In an upset almost as unlikely as the one seen in yesterday's Kentucky Derby, the five-year-old mare Island Effe won the $750,000 final of the Gran Premio della Lotteria at the Agnano Racetrack in Naples, Italy on Sunday.
The 3 eliminations earlier in the day were won by Algiers Hall (Conway Hall), Opal Viking (Turnpike Taylor) and Oiseau de Feux (Biesolo) and those three horses were sitting first, second and third in the final as Algiers Hall set a very slow pace.
While everybody expected one of these 3 horses to take the honours, Island Effe and Ghibellino both exploded once in the stretch, and Island Effe got to the wire first in 1:57.2f, which was one length ahead of Ghibellino with Oiseau de Feux third.
Trained and driven by Pietro Gubellini, Island Effe had finished second in her eliminaton many lengths behind Algiers Hall, and before that her last money earned dated back to last November as she had been making breaks in her last several starts. The daughter of kidnapped Lemon Dra, out of the Sierra Kosmos mare Dotty Effe, doubled her career earnings with the win.
In other European news the $450,000 Oslo Grand Prix was drawn on Sunday before next Sunday's race. The 10-horse field will race a mile and five-sixteenths, and the draw was as follows:
1 Oyonnax - Joseph Verbeeck
2 Tinita Love - Geir Vegard Gundersen
3 Finders Keepers - Åke Svanstedt
4 Colombian Necktie - Thomas Uhrberg
5 Offshore Dream - Pierre Levesque
6 Megaman Neo - Lars Anvar Kolle
7 Russel November - Hugo Langeweg Jr.
8 Inzaghi - Jeppe Juel
9 Igor Font - Jean-Michel Bazire
10 Triton Sund - Örjan Kihlström
In addition, after his disappointing performance in his European debut at Solvalla Racetrack on Wednesday, Snazzy Hot Rod has been found to suffer from a mild allergy attack which will require a couple of weeks' rest.
That will keep from participating in the Elitlopp in three weeks, but his trainer Ake Svanstedt is optimistic that his horse will have a fine season once recovered.