V75® (Wednesday): San Moteur at his goal: Jubileumspokalen

He is one of the most talked about horses in Sweden this year and especially after his last start, when he trotted the last kilometer at 1:07.7 speed to win impressively.
San Moteur and Björn Goop have now arrived at the first big goal of the year - Jubileumspokalen and he is the huge favorite to win the first prize of SEK 1.5 million.
"My horse has developed immensly this year and he feels fantastic. He wasn't tired last time out and normally he should be even sharper this time" says Håkan Arvidsson.

On Wednesday, Solvalla offers a very nice race program where Jubileumspokalen is the feature. There is also a V75® card with several great races – one of Solvalla's biggest race cards of the year.
We have seen many great trotters win Jubileumspokalen over the years and the quality of this race for five-year-olds is very high, also this year. 
San Moteur will be the huge favorite after his outstanding performances this year. Håkan Arvidsson's and Björn Goop's gold nugget has unarguably taken further steps forward this year, even if he already last year showed that he is among the best of his crop. Five starts this year have resulted in four wins and one second place (where he made an incredible recovery after an early break in Olso Grand Prix). 
But most of all, it was his last win at Solvalla that made people raise their eyebrowes even more. In Victory Tillys lopp, San Moteur was magnificent when he trotted the last kilometer at 1:07.7 speed and surged past Chiru down the stretch. The winning time was 1:10.7 over 2,140 meters and the impression he made was dazzling.
"10 San Moteur (V75-6) has had an amazing development curve this year. He was very good already in his seasonal debut, when he won Prins Carl Philips lopp at Färjestad. But after that, it's like he just took further steps forward" says Håkan Arvidsson, who is both the breeder and owner of the horse. 
"He trotted incredibly fast down the backside and it was awesome to see how he just swept past the others. The time 1:07.7 is not just the time of his last kilomter, but actually the last 1,200 meters (equal to 3/4 of a mile in 1:21.4). Apparently it has never happened before and on top of it all, he did it in a 2,140 meter race, not in a short distance race. He wasn't tired after the race either, Björn just hand drove him down the stretch. All he did was move the lines once". 
Any certain explanation to his development this year? 
"First of all he has been sound and healthy and we have been able to train him without any breaks all of last winter and spring. Last year he had lots of things bothering him and he was sick. He caught a cold before the Derby and we only trained him three times in a few months. This year things have worked out much better".
"We have also been able to take weight off of him upfront, gradually. He used to race with PG-shoes from the beginning and after that he had aluminum shoes with a pad. We have removed the pad and that has made his stride longer and he has also gotten a better kick to his stride".
How has he felt in training after his last start at Solvalla?
"That's what's so good, that he comes out of the starts so well and just gets better. He hadn't raced in seven weeks before his last start and I though he would lack some speed, since I just do heavy training with him and never train him at high speed".
"I said before his last start that, that start would make his form better and that normally he should be even better in the next start. Now, he was really darn good anyway, but he has felt great in training after that and I think he will be even better this time. Even if you don't want to say it out loud".
"I trained him last Friday and he will train again Monday, says Håkan who always is the one training San Moteur at Björn Goops farm Lökene Gård in Kil. 

"Faces some darn good horses"
Even though San Moteur has won many nice races and has 14 wins in 19 career starts, he still has not been able to win any of the bigger races yet. For example, he was second in the Swedish Kriterium behind Brambling and third in the Swedish Derby that Calgary Games won. He made a break in the Grand Prix de l'UET and he had to be scratched sick out of the Breeders Crown final.
But on Wednesday, it sure looks like San Moteur will be written into the history books. San Moteur is the favorite from post position ten in Jubileumspokalen when Björn Goop sits up behind the star trotter in their hunt for the first prize of SEK 1.5 million.
"Post position ten is OK, I think. It could have been both better and worse. But it's better than post one, six, seven or eight. Since Björn can't send him out of the gate, post ten (in the second tier) isn't all that bad after all" says Arvidsson. 
"But you have to keep in mind that he faces some darn good horses so it's not just to go out there and collect the win. Just by looking at the field, you know that there are several horses that will end up among the very best in the world".
"And also, the closer you get to the race, the more insecure you get and you start seeing ghosts, ha ha. Before entering you are pretty cocky, but then when the sheet comes out you think the opponents just look better and better".

"Suddenly you have the horse of your dreams"  
Håkan Arvidsson has been in the business for a very long time and he has bred and trained many good horses. Now he has the biggest star of them all in San Moteur and Håkan is very nervous every time his horse races. 
"Yes, it's a bit strange. You feel like it's a nightmare every time he races, ha ha. Here I have been wanting to have a horse like him all these years and suddenly he is here. It feels a bit surreal, and you hope for the horse’s sake that everything will work out". 
You have entered San Moteur barefoot all around for the first time. Is that also how he will race?
"Björn says that we could race him barefoot all around and he has plenty of foot for it. The plan going forward is that he will race barefoot, but if he will do so already now is not decided yet. I would says it's 50/50 right now. He also races with both earplugs as well as a set earhood, so there is another gear to use in the future".
San Moteur has been invited to the International Trot at Yonkers in October. Are you making the trip to the U.S?
"We have received an invitation, but the race is two months away and we have said that we will take this start first and then we will see about Yonkers. It's a long trip and I am very careful with this horse. The first big goal of the year has been Jubileumspokalen and number two is the winter meet in France. We think he will really like it there at Vincennes, since he is so strong. But we will first make this start on Wednesday and it will be very exciting" says Håkan Arvidsson. 

Footnote: Post time for V75 on Wednesday is 19:30.