He is one of the country's biggest driving talents.
The reigning champion of this specific race.
Anders Eriksson was a sought after name for this Saturday's V75® Apprentice Champion at Åby and got to choose from a few horses in the race.
"I think Zenzero Jet seems to be the horse with the best form - but of course I'm not sure I picked the right horse".
V75® Champions is the name of the Saturday race card at Åby where the best V75 drivers of 2019 will gather and battle in six of the seven races.
V75-5 musters the most successful apprentice drivers on V75 in 2019. 15 of the sports future stars will battle for the title V75 Apprentice Champion in a handicap race.
A giant field will gather behind the gate over 2,640 meters. In the third tier we will find the Mantorp trainer Stefan P Pettersson's Italian born Zenzero Jet starting from post 14.
The driver - 29 year old Anders Eriksson, employed by Svante Båth - won this race last year with the Hans Adielsson trained Ritchie Ås.
"I had post position 14 last year too with Ritchie Ås. There's usually some action in this race, maybe some extra action since it's Åby too. So we might not end up in such a bad spot after all" says Anders Eriksson.
Last year the talented driver beat his previous successful seasons. 32 wins in 269 starts and SEK 3.9 million in earnings was the 2019 numbers for Anders Eriksson.
The goal is to be a trainer and he has already completed the first part of trainer's school at Wången.
"To be a trainer has always been my main goal. The fact that my driving has gone so well the last few years is a nice bonus" says the 29 year old.
"Not an easy choice"
For the Saturday race the trainers got to put down which of the qualified drivers they wanted. Anders Eriksson got to choose from Zenzero Jet and the Thorsten Tietz trained five year old gelding Iron Creek.
Stefan P Pettersson's Italian born Zenzero Jet showed top form when winning in Eskilstuna. That was his second start following a layoff.
"It wasn't an easy choice. I had two good horses to choose from, the two best horses in the race in my opinion. I have seen their most recent starts and Zenzero Jet has looked fantastic. But so has the German horse, who Rebecca Dahlén will drive now. So we'll see how it goes" says Anders Eriksson.
The Gold Watch was a good accomplishment
Post position 14 in the third tier behind the gate will of course make things more difficult. Zenzero Jet should still be a pretty hot bid for the win according to the 29 year old.
"It's not like I view it as a great chance to win but i think if he has some luck along the way from that post he could win the race".
Anders Eriksson won The Gold Watch, a race for apprentice drivers at Solvalla in December after also having won the year long series. He won it together with the Peter G Norman trained All Star.
"V75 Apprentice Champion was my biggest win when I won it a year ago. But that changed when I won the Gold Watch in December. I think that's the victory that I value a little bit higher" he says.
"Darn good driver"
Zenzero Jet is trained by Stefan P Pettersson who got the horse in training in the spring of last year. The five year old stud horse has delivered two good efforts now following a shorter layoff.
The Mantorp based trained is pleased both with his horse and driver for the race on Saturday.
"We got a darn good driver who will have to solve the post position problem. The long distance is an advantage as I see it. Zenzero Jet is a very strong horse who just wants to keep going and it feels like he's in very good form. I think he is good enough against these and I hope things will work out from the tricky post position. But it might be hard to go around the entire field in a handicap like this, as everyone understands" says Stefan P Pettersson.
Mikael J Andersson drove him to victory in his most recent start.
"He was very happy with the horse. He is not a guy who makes up stuff and praises a horse just to make you feel good but he really thought the horse felt very good. There weren't any major issues with him when we decided to give him a break and a fresh start. But that period of training seems to have done him well. We have also changed his shoeing in the last two starts and it has worked out well" says Stefan P Pettersson.
Picks himself first
Anders Eriksson puts some pressure on him as he picked himself to win with Zenzero Jet in the V75 Expert Picks in V75-5 this Saturday.
He singles one of the horses from his employer Svante Båth's stable.
The four year old 1 Super Sarah (V75-2) has made three lifetime starts and comes into this race with two consecutive victories.
"The effort in her last start was very good. She was out wide the entire last kilometer, which she trotted in 1:13. Now she has a much better post position, post one. There are some experienced horses starting with a 20 meter handicap. But if Erik (Adielsson) can manage to hold up the lead, she should have a good chance to win" says Anders Eriksson.