Following Subway Dancer’s third place in the Group I Champion Stakes at Ascot in October 2018, another Czech-trained runner is being prepared to run at Ascot – this time at the royal meeting. Trainer Václav Luka, who has achieved a lot of success in France in the last four years, is preparing to send Nagano Gold, which is probably the best horse in his training centre. Nagano Gold won the Czech St Leger in 2017 and a couple of Listed races at Longchamp, in 2018 and 2019.
St Pancras (May 12th), St Servatus (May 13th) and St Boniface (May14th) are known in the Czech Republic as the Ice Saints, and it is interesting how often these saints’ days produce a night frost long after winter seems to have been left behind and long after nature has burst into spring mode. Climate change seems not yet to have affected the Ice Saints.
The field for Saturday’s VP qualification race at Pardubice can boast not only the winner of the 2018 Velka, but also a horse that won the Velka without finishing the race in first place. In the Lokotrans colours, 11-y-o Ribelino will be running at Pardubice for the second time this year. However, his previous run did not leave his trainer, Luboš Urbánek (photo), any the wiser!