V86®: From hurdles to the racetrack

The running tracks have been traded for race tracks.
But the experiences from the track and field play a big part in his horse training program.
The ex hurdle runner Magnus Träff has found the way to the winners circle and on Wednesday he can add on to the success.

Bollnäs trainer Magnus Träff is used to having a high win percentage. Year after year he presents well trained horses who keep delivering on a high level. But this year he's exceeded all the expectations. Since the start of the year he's won in over a third of the races he's been in and he's tripled his old personal best earnings with SEK 1.9 millions this year.
"It's been fantastic. My horses have delivered all year and we've had a fabulous year" says Magnus Träff.
He has seven horses in his barn and the brightest star of them all is Queer Fish with seven victories and over SEK 1 million made this year. His stable mates aren't too shabby either. Survival Kit and Sugar Daddy have both won on V75® and the current win count is at 25 for the year.
"The win with Queer Fish at Solvalla's Elitlopp weekend is hard to top, but winning a V75 double at Östersund also huge for me. Those two days stand out and it's hard to pick one over the other one".

Training program from his own experiences
What's the explanation to these fabulous results? Improved barn environment and tweaks in the interval training have helped, but the foundation in Magnus Träff's training program he took form his own experiences. As a youngster he was competing in track and field and was top ten in Sweden in 400 meters hurdles. His experiences and knowledge from that has been transferred over to how he trains horses.
"Basically you can say that my training program is based on how I trained when I did track and field. The year is planned the same way. Simply explained we start with strength/weight training, followed by running and weight training and then we finish with speed. A lot of people say older horses don't need the strength training since they already have all the muscles but we stick to the program and so far it seems to be working fine".
"As far as the interval training goes, we never go the same amount of intervals two training days in a row. We like to vary the amount of intervals to keep the training explosive instead of the same every time".
With "we" Magnus Träff means himself, his girlfriend Tove, his brother Andreas and his father Kalle. They run this operation together and share the same views on training.
"Dad was my trainer when I did track and field, Andreas has played hockey and is a gym teacher so he also knows the basics about physiology and all that".

Better following throat surgery
But it hasn't been smooth sailing for all his horses this year. Twinkle Kronos (V86®-5) started off the year well with two victories in January but then it's been nothing but problems and before his comeback in October he hadn't raced for four months.
"We felt all along that he's a good horse but he's always had throat issues. He had surgery in the spring but then he had to have all summer off due to an infection in his throat that we struggled getting rid off so we just waited for dryer and cooler air before training him back" says Magnus Träff.
To give him the time is paying off now. He currently has three wins in a row.
"He has raced far beyond our expectations. He has looked so good, has come out of the races very well and he keeps getting better with each race" Träff says and continues:
"He used to be very tense and nervous, which isn't strange if you don't get enough air but the nervousness is gone now when he's not scared to breathe and in his last starts he's been very calm and relaxed".

"Feels fantastic"
Wednesday's V86 is split between Solvalla and Bergsåker and it's in the fifth leg at the Sundsvall racetrack that Twinkle Kronos will try to keep his win streak alive. His trainer is pleased with everything except for the post position.
"He feels great! Of course we're disappointed that he drew a trailing position, a lot can go wrong from there but I think he feels fantastic".
"It's probably the toughest race he's been in so far but on the other hand I don't think he's shown us all of his arsenal yet. We haven't optimized him yet, but we will warm up in an American sulky and that should give him some more speed. We're probably racing him with corks in the hind shoes, but he's won like that before so that won't be a problem".
If Twinkle Kronos keeps doing what he's doing, Magnus Träff might just get one more V75 victory before 2017 is over. Next start is planned for December 16 when V75 comes to Gävle.
"It would be awesome if he could win there. Then four out of our seven horses have won V75 this year and then we can celebrate a very merry Christmas".