ANNIKE BYE HANSEN
General de Vega - lightly raced talent
General de Vega is a lightly raced four-year-old, formerly trained in Sweden, who was sent to Annike Bye Hansen's stable last year. He made just the one start at Øvrevoll, finishing a game third behind Backcountry and Match Maker in the highly competitive New Options Handicap in late July. Eight runners went to post for this turf contest, staged over 1370 metres on soft ground, and General de Vega was a slight favourite, taking a little bit more money than Match Maker, a winner over the same trip on his preceding start. Backcountry beat them both, however, coming home 1 ¼ lengths in front of Match Maker, with General de Vega a length further adrift. London Rock, a winner of four races in 2020, was almost four lengths behind him in fourth place. Backcountry franked the form by beating Dardenne in an Eliteløp two weeks later. The reason for General de Vega's subsequent absence from the races was that he underwent successful surgery to remove a bone chip in August.
Norwegian racing fans have yet to witness the absolute best of General de Vega. He had produced some taking performances previously, winning in a canter at Klampenborg in May after having been placed behind a black type runner at Meydan racecourse in Dubai during the winter.
We might as well deal with the Meydan race first; the Dubai Trophy (watch the race), a three-year-old conditions contest over 1200 metres on turf. It was won by one of the race favourites, Godolphin's Listed winner Platinum Star, who beat the 66-1 shot Hamama, while General de Vega was third at 14-1, passing the winning post 2 lengths by the winner. Hamama was the big surprise but it's well worth noting that he ran third in a minor event at Jebel Ali next time out. Unfortunately, General de Vega became very ill afterwards, and he ended up in an equine hospital in Dubai, rather than in another race at Meydan. His previous trainer Lars Kelp later told galopsport.dk that General de Vega's illness had in fact been life threatening. His next outing came four months later, a visually impressive performance over 1400 metres at Klampenborg in May, when he beat Billy Byrnes comfortably by 2 ½ lengths.
General de Vega has two wins to date, from just five racecourse appearances. Back in 2019, the well bred son of Lope de Vega gained an easy 5-length win in a maiden race over 1200 metres on dirt at Bro Park, beating Never Think Twice in the style of a really talented runner. Dragonfly finished third on the day, beaten 12 lengths by General de Vega. He has had an interrupted career thus far, but what we have seen from him has mostly been positive, and General de Vega could well be a horse to follow in 2021. GS 070321
Where horses come first - and become winners!
Väsby Häst AB sends two horses to Annike's team
MUDJIMBA AND GENERAL DE VEGA MOVING ACROSS FROM SWEDEN
Mudjimba, a three-year-old son of high profile stallion Kodiac out of the Giant's Causeway daughter Causeway Charm, has one win to his name, after just three runs. He won a maiden event over 1400 metres at Bro Park in October last year, when he beat Blue Gem and Hypochondriac in a close finish. Both of the placed runners in this race went on to win subsequently, indicating that Mudjimba's maiden form was useful - though he has himself been unplaced in three outings thus far in 2020. Perhaps a change of scenery will do him good. He is a half-brother to three winners in England / Ireland, successful from 6 to 8 furlongs. 24 Jun 20
General de Vega is a well bred three-year-old who has produced smart form in Sweden and Denmark and been third in a good conditions race at Meydan. A son of dual classic winner Lope de Vega, General de Vega broke his maiden by 4 1/2 lengths over 1200 metres on the dirt track at Bro Park in 2019, and he gained a 2 1/2-length win over 1400 metres / turf at Klampenborg in May. He spent the winter in Dubai, where he finished third in the Dubai Trophy over 1200 metres on turf, beaten just 2 lengths by Godolphin's winner, Platinum Star - a Listed winner in England last year. Out of Prix Vanteaux (G3) winner Just Little (Grand Slam), General de Vega is a half-brother to Radipole, a Listed winning miler in France before being exported to Australia, where he was placed in G2 and G3 events. GS