The second richest race of the season over fences in the Czech Republic, after the Velka Pardubicka, was the second VP Qualification race, which was run as the Slavia Insurance Cup, with prizemoney of exactly one million crowns. The race was won by 10-y-o Lodgian Whistle, which was never headed. He beat off a late run by Sacamiro, with Santa Klara, one of the fancied runners, finishing in third place. The qualification conditions were met by all nine horses that got round the course. At the midpoint of the series of qualification races, 16 names are already on the list of horses qualified for this year’s running of the Velka Pardubicka.
In the main race of the day, the ultimate winner Lodgian Whistle (ridden by Ondřej Velek) did not have an easy race. He won by just one length from Sacamiro (Jan Faltejsek), which put in his typical challenge in the finishing straight and beat the favourite, Santa Klara (Josef Bartoš), back into third place. Just after the start, Imphal and Jaroslav Myška briefly took the lead, but Lodgian Whistle soon displaced him. Player, whose injured jockey Marcel Novák was replaced by French jockey Ludovic Solignac, was tucked in behind the first two. The two mares – the favourite, Santa Klara and Bartoš, and Dajuka (Marek Stromský) – were at the back of the field.
Dajuka had problems at the Irish Bank, but she did not fall at that point. However, she did come down behind the copse. Jan Odložil was unseated from Slovak-trained Royal Gino. Player then fell at the Snake Ditch. This was the experienced runner in the Velka Pardubicka’s second unsuccessful attempt this year to qualify – last time he was squeezed out of bounds by a loose horse.
In the final part of the race, Santa Klara improved her position, and Aeneas (Jan Kratochvíl) was not far behind. Lodgian Whistle, trained by Josef Váňa senior, was still out in front. It looked as if second place would go to Santa Klara, trained by Josef Váňa junior. However, Sacamiro (Jan Faltejsek), having his first race of the season, put in a sprint to finish second. The first two places both went to Czech-bred horses.
“If trainer Váňa was here, he would have given Ondra Velek instructions orders to hold him back for later in the race and then ride him out, but Ondra and I said there was no point holding him back, and he should give it a try. But when Faltejsek closed in on them I felt sick, ” admitted Josef Chára, owner of the winning horse, which was running at Pardubice for the second time this year. First time out, he won the Korok Opening Crosscountry at the beginning of May.
The race did not go well for 2021 Velka Pardubicka winner Talent (Pavel Složil jnr.), which had won last year’s June qualification race. He finished back in sixth place.
OVERVIEW OF QUALIFIED HORSES, as of 24. 6. 2023
|Horse’s name||trainer||Owner||Qualification date|
|AENEAS(IRE), 9||Váňa snr. Josef||Statek Blata Český ráj||24.06.2023|
|ARGANO, 9||Liška Martin||Marek Šimák||20.05.2023|
|BARYTHON DE VAIGE(FR), 7||Török Dalibor||Ecurie Haras de Beaufay CR||24.06.2023|
|DAJUKA, 9||Holčák Radek||K-K Metal a.s.||24.06.2023|
|DULCAR DE SIVOLA(FR), 10||Jirčáková Vendula||DiJana Dobšice||20.05.2023|
|GODFREY(FR), 7||Török Dalibor||DS Pegas||20.05.2023|
|CHELMSFORD(FR), 7||Váňa snr. Josef||Javor||20.05.2023|
|IMPHAL(POL), 10||Popelka Stanislav||Zámecký vrch||24.06.2023|
|KAISERWALZER(GER), 10||Brečka Jaroslav||DS Millennium (SVK)||20.05. and 24.06.2023|
|LODGIAN WHISTLE, 10||Váňa snr. Josef||Statek Chyše-Váňa||24.06.2023|
|MR SPEX(GER), 9||Urbánek Luboš||Lokotrans||09.10.2022|
|PARIS EIFFEL(IRE), 10||Cagáň Ján, Ing.||Lokotrans Slovakia (SVK)||20.05.2023|
|SACAMIRO, 10||Petříková Eva, Ing.||Jezdecký oddíl Beňov||24.06.2023|
|SANTA KLARA(IRE), 8||Váňa jnr. Josef||Scuderia Aichner SRL||24.06.2023|
|STRING(GER*), 10||Holčák Radek||K-K Metal a.s.||20.05.2023|
|TALENT, 12||Kabelková Hana||DS Kabelkovi||24.06.2023|