Zolder As is an exciting new acquisition from Italy.
On Wednesday the horse makes his Swedish debut and his first start for his new trainer Niklas Robertsson.
It unarguably sounds good beforehand.
"It's a very nice horse and we're hoping to go wire to wire. It feels like he's the best horse I've ever trained" says Robertsson.
This Wednesday's V86® card is split between Jägersro and Solvalla. Niklas Robertsson makes the trip to our capital's racetrack to race in a leg of the apprentice series 'Guldklockan'. Zolder As is the name of the six year old Italian stallion who won six out of 12 starts last year and who started off this year with a win in his native country. His win percent is 24 and he has finished top three in 47 percent of his career starts, which means he is no average horse. Niklas Robertsson sounds very excited about his new acquisition and has a lot of good things to say about him.
"Zolder As (V86-4) has been with me for two and a half months and he's an incredibly nice horse. He's such a pleasure to work with and he covers a lot of ground. Even though he has never raced for me, it feels like he's the best horse I have ever trained. I'm not exactly Svante Båth, but I've had some good horses too" Niklas Robertsson says with a laugh.
Trained great under wraps - "Incredibly good"
"I trained him a lot in the sand at first and last Wednesday I tried him on the track. I trained him in 1:16/2,100 meters with 1.12 the last kilometer and 1:10 speed last 500 meters. He finished with under wraps and he felt incredibly good. He just felt better and better the faster we went. I didn't even have a whip with me and he had no earplugs" says the Kalmar licensed trainer.
How did you acquire the horse from Italy?
"Someone recommended him and once we saw him on video we bought him right away. It's always a hit or miss but he came to us in very good shape. We haven't had any issues with him what so ever".
"Then he'll trot 1:10 on the distance"
The debut for his new trainer comes in the fourth leg of V86. Zolder As has post position three behind the gate over 1,640 meters with Marcus Niklasson in the bike. Listening to Niklas Robertsson it sounds like a very good chance.
"If he races the way he trains, then he'll be very good. Then he'll trot 1:10 on the distance if the conditions are right" says Niklas.
"It feels like he should be able to leave well and we will test him behind the gate before the races. We hope to go wire to wire. Then we'll see what happens. Maybe I'll look stupid when he trots 1:14.8 and finishes seventh and doesn't want to race. That's a chance I'm willing to take. I have to say what I feel beforehand" says Robertsson.
"I will play it a bit safe and race him with an open bridle, shoes and without an over check. I trained him barefoot last week but he's had some problems with his pasterns and he will race with shoes just like he's done in Italy. This will be very exciting".
Lounge for the owners with a sports bar in the stable
Niklas Robertsson has new projects going on and he is in the middle of building and decorating a lounge for his owners with a bar in the stable at Kalmartravet.
"It will be an owners pub with a balcony facing the track. We're a group of people who can hang out there and watch races and Champions League football. It will be a real sports bar" says Niklas.
"Since you can't have a bar in the stable area, we have named the bar after one of my co-workers Inge N Karlsson. So the bar will be called Ingen bar (No bar in Swedish) haha".
"You have to invest now in these Corona times and and we have a lot of things going on with new young horses and more Italian ones too. It's nice that we have something going on and I'm highly confident about the future".