Lodgian Whistle beats a strong field in the 3rd VP Qualification Race
Only seven runners started in the third of the four qualification races for the 2020 Velka Pardubicka on Saturday, August 8th. The going was 3.1 (good to firm) and the temperature was around 30 degrees – not ideal conditions for steeplechasing, but August is August, and the course appeared to be well turned out.
Josef Váňa senior had three good runners, Theophilos, No Time to Lose, both past winners of the VP, and Mazhilis, a past winner of the Gran Premio di Merano. Their biggest challenge seemed likely to come from Talent, which had already won two VP qualification races, or possibly from Lodgian Whistle, winner against modest opposition in the Labe Stakes on VP day 2019.
Catch Life set off in front, but the race was run at a slow pace. The horses took the Irish Bank very carefully. Jaroslav Myška will have been relieved to have got over this obstacle successfully, as he had been unseated by Lodgian Whistle at the Bank in the first Qualification Race. Lodgian Whistle was then taken into the lead, but he set only a moderate pace. Catch Life followed him, followed by Theophilos and Talent. The others were being held up, and when they came out from behind the copse for the second time, the race seemed to be wide open. Direct Lagrange then made a mistake and was soon pulled up. When they turned on to the grass track with 600 metres, Lodgian Whistle was still leading from Catch Life. Talent and Theophilos seemed ready to challenge, and No Time To Lose and Mazhilis were not out of the race. Theophilos had made a number of mistakes, and now put in another. After the last fence, Catch Life, ridden by Jan Faltejsek, challenged Lodgian Whistle, but was quite easily beaten off. Talent won the battle for third place, and the three Váňa-trained horses were the last three past the post. No Time To Lose was eased right up - I hope this valiant winner of the 2017 VP will be OK to run on Sunday, October 11th.
7-y-o Lodgian Whistle is owned by Stáj Jeso, trained by Štěpánka Myšková, and was ridden by Jaroslav Myška. This was a promising run by a young chaser.
The fourth and final qualification race at Pardubice will be on Saturday, August 29th. All horses have the option of qualifying for the VP by completing a steeplechase over a distance of at least 3 miles in Ireland, the UK, Germany, France or Italy, or any of the races in the Crystal Cup series.