V75®(jackpot): Gustav is ready for the party at home in Halmstad
The Sprint Championship week in Halmstad. One of the biggest highlights of the summer.
For the talented driver Gustav Johansson, a very interesting weekend awaits him at his hometown track.
The 19-year-old has three drives on V75 on Saturday.
V75 rolls along in the Swedish summer. After last weekend's impossible combination in Eskilstuna, a jackpot awaits as Halmstad racetrack takes over the hosting duties this weekend. A possible sole winner can be SEK 50 million richer according to the calculations.
Traditionally, the Sprint Championship is being raced on Thursday, where many of the best four-year-olds in the country square off in eliminations and final the same night. The regular V75 card will as usual be raced on Saturday.
The very talented young driver Gustav Johansson has drives both of those days.
"It will be a lot of fun, I have a few drives, so I'm really looking forward to this".
Gustav's first drive on Saturday is 6 Black Fire (V75-2).
The gelding is trained by Dan Widergren, who is married to Gustav’s aunt, and the driver knows the horse well. He has driven Black Fire in most of his starts and the horse is also stabled at the farm where Gustav works.
This Saturday the duo teams up for the Wången Cup final for apprentice drivers.
"Black Fire sat a bit too far back in the field last time out and it was a fast finish, so we were happy with him even though he just finished sixth. He races well pretty much all the time and we though this would be a fitting race for him. I think his form is at least as good as it was when he won".
What are your thoughts on this race?
"He leaves well and of course I'd like to get to the lead. I don't know how fast the horses to our inside can leave, but the goal is to get to the lead. This horse is pretty versatile and can race with any type of trip and in these races, anything can happen".
The second runner-up from Kriteriet has made it back
In the silver division, the 19-year-old driver has another interesting drive.
The horse is 6 Address Book (V75-3),who now is seven years old, but has been sidelined for years due to injuries. As a three-year-old, then trained by Johan Untersteiner, he finished third in the Swedish Kriterium behind Inti Boko ad Campo Bahia. Address Book is now trained by Peter H Sjöberg and he has made two starts after his long layoff.
"Address Book has been injured several times but he is now back racing, I think he had been away from racing for three and half years when he qualified. We can just cross our fingers that he holds up for racing, but he has two starts in his legs now and he feels like he is coming more and more. Of course, it's a tough class for the horse who has only made 14 lifetime starts. But he has come out of these starts well and he is still under development" says Gustav and adds:
"It will be interesting to try him against these horses, even if he probably isn't ready to win yet. It's a 1,640 meter race and we have to leave a bit and try to get a spot, but racing him in the lead doesn't feel like an option".
Started the year with four straight wins
4 Dats So Crazy (V75-4) is the third horse for Gustav to drive on Saturday. Göran Wiberg in Halmstad trains the horse, who kick-started the year with four straight wins, and after a good effort in his last start in Vaggeryd, he is now ready for V75.
"We were pleased with him last time out, he races well every time. He won a couple of starts last winter and made some good money there, but we will try him on V75 now. He really steps up in class here and the bettors need to keep in mind that he faces much tougher horses this time, but I think he is in better form now than when he won those starts. He can leave well and we are trying a couple of new things on him too".
Which new things are you trying on him?
"Most likely he will race in an American sulky, but we haven't decided for sure yet, but he will race barefoot all around this time".
How do you rate you chances on Saturday?
"Black Fire is definitely the one who stands out as the best chance to win".