05/29/2016 9:37AM

Elitlopp: Eliminations won by Timoko, Un Mec d'Héripré

Peeo Ploff
Timoko leads Resolve through the stretch of the first Elitlopp elimination

French horses Timoko and Un Mec d'Héripré were victorious in the first elimination heats for the Elitlopp on Sunday at Solvalla Racecourse in Sweden.

In the first elimination, Timoko (Bjorn Goop) went all the way on the front and held off Resolve (Ake Svanstedt), who trotted strongly through the lane after a third-over trip, to win by half a length in 1:51 1/5 over the five-eighths mile track.  Propulsion (Orjan Kihlstrom) and Oasis Bi (Johnny Takter) rounded out the horses who advanced to the final.

Richard Westerink owns and trains Timoko, a 9-year-old stallion by Imoko.  Timoko won the Elitlopp in 2014 and appeared in last year's International Trot at Yonkers.  This was Timoko's fourth win of the year.  He was off on stallion duty from March 13 to May 6 and returned with a victorious prep in the G2 Prix Kerjacques at Vincennes.

The second elimination saw Royal Fighter (Jennifer Tillman) on the lead until the stretch where Un Mec d'Héripré (Jos Verbeeck) rallied past from first-over.  Nuncio (Stefan Melander) also had room and had dead aim at Un Mec d'Héripré through the lane, but Un Mec d'Héripré held sway, winning by three-quarters of a length in 1:51 3/5.  Royal Fighter just held third ahead of Billie de Monfort (David Thomain).

Un Mec d'Héripré is an 8-year-old son of Orlando Vici trained by Fabrice Souloy for owner Ecurie d'Héripré.  This was his second success of 2016, joining his triumph in the G2 Criterium de Vitesse de Basse-Normandie at Argentan.

The field will line up as follows for the final:

1-Un Mec d'Héripré
6-Royal Fighter
7-Billie de Monfort
8-Oasis Bi