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Top trotters impress in Sweden and France
Sunday, April 21, 2013 - by Karsten Bonsdorf, USTA Web Newsroom Correspondent

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The top Swedish trotter Maharajah, driven by Ôrjan Kihlström, was a very convincing winner of the Olympic Trot over 1-5/16 miles, raced Saturday afternoon at Aby near Gothenburg in Sweden.

Kanal 75 photo
Maharajah won the Olympic Trot before at big crowd at Aby in Sweden
The ever-popular 8-year-old -- bred by Hambletonian Society member Margareta Wallenius-Kleberg and owned Travkompaniet and its more than 4,000 stockholders -- finished strongly to win by open lengths in new race record of 1:54.1 (mile rate).

He was followed to the wire by the French mare Roxanna de Barbray, driven by Dominik Locqueneux, while Sebastian K, driven by Ake Svanstedt, finished third after being parked outside the leader for most of the trip.

A very emotional Kihlström returned to the winner’s circle.

“I might have won bigger races than this, but today’s victory was definitely something special, Kihlström said.

Maharajah was campaigned at the French winter meet a couple of months ago, but disappointed several times and many experts had written him off. But after Saturday’s very impressive victory Maharajah is now considered as one of the favorites for the upcoming Elitlopp in one month’s time.

Another trotter being aimed for the Elitlopp is the French trotter Timoko, who yesterday won the Grand Prix de l’Atlantique, over 1-5/16 miles, at Enghien, located on the outskirts of Paris.

Timoko, who now has the services of top international Jos Verbeeck, was in command the whole trip and managed to hold-off a late charge from Triode de Felliere, driven by Anthony Barrier, to win by one-half length in 1:57.1 (mile rate).

The winner of this year’s Prix d’Amerique, Royal Dream, with Jean Philippe Dubois, returned to action in this race, but was boxed-in down the stretch and never found racing room and finished sixth.

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