V75®: (Sunday) : San Moteur has reached his big goal
A homebred four generations back.
San Moteur means a lot for Håkan Arvidsson. On Sunday the race that has been the big goal for a year is here — The Swedish Trotting Derby.
"I'm extra proud since I have bred four generations of this horse, that makes it extra emotional".
Up until the final of the Swedish Kriterium last year, 2 San Moteur (V75-6) was considered the king of the crop. He came into the eliminations undefeated after five starts but lost to Brambling despite a strong effort. Later that fall, San Moteur made a break in the Breeders Crown final. Those are the only two losses in his ten lifetime starts. The big goal has been the same all along — The Swedish Trotting Derby. A race that each horse only gets one chance in its lifetime to win. On Sunday that day has come.
"It feels darn exciting, actually. We have aimed him for this since last fall and the day is finally here. He came out of his last start great, actually. He is more alert after that start, even sharper and he feels great" says Håkan Arvidsson, who is both the breeder and owner of San Moteur.
Won his seasonal debut — despite making a break
The four-year-old from the Goop stable has kept a pretty low profile. That has been somewhat according to the plan. He made his seasonal debut at Solvalla in the middle of June. San Moteur won, maybe a bit surprising, right off the layoff in Prix Readly Express despite a big break in the start. Several of this Sunday's Derby starters were also in that race.
"He was so much better than I thought he would in his seasonal debut. He was very well prepared, but he had only gotten heavy training for seven months with no faster heats on the track. I thought he would need that start, but he lost 40 meters when he made a break in the start, and he still just flew by them down the stretch...".
But then he was kept away from the racetracks for two months before the Derby elimination?
"Yes, the initial plan was to race him in Fyraåringstestet in Eskilstuna, but Björn got himself suspended and I really wanted him to drive. So instead we planned to race him in a leg of the Breeders Crown series at Mantorp, but just as we were about to enter him, he started coughing so we had to skip that start too. That made us a little insecure about his form, but he won his seasonal debut after a seven month long layoff and now it was only two months in between starts".
The elimination was a perfect tightener
The elimination to the Swedish Trotting Derby went smoothly. San Moteur was moved to the lead after a kilometer and was never threatened on his way to victory and a spot in the final.
"Our horse was just as good as we had hoped he would be and he won without being anywhere close to tired according to Björn. After the race everything feels great, it was a perfect tightener and he should improve a lot with that start in his legs" says Håkan, who also got the post position in the final that he wished for:
"We got to pick first so that turned out great. Björn wanted post position two. I stay out of the tactics, Björn is so darn good when it comes to that...But our horse can leave quickly and he races well from all positions".
Homebred — in four generations
Even if Håkan Arvidsson, who is Björn Goop's uncle, won't get involved in the tactical choices, he is very much involved in San Moteur. The story around this horse goes back several generations. During the 1990s, the trotting fans got to know Tiba Lavec, who was trained by Håkan's dad Berndt and who was one of the best fillies in her crop. Tiba Lavec is the ancestress of San Moteur.
"You can say that he's a homebred in four generations. Tiba Lavec who is the mare's grandam, is a horse that we had in the 1990s and she was one of the best fillies in her crop and she won the Breeders Crown that year. I have kept that maternal line for several generations. The dam of San Moteur, Aung San Suu Kyi was very talented but also tricky. She was a gorgeous mare and I thought she would be good as a broodmare. She has a lot of French blood and with Panne de Moteur as the sire, San Moteur has gotten a lot of speed, it turned out to be perfect".
It must be a very special feeling going into the race on Sunday?
"I'm extra proud since I have bred several generations of this horse, that makes it extra emotional. There's history, a personal connection. Having a horse in the Derby is huge as a breeder. This makes it incredibly fun".
Have you thought about the racing schedule going forward, after the Derby?
"The eliminations to the Grand Prix de l'UET are coming up in three weeks after the Derby and it's a little bit because of that, that we have raced him so lightly over the summer, we knew there would be more starts in the fall, so we have saved our bullits for that so to speak".
Finally. San Moteur means 'without motor' in French. What were your thoughts behind that?
"Haha...nothing actually. The horse was supposed to have another name but it didn't go through, so we got a suggested name from Svensk Travsport. Then you have a certain amount of time to submit the name you want, but time ran out and he got named San Moteur. A pretty misleading name, he really has a motor...I have to say thanks to someone at Svensk Travsport for that brilliant idea".