Moni Viking is back on Swedish soil.
Last year brought over SEK 3.6 million in earnings after victories in the two long distance races Harper Hanovers race and Åby Stora Pris.
This year the connections are aiming at least as high and on Saturday he races in the long distance race Orebro Int'l which is also the last leg of V75®.
"My horse feels very good right now and I hope he is in top form right away on Saturday" says owner and temporary trainer Jan Lyng.
The now eight year old gelding is back with owner Jan Lyng after a winter in France at the Pierre Vercruysse stable. In six starts at Vincennes - among them Prix d'Amerique where he made a break - he won once in the Group 3 race Prix de la Marne, was third three times and finished ninth once and he has made over SEK 1.2 million so far in 2021.
"The horse raced well in France but I wasn't happy with how the races turned out for him. He had to give cover to the others instead of stalking and saving his speed which is the best race scenario for him. I think he did very well considering that when he finished third in his last start and we take that with us as a positive" says the owner.
Elitlopp thoughts already last year
Now awaits a spring and summer in the Nordic countries and owner Jan Lyng naturally has big plans for the year. It starts with a long distance race in Örebro on Saturday, but the owner is not afraid to try shorter distances later this year.
"We will start with this race on Saturday and after that we either go to defend our title in Harpers or to Elitloppet. Just like last year he will go in training with Björn Goop, he will take him home immediately after this race and Björn said already last year that he could be a horse for Elitloppet".
"He has only raced on the short distance twice, once at Leangen, Norway on a very bad track surface and then last summer when he finished fourth in Mikkeli, Finland in 1:09.4/1,609. Moni Viking has no problems with the short distance and it would interesting to try. We actually had plans to race in the Paralympic Trot, but we didn't get a spot there so we are taking this route instead" Jan Lyng reveals.
Perfect when training at the racetrack
The horse came home to Jan after his last start in March and has after that followed the training schedule down to the T.
"He feels very good right now and I think he should be in good form right away in his return on Swedish soil".
"We fixed him up when we came home and gave him some time off and then he did some heavy training for three weeks. After that we have given some easier training and he actually went his first training trip at the racetrack last Sunday for the first time since he came back home. We didn't go that fast - we went a longer distance, but I let him stretch out for a bit in 1:10 speed at the end. He felt perfect and he did it with steel shoes and the regular training equipment".
"I think it's good for him to come home and get another form of training than what he got in France. The feeling is that he should be close to top form already on Saturday, even if the perfect scenario probably would be to give him one more week of light training" Jan contemplates.
A new world record?
The starting distance in Orebro Int'l is 3,140 meters and on top of that Mini Viking is handicapped with another 40 meters - exactly the same conditions as when he won Harper Hanovers race last year. He then won in a world record time of 1:11.9/3,180.
"It looks like a field of good horses on Saturday, but he showed last year that he has no problems beating them and I think he is one of the horses who can win - he has shown several times that he is that good of a horse".
"There will be some changes on the horse compared to the starts in France, all to his advantage. Him and Björn make a good team and he will race in an American sulky right away - it's not allowed to race in it in France. Other than that he will race with the pull down bridle and barefoot, just like he did at Vincennes. We have saved his feet for over a month for this start and they look good. We have an exciting season ahead of us and I hope we can start with a win right away on Saturday" says Jan Lyng who has every reason to be optimistic about the 2021 season for Moni Viking.