V75® (double jackpot): The horse on everybody's lips impressed in his return - "Sure he can win"
He is the horse on everybody's lips who was very impressive in his return.
After some different issues during the year Sato is now ready for V75 again.
"I know how good this horse is. You can never count him out and sure he can win" says the owner and amateur trainer Håkan E Johansson.
A highly interesting V75 card awaits at Jägersro on Saturday and it comes spiced up with a double jackpot. A sole winner can take home SEK 72 millions, from the pool with all seven winners picked alone. The Malmö track offers Müllers Memorial with stars like Moni Viking, Very Kronos and Cyber Lane to name a few. But also, in the bronze division we find a five year old gelding who has been on everybody's lips since he started his racing career. His name is Sato and he has won seven out of 28 career starts so far. He has impressed several times and he won on V75 in Örebro last year. Already when Sato started his racing career by winning his first two starts the offers to buy him started coming in.
"Kari Lähdekorpi offered me SEK 400,000 after he won his first start. Robert Bergh also came out to look at the horse when he had made a few starts. Bergh told me that if they come up with an offer it would a completely different number. But Sato is not for sale. I am 70 years old and I won't be happier if I sell him. Then I have no horse. I'll keep racing him as long as I can and I'm very happy with that" says Håkan E Johansson.
"Was very good - better than expected"
Håkan is the breeder, owner and trainer of Sato. After his second place on V75 on New Years Eve, Sato had a long layoff. He returned at Axevalla in a Grand Slam 75 race. Depsite getting a tough trip parked outside the leader, Sato was able to win impressively. That was his first start in almost ten months.
"4 Sato (V75-5) was very good, even better than I expected. I didn't think he would win in 1:13 first up. But he has gotten so good now and I think he could have handled if someone had come at him at the end too" says Håkan.
"I hadn't trained him any tougher than I usually do. I don't train that tough but this horse is such a natural talent. He had one schooler at Åby in 1:18.5 with 1:15 the last kilometer. He started 60 meters behind in the schooler so he finished very well".
"I figured he was race ready but when we drew post position eleven I didn't have any expectations. My plan was to give him a nice trip, not to go first up. But the choices I had was to sit fourth, fifth at the pylons or second over so I chose the latter. But I only had cover for a couple hundred meters, then I was parked first up. It didn't go as planned but it was nice that he was so good and could win anyway".
"Suffered from over training - had to be castrated"
Håkan E Johansson tells us that there were several reasons behind the long layoff. Sato was diagnosed with over training symptoms and had to start over a couple times while training down before his return.
"After his second place on New Years Eve I gave him a couple weeks off and then I gave him some winter training until March, April. That's when I took him to Vaggeryd race track to train him with another horse. But he had no go and there was some blood and foam coming out of his nose. So I took him to a clinic in Kungsbacka where they went over the horse".
"We did a test to determine wether he suffered from over training or not. I trained him and right after we pulled blood and it showed that the level of red blood cells was way too high. That's what they call over training symptoms, the blood is too thick. Something that stud horses can suffer from. We had him castrated and he had to take it easy for a while" Håkan says.
"After that I trained him for a while and took him to Vaggeryd once again but then he was tired after trotting 1:25 the last kilometer. We pulled blood again and they ran a lot of tests without finding anything wrong. Then I just trained him nice and slow at home before the mentioned schooler at Åby where he was much better. That's when I decided to race him, but I had no idea that he would be that good right away".
"I have one heck of an extra gear saved in him there"
Håkan E Johansson drives his horse himself as usual when he comes out in the fifth leg from post position four behind the gate. Considering the caliber horse he is, he should be considered a contender.
"Had Björn Goop been his driver he would have been one of the favorites, but now it's me" he says laughing.
"Post position four is a good spot where the gate is stable and not moving back and fourth. The result could be anything, but so far all is well. I jogged him today (Monday) and he felt good".
"To be realistic, I can't really believe that I can just go down there and win the race. The class is tough and he has made SEK 600,000 and it's open for horses up to SEK 900,000. But I don't know how good this horse really is and sure he can win. Don't count him out" says the Åby licensed amateur trainer from Vegby and finishes:
"He hasn't been an easy horse but just like me he has become older and wiser. He raced with steel shoes and pads before but in his last start he raced with aluminums and pads upfront. He also didn't need the head pole anymore. He still races with stay in earplugs and I think I have one heck of an extra gear saved in him there but it feels like that can wait a while. He gives it all he can anyway".