V75®: The form points upwards for Odd and Odd
Last time out, he suffered a rare loss.
But Odd Herakles still came up with a very good effort in Finland.
Trainer and owner Odd Paulsen says that 'the best coldblood in the world' is nearing top form.
This week contains three V75 cards and the third one comes to us from Jarlsberg, Norway on Sunday.
The Norwegian racetrack offers a very good race card with Ulf Thorsesen Grand International as the feature, closing out the card. But the card includes other nice races such as Jarlsberg Arena Sprint. That is where we get to see the horse referred to as 'the best coldblood in the world'.
6 Odd Herakles (V75-1) visited Solvalla during the Elitlopp weekend and won Elitkampen, for the third consecutive year.
In his last outing he made a trip to Finland where he raced in the Nordic King, a race where he was the reigning champion. But this year he had to taste defeat as the Finnish horse Evartti sprinted past him down the stretch.
"I was very happy with him in Finalnd. It was a terribly long trip. It took us 35 hours to get there in the 30 degree heat, so that was a lot of stress on the horse. He came out of that start very well, he got a few days off but after that he has trained his regular intervals both last Friday and this past Monday. He looked good" says trainer and owner Odd Paulsen.
Will be better with each start
Odd Herakles has dominated the racing for coldbloods the last few years. In his last 39 starts, he has only lost three times and all three times he has finished second. But his last racing season was cut short. The great horse, with over SEK 12 million in earnings suffered a tendon injury, but has made a magnificent comeback even though he hasn't made it back in top form just yet. He had to skip Alm Svartens Æresløp during the Oslo Grand Prix day, where he also was the reigning champion.
"He will be better and better with each start now. We almost scratched him at Solvalla, he wasn't all that good gaited in the warm up, but when we pulled his shoes he got much better, even if he wasn't perfect. We had to inject his knees after that start and that's why we missed the Bjerke start" says Odd and adds:
"That says a lot about what a great horse he is and what a tremendous attitude he has. He was beaten by a horse that was better that day and I don't think he saw him coming out there. They drove off from the rest of the field, so the way I look at, we won second place, we didn't lose first place. I think we win that race nine times out of ten and this was that tenth time".
So, the form is still on its way up for Odd Herakles?
"Yes, we actually came to Solvalla with a horse who barely hadn't trained anything at all in the month of May...we had trained him once before we entered him, just to see if we had any business coming at all. We lost the entire month of May as a period of training, where he was supposed to have been sharpened, to have gotten the bounce back to his stride and to be put in top form". '
It will be tough for whoever wants to race in the lead
Odd Herakles has the habit of being the big favorite when he races. He also has the habit of taking the lead, regardless the post position. Most things indicate that will also be the case in Jarlsberg on Sunday. Talking tactics is just needless.
"Tom Erik Solberg drives the way he wants. But they usually end up on the front end. The only question is, how long it will take them to get there. I think no later than in the first turn and if someone wants to park them out, that horse won't hit the board. I will be surprised if he loses this race".
Odd Herakles has worked in the breeding shed the last couple of years, but due to the injury he sustained last year, those plans are cancelled for now.
"Unfortunately we had to cancel further breedings this year. After the muscular issue he had around his stifles, we had to cancel the breedings for the rest of the year".
So, what are the plans following this start?
"We are aiming him at the biggest races, such as the Norwegian Championships at Sörlandet in two weeks and we hope that we can race in the Nordic Championships and in Unionskampen at Färjestad, I promise he will be in top form then".
The form points upwards - for both the trainer and the horse
Odd Paulsen is not only the trainer, he is also the breeder and owner of the super star trotter. His horse gives a lot of joy in the everyday life, something that has become even more important lately. Odd is battling cancer, but after several surgeries the prognosis now points in the right direction.
"I'm doing fine. I am having another surgey on August 25, where they are removing a part of my small intestine and then I will have to rest for a couple of months. The prognosis is good, my earlier surgeries have gone perfectly well and hopefully I will be in perfect shape towards Christmas and can look forward to next season".
So the form points upwards for both the trainer and his horse. The goal is for both of them to return to Solvalla, the last weekend of May next year again. Odd Paulsen would love to see his star trotter win Elitkampen for the fourth consecutive year.
"I think we will focus on just racing him next year again, given that he is still sound, feels good and still wants to do it. So it could be one more start for him in Elitkampen at Solvalla. We hope that both I and Herakles are in top form then”.