V75®: Rising with star two chances

He has lived half of his life in Sweden and more or less cut the cord with his native country.
In three weeks he can win the award as 'The rising star' at the annual awards 'Hästgalan®'.
"Nobody is born a champion. You have to take care of the talent you have and manage the chances you've been given in life" says the German native Marc Elias who will drive two horses on V75® at Kalmar.

Marc Elias moved to Sweden at age 13 and drove his first race six years later.
Last year was his breakthrough year with 32 victories and over SEK 3 million in earnings.
Those numbers made the 25 year old one out of four nominees to the 2018 Rising star award in Sweden. 
But when he broke up from his roots in Munich to follow his family's horse racing adventures in Sweden in 2007 he had no plans of following in his father Conrad Lugauer's footsteps.
Back in Germany I had no interest in the sport or in horses at all. That didn't start until 2009-2010, when I got to sit behind a horse called Mr Fitch. He became very good and won several times on V75®. And it was a thrill to see dad win the Olympic Trot (with Cooper Beech 2010 editor's note).
How does it feel being nominated to the 'Rising star' award?
"It's huge. To be one out of four people who has progressed the most during one year, it's just huge".
Do you feel Swedish or German?
"It really doesn't matter to me. When someone asks that I answer that I was born In Germany, that's all".
Was it hard learning the language?
"I had a German teacher helping me the first two weeks. But when you're 13 you learn pretty fast, especially when you have to. I started school here in sixth grade and if I remember correctly it took me two months to be able to follow in class. After about four months I was able to express myself the way I wanted to".
Are you a Swedish citizen?
"I don't know, I don't think so. I've never applied. I have a Swedish social security number and my business is registered in Sweden. My driver's license is Swedish but my passport is German, so at least I know I'm a German citizen. But I have no friends left in Germany, when I go there I just see my family. For me it doesn't matter which country I belong to as long as people are nice".
Is there anything specific you miss from Germany?
"I have to say that when it comes to leisure activities Germany is way better. The supply is much bigger there. For example when you want to go watch a movie. Here the last show starts at 22:30, while in Germany you can go at 1 am if you want to. Restaurants and bars are open much later too and the service is much better".
In which way?
"It's not the same mindset when in comes to competition in Sweden. One example is the bowling alley here in Malmö. It's been around for ten years and the menu has been the same since they opened. If a business doesn't develop, it dies. In Germany the supply is so big, everyone wants the customers and they compete for them by offering top notch service. To do things spontaneously in Sweden is a lot harder. If you want to go out to eat, for example after the races, in Malmö or Lund, you have to do it early in the week and check how late the kitchen stays open. If you go out after 22:00 everything is closed. Except for that I love it here".
Which goals do you have for the future, are you taking over your after dad or are you planning on starting your own stable?
"Time will tell. I definitely don't want to be a trainer right now. We'll see how our stable develops and how my driving career goes. Maybe I'll get more responsibility here. As of now I'm pleased with my own progress and I hope it will continue. Sometime in the future I want to be a trainer, of course".
What's your role in the stable?
"I'm somewhere between a caretaker and an assistant trainer. I have my horses that I take care of, some better ones. When dad is away I'm in charge of the training and talking to owners. But my job is to be a caretaker and Marcus (Waldmüller) is the assistant trainer. But if he, my mom or dad is gone and step in and do their job when I have time".
Which other trainers have you worked for?
"I worked for six months for Petri Puro, six months for Marcus Lindgren and nine months for Björn Goop. At Goop's I also had the opportunity to learn form Jonas Thornell, the best equine veterinarian in Sweden. It was very interesting to see how to treat horses, how it affects their bodies and how they look after compared to before the treatment. Hopefully I can go there again".
Do you want to work for other trainers again or are you staying with your dad now?
"I think I'm done moving around in Sweden. What I really want to do is to go to Sebastien Guarato in France, but for that to work I first have to learn to speak French fluently. Since I get up at 6:00 and come home at midnight when we're racing, I don't have a lot of time. I use my time off to rest. Learning Swedish was different. I was younger and it was something I had to do to be able to talk to my friends".
Why did you do so much better last year?
"Probably because I have progressed and I also got to drive very nice horses, that's a successful combination. It's always hard to say why it went better, but i got to drive more. It's not that strange to improve after just 5-6 years driving. I think and hope that I can keep improving for many years".
Is there anything specific you can point out that you've improved at?
"The assessment of the horse, how it will be in the race. I'm much better at keeping a horse trotting than before. The more you drive, the better feeling you get. I remember the first race I drove last year, I drove right into a wheel down the stretch. You do that once and then you learn. I'm sure Goop and Kihlström made a lot of mistakes when they were younger too. Nobody is born a champion. You have to take care of the talent you have and manage the chances you've been given in life".
How are you going to manage your V75 chances on Saturday?
"As good as I possibly can. Too bad 10 Sahara One (V75-7) drew in the second tier, that's ice cold for him. In France he was fine over the long distance and starting in the second tier. In Sweden he needs post one and 1,600 meters".
How come?
"The rules here are much tougher. In Sweden you have to warm up on the track and go through the post parade and that stresses him out. He can't relax in a race here like he can in France where you can do what you want before the race".
It will be his first start in Sweden since last summer. How is his form?
"The form is good. He's trained a few heats since he came back home and has looked good. With a better post and a chance getting to the lead I would have had a chance to win, but from here i have to lay low".
You have a chance getting to the lead with 2 Blue Mustasche (V75-2). Full speed ahead there instead?
"It depends on how the horse feels. Last time I drove him he was too hot. He wanted to go faster than what I wanted him to and he wasn't cooperative so he lost a lot of energy because of that. I drove him in the lead that time, but if he's the same on Saturday I'd rather have some cover. If he feels good warming up and is relaxed I would like to try him in the lead and once there he's definitely good enough to win it. He races in a regular sulky but if the trainer won't mind I would like to try him in our American sulky".
What are your personal goals for 2019?
"To show the same numbers as I did in 2018. I also have hopes for my own mare Bijou Bourbon H.M. I hope I can progress on the training side of it and get her back in top form again".