This Saturday the final of The Olympic Trot will take place at Åby with a first prize of SEK 1.5 million.
The gigantic favorite will be Propulsion - even though he drew post position seven behind the gate.
"He feels fantastic in training and he feels a lot looser now. He will come in even better form than what he showed in Umeå" says trainer Daniel Redén.
The Olympic Trot is drawn and ready to go. That also marks the start of the stakes season when the country's elite takes on a few international stars.
The Åby race secretary Jon Walter Pedersen is very pleased with how this year's field and draw turned out on Monday afternoon. The last spot was given to Ulf Stenströmer's Handsome Brad who got a wild card after Petri Salmela declined with Makethemark following the victory in the last qualifying leg at Romme last Sunday.
"It's a fantastic race and an interesting mix. The best part is that there are horses and drivers from different countries that we don't see competing against each other every day. I think it will be a fun race to watch" says Jon Walter Pedersen.
"It was an interesting draw since Propulsion , the big favorite, drew a half bad post position seven. A couple of his toughest challengers drew better posts and there are several horses who will leave hard and try to get to the front. I'm thinking of Handsome Brad, Cyber Lane and Muscle Hustle who all will leave fast in the center of the track".
"It will also be fun to see Finland's best horse Atupem and it will be exciting to see if anyone can challenge Propulsion. I'm very happy with the entire race card, it will be a great day" says Pedersen.
"Will be in even better from than in Umeå"
So let's check in with Propulsion's trainer Daniel Redén to see how things are with the super star.
Propulsion var very good when he won his qualifying leg in Umeå in 1:11.3 and the 23 time millionaire in Swedish Crowns will be the mega favorite despite having to start from post seven.
"It's not what I wished for but someone has to start from there too. This time it's us and he's started from bad post positions before and done well. I think this will be fine too" says Daniel Redén.
How does Propulsion feel in training after the start in Umeå?
"He has trained as usual and he feels fantastic and he feels a lot looser now. The start in Umeå did him good and he will come in even better form for this start. He feels good and sharp and he will race barefoot this time".
"I'm just happy if he races well, this is another step towards Elitloppet. That's when he needs to be in top form, but I think and hope that he'll race really well now too".
"Cyber Lane has definitely improved after his last start"
One of the toughest opponents for Propulsion is Cyber Lane. His trainer Johan Untersteiner has two horses in the race since he also trains Day Or Night In, who won his qualifying leg at Jägersro. In the same race Cyber Lane finished well to get up for second place in his first start of the year. Cyber Lane drew post five and Day Or Night In post eight behind the gate.
"One of them drew well and one did not" says Johan Untersteiner.
"I think Cyber Lane will definitely improve with that start and he feels good in training. Hopefully he'll be a little bit sharper this time. I hope he is, even if he's not a horse who shows off in training. He's very lazy and laid back at home. But I hope he'll be a little looser and we have to leave and see where we can end up".
"With Day Or Night In we have to hope for some racing luck. If you leave with him from post eight he'll get hung out so he'll have to find someone good to follow and come at the end" says Johan Untersteiner.
Horse - Driver - Trainer
1) Bahia Quesnot – Junior Guelpa
2) Coach Franbleu – Jorma Kontio – Franck Leblanc
3) Handsome Brad – Carl Johan Jepson – Ulf Stenströmer
4) Cokstile – Lars Anvar Kolle – Jan Kristian Waaler
5) Cyber Lane – Johan Untersteiner
6) Muscle Hustle – Björn Goop – Robert Bergh
7) Propulsion – Örjan Kihlström – Daniel Redén
8) Day Or Night In – Peter Untersteiner – Johan Untersteiner
9) Atupem – Santtu Raitala – Antero Tupamäki
10) Milligan’s School – Ulf Eriksson – Stefan Melander