V75®: Hoping to complete the double in Unionskampen

On Saturday at Färjestad it's time for Unionstravet, the annual international match between Sweden and Norway.
That's when Björn Karlsson hopes that his Tangen Haap will join the small, exclusive group of coldbloods who have won both Elitkampen and Unionskampen.
"There aren't that many who have been able to win both" says the Solänget licensed trainer.

Unionstravet was first raced in 2005 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the ending of the Swedish-Norwegian union. The tradition lives on and this weekend we join forces with Norway to arrange a mutual V75® card at Färjestad racetrack in Karlstad. The featured race of the day is Unionskampen for the coldbloods where the winner gets SEK 300,000 and where Björn Karlsson's Tangen Haap (V75-6) will be one of the favorites. 
"It would be a very nice feather in the cap to win that race. Then he has won the two biggest races; Elitkampen and Unionskampen. The group of horses who have done that isn't that big. The ones who win Elitkampen are more sprint specialists and it takes a lot to win both. If he does that, then he's got nothing more to prove" says Björn Karlsson. 

Sharpened the form to a maximum 
There is no doubt that the coldblood specialist would love to see his horse win on Saturday. He has trained the horse to be in top form for this particular race. 
"The form should be as good as it could. He raced OK in his last start even if he got tripped out, but he will be much better this week. I prepare him differently depending on which race is coming up. Going into regular starts, it's pretty much just standard training. It takes too much out of him to keep him at a top level all year long. You have to pick your battles and now we have aimed for this race for a month and I have prepared him the way I usually do before Elitkampen and a couple of other bigger races each year". 
Odd Herakles has won Unionskampen the last two years and he is one of only three horses who have also won Elitkampen (the other two are Tekno Odin and Lome Brage). But this time, the Norwegian phantom is not in the race. The Swedish super star Månlykke A.M. is not making the trip to Karlstad either. 
"When Tangen Haap is racing at his best, he usually only struggles to beat Odd Herakles and Månlykke A.M. and since he doesn't have to face them this time, he should have a chance to win. I don't know the horses from Norway all that well, but I guess my horse is the one to beat. He is the one with the most impressive record and maybe he's the one in the best form. I think he should be the race favorite". 

Frustrating to be sidelined
The twelve-year-old top trotter will race the way he usually does with a pull-down bridle, a regular style sulky and barefoot all around. The only change is that Björn Karlsson will not be at the reins. He has driven the horse in 108 of his 113 lifetime starts, but this week he is suspended. Instead, Erik Adielsson gets the catch drive. 
"To be quite honest I don't really like being sidelined. It doesn't bother me as much with other horses and I even put other drivers down to drive sometimes but when it comes to Tangen Haap, I want to drive him myself. It's not that I get very nervous or so, it's just frustrating that I can't have an impact on things. I don't understand trainers who don't drive their horses themselves. But I'm sure Erik will take care of it without any problem. Driving him is like driving a small car, he's so easy going and nice". 
Tangen Haap starts from post position five behind the gate and the tactics are up to Erik Adielsson. 
"He can drive however he likes, based on how the horse feels. He has driven him once before and he has seen him in 50-60 starts, so he knows his qualities".