V86®/jackpot: Interesting duo from Gotland

Visby trainer Jan-Åke Hoas is visiting Solvalla on Wednesday with two horses who can be instrumental when the V86® jackpot millions will be paid out.
"I think both of them can end up in the photo" says the Gotland horseman.

U.S. born Dice Man (V86®-2) impressed during the spring season when he won a race on the Elitlopp Sunday and a V75® race after that. But then things didn't go so smoothly anymore and there are a few question marks when he returns to the track outside the country's capital.
"He feels super. He might need a race or two before he's back in real form but he's much sounder now than what he was before and I think he feels as good as he possibly could" says Jan-Åke Hoas.
He recently bought Dice Man but in his first start for the new stable, in the home track Visby's biggest race of the year Gotlandslöpningen, he raced way below par and finished last in the seven horse field.
"He definitely wasn't right then. Something must have happened in that last start before I bought him, because every muscle in his body was super stiff and sore. He also had some type of infection that we had to treat with penicillin. He feels great after that".
During the last eight weeks Dice Man has recouped and trained at the Visby racetrack facility, where Jan-Åke Hoas has his stable. But it's hard to tell from the training what kind of form he's in.
"He's lazy in training and I've just trained him slowly. I've trained him a couple tougher intervals but it's hard to get him to go fast in training. It takes him an hour to just get out to the track because he has to stop and talk to everyone he sees. He's really cool like that. When I go to bring him in from the field, he comes up to me, stops 1 1/2 meters in front of me, talks to me and then he's ready to come in. He's almost like a human".

Will leave with him

Dice Man drew post six behind the gate Wednesday night over 1,640 meters. The exact same conditions he had in May when he flew to the front and won in front of the Elitlopp crowd.
"Stefan Melander (previous trainer of Dice Man) said that he likes to get in to the race early so I will leave and race him upfront and we'll see how it goes. I can feel that this horse has tremendous ability and he feels great right now but he hasn't gotten any tough training so I'll have to race him to get sharp".
How about shoeing and equipment?
"He will race barefoot behind and with a pair of super light aluminums upfront. It's almost like barefoot but they protect the foot a bit. He will race with a can't-see-back bridle. He's raced with that for Melander".
How high are your expectations to win?
"I think he can win right away, but if he's top three I'm pleased".

Better distance and barefoot

Dice Man will have company on the ferry to the main land by one year younger mare Digital Wave (V86-4). The four year old has really stepped up her game after two months off and she comes into town in good form.
"She had problem sucking air so we had to close her up. She aslo had an infection in her ovaries that we got taken care of and after that she's been a different mare" says Jan-Åke Hoas about this total transformation who came out as a completely new horse after her break.
Despite leaving hard and being part of a brutal - for that class - 07.6 speed first 500 meters Digital Wave still had the strength to trot past the leading favorite in the last turn and hold on for a huge upset score. She paid 56-1 to win. She followed that up with finishing third in her last start.
"She's been fine training after that and she drew a good post here (4). She can leave pretty well. It's not up to me to leave, she will leave herself when she wants to and I just hang on" says Jan-Åke Hoas.
Both her starts in August were over 1,640 meters but this time it's 2,140 meters, which according to her trainer is an advantage.
"She's more strong than quick so she likes 2,000 meters better. If she can find a good position she could finish top three again".
Any changes?
"I think she will race barefoot for the first time. She races with set earplugs. I've never pulled them and I don't know when I will. I have respect for her, she's kicked the bike before and I don't want to fight with her".
Which horse do you have the highest hopes for on Wednesday?
"It's very hard to say. Digital Wave has raced more lately and is in better form, a good post and fits the class well. But I know Dice Man is a real nice horses when he's right and maybe he's got more heart so I have to say him".
Since nobody picked all eight winners in last week's V86, the SEK 5.9 million from that pot is being added to this week. The extra millions means that a possible sole winner could win SEK 12 millon.