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Va Bank Tastes Defeat For the First Time


Caccini pulls the upset in Warsaw | Dawid  Tomiczek/

By Alan Carasso

Exiting a landmark victory in the G3 Preis der Sparkassen Finanzgruppe at Baden-Baden Aug 27, Va Bank (Ire) (Archipenko) was widely expected to run his record to 13-for-13 in defence of his title in the Wielka Warszawaka, Poland’s most prestigious event. But a lack of pace, a fair bit of cut in the ground and top weight of 132 pounds proved his undoing, as reigning Polish Derby winner Caccini (Fr) (American Post {GB}) took them gate-to-wire to cause the upset. It was the first start for Va Bank since a 50% stake was acquired in the colt by Team Valor International.

Va Bank was noticeably washy in the preliminaries and looked to brush with the gate on dispatch, then took up a spot from fourth as Caccini was sent into an easy and uncontested lead. That was made possible by the scratching of Va Bank’s stablemate Adanero (Ire) (Dylan Thomas {Ire}), entered to ensure honest fractions. The favorite commenced his rally leaving the 600m mark and turned in his trademark electric turn of foot in the final quarter-mile, but, having enjoyed a very easy time of it up front, Caccini–in receipt of nine pounds from Va Bank–had enough left for the victory.

Caccini, purchased at the 2014 Arqana November Mixed Sale, dropped his career debut, then rattled off five straight, including the Polish Derby July 3. Set a tall task in the Aug. 14 G1 Grosser Preis von Berlin, the bay was fifth behind Protectionist (Ger) (Monsun {Ger}) and recent G1 Preis von Europa victrix Nightflower (Ger) (Dylan Thomas {Ire}). VIDEO

WIELKA WARSZAWSKA (NB), ZL220,000 (£44,179/€ 51,288/US$57,439), 3yo/up, 2600mT, 2:51.50, yl.
1–CACCINI (FR), 123, c, 3, American Post (GB)–Courances (Fr), by Simon Du Desert (Fr). (€7,000 Ylg ‘14 ARQNOV). O-A & R Zielinski & A Wyrzyk; B-Bloodstock Agency Ltd & MF Mathet; T-A Wyrzyk; J-T Lukasek; ZL126,000. Lifetime Record: 8-6-1-0, ZL293,200.
2–Va Bank (Ire), 132, c, 4, Archipenko–Vinales (Ire), by Dilshaan (GB). (€4,500 Ylg ‘13 TISEP). O-Team Valor International, J P Zienkiewicz & M Janikowski. ZL50,400.
3–Height of Beauty (GB), 128, f, 4, Youmzain (Ire)–Height of Vanity (Ire), by Erhaab. (6,000gns HRA ‘14 TATHIT). O-BHT Animal Trade Sp z o. o. ZL25,200.
Margins: HF, 2, 1.
Also Ran: Newerly (Pol), Iron Belle (Fr), Tantal (Ire). Scratched: Adanero (Ire).


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