Traditionally, on the last Sunday of June, the most prestigious race of the season, the Czech Derby (local Gd-3, 1 1/2m, 3yo c+f, 2 million CZK) took place in the Chuchle Arena Prague. In front of a full grandstand, in a great atmosphere, the winner of its 103rd edition was dark brown filly Abha, trained by Ingrid Janáčková-Koplíková and excellently ridden by the Portuguese jockey Ricardo Sousa for the Statek Blata Český raj stable of the Dufek family.
Abha won easily by three and three quarter lenghts, with You Just Rock the second and her stablemate Ganibet third. She was purchased in France after third place in sales race on May and in her first start in the Czech Republic she finished second in the Czech 2000 Guineas. The two-time Spanish jockey-champion Ricrado Sousa won his first Derby, for Mrs. Ingrid Janáčková-Koplíková it is the first classic success of her trainers' career, the stable Statek Blata Český ráj won this race for the second time, eight years ago Touch of Genius brought the Dufek family their first Derby.
Three other Class A races are part of the Derby-day program: in the 19th Galerie Cermak Eisenkraft Sprint Stakes (6f, 3yo+, 150 ths. CZK) the four-year-old chestnut gelding Gallanticus (j. Liška, tr. Jeelen, own. Linova) won by one lenght and stays unbeaten in three starts, 20th Tattersalls Mile (1m, 3yo+, 150 ths. CZK) was won by another 3yo horse of team Ingrid Janáčková-Koplíková and Statek Blata Český ráj stable Shahbandar (j. Lukášek) and in the 64th Tipsport Gold Cup (1 1/2m, 4yo+, 150 ths. CZK) last year's win was defended by 5yo gelding Rex of Thunder (jockey and trainer Demo, own. Stáj Březová).
Trainer Ingrid Janáčková-Koplíková and the owners of the Statek Blata Český raj stable were happy to win twice during the day, and in the end of the afternoon, jockey Václav Janáček also scored twice and reached his 251st career double.
Photo: Bohumil Křižan