For the third time in a row, Bilibili with Alexandre Abrivard won the Prix de l’Ile de France, a Group I under saddle race, at Vincennes Sunday afternoon (Feb. 2) and was timed in a new world record 1.52.3 (mile rate). A 9-year old French trotter, Bilibili is under saddle specialist. In fact, all his lifetime earnings of more than $2 million were won in under saddle races.
Bilibili was the 1-5 favorite to win this 1/5-16 mile event which has a standing start. A victory also added 100,000 Euro to as a bonus for Bilibili winning the three biggest under saddle races during the winter meeting.
Although he won, Bilibili had to fight for the victory, as outsider Etonnant, with Eric Raffin in the saddle, was hard to get by. Etonnant was in command from start and with half-mile to go, it seemed that Bilibili would have a very tough task to catch him.
But going down the stretch Etonnant started to fade and Bilibili was now flying. Bilibili trotted the last fraction in :27.3 and and won by a length.
Bilibili is sired by Niky and his grandson is Viking’s Way, the grandsire of Ready Cash. He is owned by Jean-Pierre Barjon, recently elected chairman of the French Le Trot-organization, and is trained by Laurent-Claude Abrivard, the father of the his rider.