April 28, Stockholm, Sweden ~ The main season in Scandinavia is now gathering steam and on the 28th of April the Al Sakbe mare Sakba(x Pyreah(HOL), returned to her winning ways, when she held off a late challenge from Blyte (Top Flyte) and old-timer Bomberbad (Eldorado) at Täby, Sweden.
Bred by Margaretha de Ruiter-Floor and owned by her trainer, Camilla Nilsson, the 8-y-o was tucked in just off the pace set by Wilmer Walewski, the 4-y-o, who had made such a promising debut, and the usual frontrunner El Quattro among others. With horse-of-the-year and top weight Joshua Brown on her outside Jacob Johansen was satisfied to keep Sakba there in the somewhat overpaced race over the one-and-a-quarter miles until he took her wide well into the straight, when the leaders began to hoist the flag. Given the giddy-up, she looked an easy winner until Blyte and Bomberbad, having been the backmarkers until the last bend came flying. Without overexerting herself, however, the victory was more comfortable than the ½ length verdict suggests. Not far behind this trio W Helge just pipped Joshua Brown and Wilmer Walewski for fourth.
Täby racecourse, located in the northern suburbs of Stockholm, is the premier track in the three Scandinavian countries where racing is run, Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
Opened in 1960 and based on the major racecourses in America, facilities for both horses and humans have constantly been up-graded and are now as good as most courses in Europe and unrivalled in Scandinavia.
*archive photo of Sakba (Manuel Santos up) from Gothenburg 2011.