He drew a dream post with one of the most interesting up-and-coming horses in Elitloppet and he sends out a horse in very good form in the Class II final.
Per Nordström has a very interesting weekend ahead of him as the all eyes in the harness racing world are on Solvalla.
Per Nordström has made it clear for a long time that Elitloppet is the big goal of the year for Önas Prince (V75-2). Already last year when the horse dominated the stakes for four-year-olds, there were talks about Elitloppet and when he drew post position one in the first elimination on Sunday, his trainer was very happy.
"That was my dream scenario, just what you could dream of" says Per Nordström in the podcast 'V75 - lördag hela veckan'.
"We are working with live animals and they don't always leave exactly the same, they can take a bad step or so, but he is incredibly fast. When the distance is 1,609 meters the turn comes quicker too, so I don't think they can take the lead away from us".
New equipment if he makes the final
Önas Prince will race in an American sulky for the third time in his career. The only two times so far were when he won the Sprint Championship final and when he finished second in the Swedish Trotting Derby. He will also race barefoot already in the elimination. When he last time out won from the lead, he did it with shoes behind.
"I purposely saved his feet in Örebro so that he has enough foot to race barefoot twice on Sunday" says Nordström, who also says he has another ace to pull out of his sleeve.
"I have actually practiced with a pull-off earhood at home in training. I haven't wanted to use it before, but now we have tried it. The first time I pulled it, he jumped right up but after a couple of tries he learned it".
That is an extra gear that Nordström will save and use if they make it to the final.
"He will not race with the pull-off earhood in the elimination, but he will go barefoot and in the American sulky. I think he will be pretty sharp so I want to have both the earplugs and a set earhood. This will be the first time he sees 27,000 people in the stands. Then, if we make the final, he will also race with an earhood that I can pull off. He might also get a pull-down bridle. It depends on how the elimination goes and which post we start from in the final, who are inside of us and outside of us and all that".
"Hoping for the best effort of his career"
Önas Prince's stable mate Kentucky River (V75-4) also comes off a win and Per Nordström sounds very happy with his horse going into Saturday, when he starts from post position six behind the gate in the Class II final.
"He has trained with Önas Prince and he is a tough horse who pretty much matches Önas Prince in training. Form-wise he is where he should be. He feels very, very good gaited and last time out, the equipment worked out perfectly (an open-eye blind bridle and a shadow roll). It's a new race on Saturday but everything feels very good going into this start".
Kentucky River will race with the same equipment as in his last start and to top it off he will also race barefoot and in an American sulky for the first time since coming to Per Nordström.
"I am hoping for the best effort of his career" says the Jägersro-licensed trainer.