V75®: Wäjersten leaves nothing at chance

He started his career with a bank loan, has this year's Derby winner as a tenant and worries that his stable's win percent is too high.
On Saturday he's hoping to win V75® with a horse he didn't even want to have in training.
"I haven't believed in her before, but I do now" says Daniel Wäjersten about Majet af Djupmyra.

To - as a fresh trainer with seven horses in training, of which three are self-owned - buy one of the country's biggest and most successful training centers indicates a lot of courage and confidence.
Or arrogance and lack of self-awareness.
“It’s a lot of money that I had go ask the bank for. But I felt that I wanted to go all in and do something good. I don't want to leave anything to chance" says Daniel Wäjersten about his decision to put in a bid for his former boss Svante Båth's farm Solum in Kovland, just outside Sundsvall.
One year later Wäjersten has a whopping win percent of 27 and the horse total has increased to 40.
"There are 65 stalls on the farm and the goal is to one day fill them all with horses that I train. But I can honestly say that things have surpassed my expectations. Or to put it this way; I didn't think I would get this many horses in such a short amount of time when I bought the farm".
There are several examples confirming that it's possible to train stakes winners at the farm Solum. The most recent one is this year's Derby winner Attraversiamo who is among the horses in the stalls that Svante Båth rents.
Does that mean that you would kick out the Derby winner if you would get 25 more horses in training?
"I don't know about that. Svante has a regular leasing deal on the stalls and the plan is that it will just go on until further notice. We'll see what happens. But even if we've had a lot of horses come in, we're not full. The yearlings are at another farm. As of now I'm happy if I can keep it at this level. You have to be humble and realize that the business is up and down".
Have you had time to experience any downs yet as a trainer?
"In May our horses didn't do so well. I was too harsh on them after the winter training. Instead of going easy on them for a while I pushed them even harder in March and April which meant they were just sluggish and heavy. But you learn form your mistakes, next year I know to be more patient with them".
You have won more than every fourth start as a trainer. Is a high win percent important to you?
"It was in the beginning. I wanted to show people that I could win races. Now after doing it a while that has changed. If you max out your horse in the overnights, there's not a lot more you can do when you race for big money, like on V75®. So I don't think we will be able to keep the percentage up for next year, but I hope we can make more money instead".
And win more races on V75?
"Yes, of course. It's on Saturdays I want to race. It's different when you get to race against the best horses and drivers, no doubt. We've won three legs of Diamantstoet but no regular V75 division race. I had high hopes for Global Well Off (V75-1) for Saturday but that was before I saw the draw".
It sounds like she is well prepared despite six weeks off?
"Yes, she was rough gaited in her Derby elimination and already that same night I took aim at this race. The way she feels in training, I think she's close to top form again".
What do you think about her chances?
"It will be tough. She has drawn well all year so I guess it was due to happen. She's a mare who likes to be down at the pylons and on or near the front so the post position this time really limits her chances".
Are you making any changes for this start?
"Yes, she will race in a regular style sulky this time. She runs in when she's not at the pylons so I want to have a gaiting pole on her this time. She will also go from a blind to a can't-see-back bridle, which she had when she won at Halmstad" says Wäjersten who has higher hopes for his other V75 starter, Majet af Djupmyra (V75-2) who after a total transition has won two in a row.

"I'd like to get to the lead"
That's as many wins as she had in 65 starts before moving to Solum.
"To be honest I questioned why the owner wanted to leave her in training with us, a seven year old mare with two wins in 65 starts and who seemed to have the future behind her. But I'm happy that I tried her and that I was wrong".
How has she become this good?
"We've done what we do, trained intervals at a slight incline on a soft and deep track in 1:30-1:40 speed and she has responded well to that. But she's not a horses who stands out in training and at her first win she didn't feel particularly good so I was very surprised by her effort in her last start".
What was better that time?
"We put hind shoes and an overcheck on her and suddenly her gait was much better. With a kilometer to go she was still grabbing the bit and showed no signs of giving up, which they often do when you get parked outside the leader. She won in a very good way".
Will she be just as good again on Saturday?
"There's nothing indicating anything differently. Despite training hard and racing these two races she still looks just as good physically. The spike in temperature she had which made me have to scratch her last time she was in to go hasn't affected her. She's in top form".
So you don't mind sitting outside the leader again?
"I don't mind that. But I'd like to get to the lead with her. She left quickly last time and if I can reach the lead I think we have a chance to win".
Any changes on her?
"No, she responded well to the changed balance and the pull down bridle she raced with so she will race the same way again" says Daniel Wäjersten.