V86®: Haugstad chasing his first training win
Kenneth Haugstad has taken over the stalls from his father in law Roger Walmann and can from January 1 put professional trainer on his business card.
During the Wednesday night V86® races he has the chance to win his first races as trainer at his home track Solvalla.
"It's one heck of a feeling racing two horses from my own stable for the first time".
With almost 900 driving wins, 42 year old Kenneth Haugstad is now chasing training wins in the new year.
He started working for Roger Walmann in the summer of 2014 and has been in the spotlight before since he's a holder of a so called elite lad driver's license.
The Norwegian native is now in the beginning of his own training career.
"It will be my first two starts on Wednesday and a win would be fantastic. Inspiring may be the right word to describe it with. I spoke with Johan Untersteiner on the phone for a long time yesterday and he told me it's a completely different feeling working for yourself instead of being an employee. I've had a few really nice years working for Roger but it feels right trying it out on my own now" Kenneth says.
Haugstad is living together with Walmann's daughter Jeanett and they have two kids together.
The family lives on the farm Mälsåker. So there won't be any change of venue. When Kenneth walked out to the barn on new years day to clean stalls he did it for himself and for his family in the stalls he has just taken over.
"Everything is the same - Roger has just moved out to give me room. When he decided to cut down to 40 horses it felt natural for me to take this step. I could have continued working for another trainer but since we already live here I guess I would be stupid not to take the chance" Haugstad says.
"Lennart is behind me"
He started as professional trainer January 1 at Solvalla with 16 horses on his training list.
Well known owner Lennart Ågren (SRF stable) who has won Elitloppet with Magic Tonight, trained by Walmann, is one of the owners believing in the fresh trainer.
"Lennart is behind me with many horses in my barn. I also have to thank the guy who owns Concrete Dee, he has three horses with me. They are my two biggest owners" says Haugstad.
On Wednesday the new barn has two horses racing at Solvalla. Kenneth will drive both.
"Two horses in good form and as I see it, equal chances of winning. A plus for Concrete Dee (V86®-2) thanks to her post position. We got a perfect post position with post one and she can leave quickly. I don't know if I can hold Kihlström (Surf'n Turf) out but I will give it a try at least".
Concrete Dee has made 20 starts and you have driven here in all of those - a horse you know very well.
"Yes I have both driven and trained that horse for as long as he's been a race horse. I think he has shown very good form lately. He was very good in his last start behind Vichy Grif and he has trained well during the holidays so he is coming into this race in very good form".
"That is Surf'n Turf who has the post position right outside of us. He was a good second on V75® in his last start. Surf'n Turf is pretty quick in the start but it's not that easy when they're neck to neck like that. We have to try to keep them on the outside".
Ornstein (V86-4) is a new acquaintance for you. Have you had a chance to get an impression of him so far?
"He arrived in very good condition. Per Linderoth called me a couple months ago and asked if I could take two horses in training. The owner lives in Solna and wanted the horses a bit closer and Per suggested me. Ornstein feels very good on the farm and I'm excited to try him in a race".
"He has trained really well. Unfortunately we got a bad post position, but on the other hand I don't think he leaves very quickly so we might have ended up in the back anyway. With some racing luck I think he has a chance to finish top three anyway. Per has raced him mostly in 2,640 meter races and he says he's strong and tough so I hope that he's right" says Kenneth Haugstad.