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Group One International race
Location Vermo Racetrack, Helsinki,
22x20px Finland
Inaugurated 1980
Race type Harness race for standardbred trotters
Website http://www.vermo.fi/finlandia/fi/finlandiayleista/index.php (in Finnish)
Race information
Distance 1,609 meters (1 mile)
Track Left-handed 1,000 meter track (0.62 mile)
Qualification Age 4-14. Invitational
Purse ≈US$247,000 (€190,000)

Finlandia-Ajo (approximately: "The Finlandia Race") is an annual Group One harness event that takes place at Vermo Racetrack in Helsinki, Finland.[1][2] The competition, which was inaugurated in 1980, is regarded as Finland's biggest trotting event.[2] It is raced over the mile, 1,609 meters.[3] Finlandia-Ajo is part of the European Grand Circuit and the overall purse for the 2009 event was €190,000, equalling approximately US$247,000.[1][4] The fastest winning time in the history of the race is 1:10.8, run by Opal Viking in 2007.[3]


Racing conditions

Finlandia-Ajo is decided through a one-mile race. The first eight years (1980-1987), the race was over a slightly shorter distance (1,600 meters, 0.99 mile), but since 1988, the distance has been one mile. The race has always been started by the use of auto start.[3]

The 2009 Finlandia-Ajo

The starting list

  1. Turnaround - Lutfi Kolgjini
  1. Copper Beech - Conrad Lugauer
  1. Igor Font - Jean-Michel Bazire (Fabrice Souloy)
  1. Photocopy - Antti Teivainen (Lars-Erik Stenberg)
  1. Lönshults Danne - Johanna Lindqvist (Anders Lindqvist)
  1. Le Retour - Vincent Viel (Jean-Pierre Viel)
  1. Simb Chaplin - Markku Nieminen
  1. Shorthanded Goal - Mauri Jaara
  1. Camilla Highness - Peter Ingves (Petri Puro)[5]

French stallion Igor Font, trained by Fabrice Souloy and driven by Jean-Michel Bazire, was considered to be the favourite.[5]

The race

Turnaround took the lead initially, but handed it over to Copper Beech at an early stage. Favourite Igor Font followed in third and made his move down the back stretch when he followed Turnaround forward when Kolgjini moved out his Swedish stallion and attacked. Down the home stretch, Igor Font sprinted away and won the race easily. Lönshults Danne provided an inspired finish to end as runner-up and Camilla Highness came in third.[6][7]

The winning time for the French 5-year-old after Andover Hall, was 1:55.3 (mile rate)/1:11.8 (km rate). The winner's share of the purse was €110,000 (US$145,000).[8][6]

Past winners

Horses with most wins

  • 2 - Giesolo de Lou (1999, 2000)
  • 2 - Napoletano (1988, 1989)[3]

Drivers with most wins

  • 3 - Jorma Kontio (1985, 1986, 2007)
  • 2 - Olle Goop (1983, 1987)
  • 2 - Joseph Verbeeck (1998, 2003)[3]

Trainers with most wins

  • 3 - Fabrice Souloy (2003, 2008, 2009)
  • 2 - Jean-Etienne Dubois (1999, 2000)
  • 2 - Stig Engberg (1988, 1989)
  • 2 - Olle Goop (1983, 1987)[6][9]

Sires with most winning offsprings

  • 2 - Biesolo (Giesolo de Lou, Oiseau de Feux)
  • 2 - Quick Pay (Atas Fighter L., Born Quick)
  • 2 - Texas (Grades Singing, Copiad)
  • 2 - Super Bowl (Davidia Hanover, Napoletano)[3]

Countries, number of wins

Fastest winners

  • 1:10.8 (km rate) - Opal Viking (2007)[3]

All winners of Finlandia-Ajo





Winning horse's native country

Winning time

2009 Igor Font Jean-Michel Bazire Fabrice Souloy 22x20px France 1:11.8
2008 Oiseau de Feux Jean-Michel Bazire Fabrice Souloy 22x20px France 1:11.3
2007 Opal Viking Jorma Kontio Nils Enqvist 22x20px Sweden 1:10.8
2006 Hot Shot Knick Thomas Uhrberg Kari Lähdekorpi 22x20px Sweden 1:11.5
2005 Kart de Baudrairie Jean-Michel Bazire Franck Leblanc 22x20px France 1:12.2
2004 Rotation Stig H. Johansson Stig H. Johansson 22x20px United States 1:12.5
2003 Kiwi Joseph Verbeeck Fabrice Souloy 22x20px France 1:12.0
2002 H.P. Paque Trond Smedshammer Trond Smedshammer 22x20px United States 1:11.7
2001 B.W.T. Magic Ahti Antti-Roiko Matti Salmi 22x20px Finland 1:11.2
2000 Giesolo de Lou Jean-Etienne Dubois Jean-Etienne Dubois 22x20px France 1:11.2
1999 Giesolo de Lou Pierre Vercruysse Jean-Etienne Dubois 22x20px France 1:11.6
1998 Dryade des Bois Joseph Verbeeck Jean-Baptiste Bossuet 22x20px France 1:12.5
1997 Zoogin Åke Svanstedt Åke Svanstedt 22x20px Sweden 1:12.1
1996 Isla J. Brave Aki Antti-Roiko Petri Klemola 22x20px Finland 1:12.5
1995 SJ's Photo David Wade David Wade 22x20px United States 1:13.3
1994 Copiad Erik Berglöf Erik Berglöf 22x20px Sweden 1:12.5
1993 Born Quick Tommy Hanné Tommy Hanné 22x20px Finland 1:12.1
1992 Otto-Mani Antti Teivainen Esa Aronen 22x20px Finland 1:13.7
1991 Atas Fighter L. Torbjörn Jansson Torbjörn Jansson 22x20px Sweden 1:13.5
1990 Florida Jewel William Fahy John Holloway 22x20px United States 1:13.3
1989 Napoletano Stig H. Johansson Stig Engberg 22x20px United States 1:12.9
1988 Napoletano Stig H. Johansson Stig Engberg 22x20px United States 1:14.1
1987 Grades Singing Olle Goop Olle Goop 22x20px United States 1:14.1
1986 Davidia Hanover Jorma Kontio Per Eriksson 22x20px United States 1:14.7
1985 Keystone Patton Jorma Kontio Antti Savolainen 22x20px United States 1:14.1
1984 Shane T. Hanover Per Henriksen Per Henriksen 22x20px United States 1:14.9
1983 Speedy Magnus Olle Goop Olle Goop 22x20px Sweden 1:13.2
1982 Dartster F. Olle Hedin Olle Hedin 22x20px Sweden 1:13.9
1981 Ideal du Gazeau Eugene Lefevre Eugene Lefevre 22x20px France 1:14.3
1980 Ejakval Jean-Claude David Jean-Claude David 22x20px France 1:15.6



  1. 1.0 1.1 "2009 Group I races calendar". uet-trot.net. European Trotting Union (UET). http://www.uet-trot.net/UET/pdf/en/gr.pdf. Retrieved 2009-04-21. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Shorthanded Goal mot Guldbjörken" (in Swedish). v75.umaker.se. 2009-04-03. http://v75.umaker.se/nyhet/78. Retrieved 2009-04-21. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 "Finlandia-Ajo" (in Swedish). qhurth.com. http://www.qhurth.com/trav/lopp/ajo.htm. Retrieved 2009-04-21. 
  4. In the conversion from Euro to USD, the rates of 2009-04-21 have been used.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Mahlamäki, Timo (2009-04-19). "De gör upp i Finlandia-Ajo" (in Swedish). travronden.se. http://www.travronden.se/edrum.jsp?article=30200. Retrieved 2009-04-27. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Hedlund, Thomas (2009-04-25). "Lätt för Igor Font" (in Swedish). travronden.se. http://www.travronden.se/edrum.jsp?article=30412. Retrieved 2009-04-27. 
  7. "Igor Font Wins Finlandia-Ajo". standardbredcanada.ca. 2009-04-25. http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/news/4-25-09/igor-font-wins-finlandia-ajo.html. Retrieved 2009-04-27. 
  8. Bonsdorf, Karsten (2009-04-26). "Guida-owned mare sets world mark in Italy". ustrotting.com. United States Trotting Association. http://www.ustrotting.com/absolutenm/anmviewer.asp?a=31403&z=1. Retrieved 2009-04-27. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 "Finlandia-Ajo 1980 - 2007" (in Finnish). vermo.fi. http://www.vermo.fi/finlandia/fi/historia/index.php. Retrieved 2009-04-21. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Travsport.se - Igor Font - Härstamning" (in Swedish). Travsport.se. STC. http://www.travsport.se/shestinfo?kommando=visaHerstamning&hestId=648852. Retrieved 2009-04-27. 


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