard kept him in a perfect second-over position in the field of 13.
Sweden's Maharajah started from post one and followed Verbeeck but after a furlong he broke stride, as did Triode de Felliere and Main Wise AS.
Verbeeck set a moderate pace but Jean-Philippe Dubois took over the lead with Royal Dream with about three-quarters of the race left to contest. Then Lutfi Kolgjini sent Raja Mirchi up to challenge and they pressured Royal Dream until the middle of the homestretch.
As Raja Mirchi tired, Nivard asked Ready Cash for speed and with a big, quick brush they were alongside Royal Dream. Their battle was fierce and lasted all the way to the wire.
"I was very disappointed with myself after the Prix d'Amerique," said Nivard about his drive in that race with Ready Cash. "Today I do my job and I am happy."
Orjan Kihlstrom said the tough inside post position (1) at Vincennes was one of the reasons Maharajah broke stride. "I was a little aggressive and tested my horse a little too hard," he added.
Verbeeck was thrilled with Timoko's third-place effort and raved about his horse to the media. "It's not too often a horse can take the lead from post nine, but I thought it would be too much for him to defend the lead, so I let him (Royal Dream) go."
Timoko and Verbeeck held on for third while Noras Bean was fourth and The Best Madrik took fifth.