After a slow start to the season, Petri Salmela now has wind in his sails.
Last Saturday, he got the first V75® win of the year and when Boden this week is hosting their annual midnight trot, he has more chances to win.
Maybe Makethemark can surprise and win Norrbottens Stora Pris a third time?
"I am pretty sure that he will be in top form on Saturday" says the hometown trainer.
Four wins in the last eight starts and a fresh win in the Swedish Trotting League. After a slow start to 2022, things have started to look up.
"Yes, it feels like they have. We had by far the worst winter in the last 15 years with the Solvalla stable, where most of my best horses are stabled. It took much longer than calculated for them to get to the races this year. But luckily I have a long career behind me and I trusted my gut feeling that said there is no reason to get stressed out. The horses have to get the time they need and I think that now, especially the last few weeks, it is paying off" says Petri Salmela in the podcast 'V75 - lördag hela veckan'.
Makethemark is in top form
This Saturday's V75® will be raced under the midnight sun and the starting gate will leave the horses for the first leg at 20:30. The feature, Norrbottens Stora Pris, with SEK 1 million to the winner will close out the card att 22:46. It is a world class field and this year's Elitlopp favorite Don Fanucci Zet will be the favorite. But count on the crowd doing all they can to cheer on the hometown favorite 10 Maketemark (V75-7), who after having received a wild card, now has the chance to win this race for the third time.
"He feels very good. I didn't want to say anything before the Lindesberg start, but the goal has been to get him ready for Norrbottens Stora Pris, it's huge for all of us" says Petri Salmela, who emphasizes that the horse is really coming into form.
"He now has two starts in his legs and I’m pretty sure that he will be in top form on Saturday, for the first time in a very long time. Nobody even dreams of him being as good as he was when he was six or seven, but my horse feels really, really good right now".
Very interesting new acquisition
It seems like a longshot that Makethemark would win, but Petri Salmela has seven more V75 starters and several of them have decent chances to win.
Among them is 2 Henri Flyer Sisu (V75-3). A very talented horse who finished third in the Kriterium as a three-year-old, and who last year won his Derby elimination. He now makes his first start for Petri Salmela.
"I have probably never gotten a horse this nice and this ready in training. I know that Timo (Nurmos) had high expectations on him for this year and it will be very exciting, But everyone understands that the horse comes from one of the best trainiers in Sweden, so there is not much we can do training wise to make the horse better. But if he races anywhere close to how he usually does, that should take him very far".
In the same race Petri also has 9 Leave Your Sox On (V75-3), who last time out made a break just as he was getting in gear in the final of the silver division, during the Elitlopp weekend at Solvalla.
"Mika (Forss) said that the horse tried to accelerate too fast. He had just pulled the earplugs and the horse was not tired. That was anywhere from a second place to a fifth place finish that went up in smoke. He wouldn't have won the race, but he closes well and he always responds well to the earplugs being pulled when he is in form. He is in good form now and he handles 2,600 meters well. Of course, he needs a high pace but when he won in Umeå, that was one of the best races in his career and he felt even better last time at Solvalla".
"Perfect post position"
Here are Petri Salmela's comments on his other V75 starters:
"1 Got To Dash (V75-1) is coming into form. We can forget the last start at Lindesberg. He is special when it's a middle distance race and you have to chase him a bit in the start. It can easily be too much for him and he just got too hot. But that's racing. His form is getting better and he drew a perfect post position here. He will get a good trip and he has shown earlier that he is good enough in this class".
"6 M.T. Oberon (V75-1) is such a nice horse. And the way he has progressed! In his first start for us, he made a break but after that he hasn't done anything wrong. He feels incredibly good. I trained him a bit tougher last Friday, 1:21 over 2,600 meters and I have never felt him better. But despite that, I think that they go a little bit too fast for him now on these fast summer tracks. After this race he might get a summer break and a training period. I am pretty sure that he will be a very good in the fall and especially in the winter".
"3 No Beer Drinker (V75-4) is progressing very nicely. As a three-year-old I felt that she wasn't quite ready, but she has matured more and more. She is very, very quick out of the gate and in her last two starts she has been way too nervous and has lost too much energy on that. Even though Mika (Forss) let another horse go, she never really settled down. We will change her bridle for this start to a pull-down, can't see back bridle. If she gets a good start and gets in behind someone, she is ready to trot 1:14.5-1:15".
"11 Backwood's Baddy (V75-5) also leaves very fast. Last Friday it only took him 80 meters from post six to get to the lead. Two starts ago he raced on the short distance and we wanted to try him in the lead. But I had a feeling that this horse would not be good in the lead, that he needs a trip and he also showed that in his last start. He's not that bad, but he needs a good trip. Volt start is a minus for him. Focus is on getting him to the pylons and just sit, sit, sit with him. His form is good, but a check is the goal here".
"2 Dikt Drew (V75-6) has surprised us all. When we started racing her during the winter, we got the feeling that she was just chasing checks. But she has gotten better and better. I think she is due for a really good effort here. The last 200 meters is her best part. She has a perfect post position but she also needs everything to go her way. She is better than she ever has been and she will set a new lifetime mark here".