There is always a great crowd, nice weather and great racing at the Bjerke racetrack in Oslo, Norway, but on Sunday it was just great racing in the country capitol. The field was this year reduced before the start as the 2011 winner Arch Madness had to be scratched after tying up after a training mile earlier in the week. The American guest will not have made the trip in vain, as he's supposed to recover for Solvalla's Elitlopp.
The Swedish ace Sebastian K (Korean-Gabriella K, by Probe) has been regarded as the favorite for the upcoming Elitlopp, but a weak effort in the Olympic Trot put him in the shadow of the Olympic winner Maharajah (Viking Kronos). But in Sunday's $490,000 Oslo Grand Prix, Sebastian K got some revenge when he easily took command was never really headed on his way to victory.
There was really no threat of Majarajah, who lost the race at the start when driver Orjan Kihlstrom pulled him back and took him last. After a 1:56 rated opening half by Sebastian K and Ake Svanstedt, the speed slowed until Commander Crowe arrived up on the outside.
Sebastian K still had a good margin at the finish as he won in a race of 1:57.1 over 2,100 meters (1.3 miles), and even if Maharajah closed like a hurricane he finished far behind the winner in third. The Italian entry, Nesta Effe (Naglo), made another great to take second after two wins in Finland.
"When I did not have to use too much to take the lead, I kept command and never saw any in the near in the end," said Svanstedt. "He's a great horse which he showed once again."
The runner-ups who did not get into the Oslo Grand Prix and still trying to get a ticket for the corresponding race in Stockholm in two weeks, met in elims and final for the Radio Metro Cup,
The elims were captured by BWL Champion (8, h, Pine Chip–Lovely by Top Love), driven by Björn Goop in 1:56 over the mile, while the second elim went to Montgomery Hill (9, g, SJ's Photo- Funny Hill by Mr. Vic) driven by Flemming Jensen. Montgomery Hill was timed in 1:58.2 over the mile.
Jensen surprised later when he decided to drive O'Grady (SJ's Photo) in the final.The race was a wire-to-wire decision for BWL Champion, who has found a sensationally peak of his career form as an 8 year old for trainer Pentti Salmela.
With a fast opening quarter and then pulled up quarters, Björn Goop had speed to leave them and could take an easy win in 1:57.1. The only threat, O'Grady, was disqualified was a close homestretch break.-- by Lars G. Palm