V86: The island champion brings the star of his stable

​Eight time driving champion in Visby.
On Wednesday, Claes Sjöström returns to try to win the biggest race on the island, Gotlandslöpning with the best horse in his stable.
"An exciting start. Jaguar Dream moved into the gold division this past spring and these are the tough opponents he will have to face every time from now on".

On Wednesday the Visby racetrack hosts its biggest race day of the year with a full V86 card and the feature Gotlandslöpning (V86-7) for the open class trotters. 
Experienced horses with several millions in earnings line up behind the gate. 
The Solvalla licensed trainer Claes Sjöström comes with a runner up – six-year-old Jaguar Dream who has made a couple of millions so far in his career. 
Sjöström has been the track's driving champion eight times – he currently has a four year long win streak going, 2017-2020. 
The biggest race, Gotlandslöpning is a race he has never won. On Wednesday, the star of his own stable can get his name engraved on the trophy, in V86-7.
Jaguar Dream was fantastic in the final of the silver division during the Elitlopp weekend at Solvalla. After having raced parked outside the leader, the chestnut just stepped away to win in 1:11.0 over 2,140 meters. 
"He was awesome and now we hope he can be a player in the older elite. He has enough ability to do so" says Claes Sjöström. 
One of the most impressive horses at the Elitlopp weekend
Jaguar Dream won a leg of the silver division at Mantorp back in march and was already then qualified for the final at Solvalla. That meant that Claes Sjöström could build up his horse the way he wanted to and race his chestnut more frequently leading up to the final at the end of May. 
His form was as good as it possibly could at Solvalla and the effort was one of the most impressive ones during the entire weekend, 
Jaguar Dream – a small star in his younger years – was back for real after a year and half long hiatus due to an injury. 
Continuing barefoot
Pulling the shoes at Solvalla also made a difference and was part of the long term plan for the horse. In his most recent start at Rättvik, he wasn't as successful and he finished sixth in Midsommarloppet, a race won by Milligan's School. 
"The Jaguar had post position eight behind the gate and I left with him and it was a fast, even start so I had to get a hold of him and we found a spot third over. I made a move with 600 meters to go, three-wide and it was a tough trip for him. No, he never got the chance to feel that he could beat them" says Claes Sjöström. 
Jaguar Dream had not been trained to be sharp for the start in Rättvik and won't be peaking the way he did at Solvalla, on Wednesday either. 
"But his feet are good and most likely he will race barefoot for the third consecutive start on Wednesday. After the Elitlopp weekend, he took it easy for a little while and he was the way I thought in his last start, good but not in top form. There are only two weeks in between starts now and I think he will be better this time in Visby. But I still just give him standard training" says Claes Sjöström.
'Just standard training' – can you explain that?
"For the Solvalla start, he was a bit more 'prepped'. Now I want him to race every two or three weeks. I want him to get some toughness and race against these tougher horses who made a lot of money, like the ones he's racing against this week. I don't think he will be as sharp as he was at the Elitlopp weekend, but he will be a notch or two better than in his last start". 
You must be happy with post position four for him?
"Yes, a much better post position than in his last start. I don't know how good Gocciadoro's horse (3 Zaccaria Bar) who is right to our inside, is. I don't know how good of a horse he is or how fast he can leave. All I know is that he has started from tough post positions in very tough races lately. The other four horses that I see as our toughest opponents have post positions 7,8,9 and 10, so we have an advantage when it comes to that" says Claes Sjöström and meant Monark Newmen, Dragster, Makethemark and Nadal Broline. 
Sounds like you might be interested in getting to the lead?
"Yes, normally he leaves pretty fast so I will give it a try. The lead is good in these races". 
You have two more starters from your stable. What are your thoughts on 5 Happy Socks Sisu (V86-1) and 11 Wilson Knight (V86-2)? 
"Happy Socks is a consistent horse who races well every time. He hasn't really had a chance to win in his last few starts but he has still raced well. My plan is to race him barefoot for the very time first in his career, to find those extra few tenths of a second necessary to win. Wilson Knight...sort of the same with him, a bit too many second places compared to win for me to be entirely happy. I think that maybe he should have won his last start to get the gold star but he will pass with that effort. He is used to racing tough horses and it might be dangerous to write him off completely". 
Is Jaguar Dream your best chance?
"He is. My other two starters are maybe candidates for top three spots, rather than the win. Out of the horses I drive for other trainers, I think 3 Stojweiler One (V86-6) has the best chance".