Over thirty five thousand people gathered at the Hippodrome Paris-Vincennes, France on Sunday to see IDAO DE TILLARD (FR) win one of the greatest trotting races, the €1 million Prix D’Amerique. The race attracts massive international interest with the race broadcasted live to other 36 countries and betting of over €6 million. The whole day is a marvellous spectacle, filled with anticipation, pageantry and drama throughout

IDAO DE TILLARD (FRR) came to the race with 6 successive wins under is belt and was the ante-post favourite for the 103 Prix d’Amerique. A large field of 18 runners caused 2 (chaotic) false starts, but order was restored to get them on their way on the third attempt. Idao de Tillard (FR) didn’t get the easiest of races, getting away midfield only to be shuffled back and only had 3 behind him as they passed by the stands on their first circuit As they left the home straight, driver Clément Duvaldestin appeared calm as he continued on a wide berth and gradually edged his horse forward. Indeed despite running 3 or 4 wide for all of the 2,700 meter race, neither horse or driver appeared that phased! Going down the back stretch, Duvaldestin looked around casually at his opposition and as he asked the 6 year old son of Severino (FR) to move forward, he did so without an ounce of hesitation. As they turned for home, the young Duvaldestin become a little animated but Idao de Tillard (RR) was workman like and with his head low he appeared determined with an air of superiority. Whilst there was several late challenges the result was never in doubt. Hokkaido Jiel (FR) finished a worthy second having been prominent throughout and Sweden’s international queen Joviality (SWE) came with a late inside run to finish a close up third.

IDAO DE TILLARD is a 6 year old son of SEVERINO (FR), he is trained by the driver’s father Thierry Duvaldestin, who himself won the Prix d’Amerique when driving Ready Cash in 2011 & 2012. The horse was purchased for €27,000 as a yearling. He has already started his stud duties, covering 111 mares in 2023, with his first foals due in 2024.

And there is a British connection! By now, many French Trotters have been imported to the UK and they include a mare called GIPSY DE TILLARD (FR). A three time winner in France prior to import, she shares the same maternal line as IDAO DE TILLARD (FR). Classe De Tillard is the grand dam of Idao de Tillard (FR) and the great grand dam of Gipsy de Tillard (FR). Gipsy de Tillard (FR) was imported in 2021 as part of the TrotBritain purchasing scheme but subsequently ‘raffled’ as part of a fund raiser by Tir Prince. Phil O Neil was the successful winner as Gipsy de Tillard (FR) won her first start for him in the mile and quarter in York, in a mile rate of 2.06.6 (1.18.6). Results show that she was regularly placed in 2022 but unraced in 2023.

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Gipsy de Tillard (FR) winning at York in 2021. Photo courtesy of Sarah Thomas Equine Photography.

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