V86®: Kihlström thinks it looks decent
Örjan Kihlström is not known to be overly optimistic. He usually doesn't 'spill the beans' on race days either.
But he is looking forward to V86® at Solvalla with confidence.
"Conrads Rödluva, Zenzero Jet and Brambling all have a decent chance to win" he says.
Those who have followed Swedish racing the last few years, know that top driver Örjan Kihlström has been having back issues for some time.
He used to drive over 1,400 races each year, but the last few years he has 'only' driven a bit over 1,100 races per year.
Still he has made more money. Over SEK 58 million in 2018 and almost SEK 57 million in 2017.
"Normally it should affect the results if you drive fewer races but on the other hand I have gotten the chance to drive very good horses the last few years" says Örjan.
These days the tributes to former Solvalla trainer Jim Frick have been frequent in different social medias. Jim got prostate cancer last year and past away last Saturday. He was 68 years old.
Just like other colleagues, Örjan remembers Jim Frick warmly.
Can you tell us a typical Jim Frick story?
"I remember one time when he was loading a snow mobile on to a horse truck. It wasn't going so well and Jim became impatient. 'Out of the way' he roared and got up on the snow mobile himself. He gave it a lot of gas and when the bands of the snow mobile grabbed the ramp of the truck the snow mobile and Jim flew right onto the truck! Sort of like a projectile...everyone laughed, except for the man who owned the truck. He was a bit pouty".
"There are so many stories about Jim, so much to tell, he was a fantastic human being".
Örjan Kihlström comes from a family of horsemen, but it doesn't seem like there's anyone to carry on the family tradition.
Örjan's two sons are in their twenties now.
"They have no interest in harness racing at all, so I can't imagine they would pursue it. And you have to remember what a tough business it is. It's fun when things go well. But there are so many, working so hard and they never get what they deserve. So if it's good or bad that my sons don't want to carry on the tradition - that I don't know".
Happy with Rödluvan
One reason that the results have been so good lately is that he drives for Daniel Redén. On Tuesday he will drive Redén's super mare Double Exposure in Hugo Åbergs Memorial with SEK 1.6 million to the winner. The day after it's time for the two years younger super mare Conrads Rödluva, in the first leg of V86.
Conrads Rödluva has made over SEK 10 million so far and was together with Fredrik Wallin's Activated the two best four year old mares last year.
The Wednesday race is similar to when she won in her last start, this is also an elimination for Jubileumspokalen?
"Last time Into Boko made a break in the start, so things could be a bit different this time if she stays flat".
Is Into Boko your toughest opponent?
"I don't know about that...there are some good horses in this race. Forfantone AM is very good at times, but he drew a bad post position now" Örjan says.
What can Conrads Rödluva improve on?
"Hopefully a little bit of everything, even if she's already good. Things can happen, when the horses are five years old. I think she will learn to leave better, we haven't really fired her out of the gate that many times".
In V86-2 Örjan will drive 15 Zenzero Jet, trained by Stefan P Pettersson. They won together in their most recent start at Axevalla, but winning at Solvalla from the worst post position in a big field, is usually not easy.
"But this horse is so strong and tough, I think we still have a chance. Zenzero Jet can do the hard work himself" says Örjan.
Daniel Redén's Brambling (V86-3) won parked first over, outside the leader, in his last start?
"He is talented but a bit green. There are things to improve on. His gait is so so, he has stayed flat so far, but he doesn't feel completely safe. But he has enough ability to win".
Roger Walmann's 11 Crashed Eggs is a horse who is winless after five starts:
"She has raced OK, but I don't really see her winning from that post position".
Stefan Melanders 4 Air Space (V86-5) is also still a maiden:
"I have never driven him so I can't say anything about his chances".
Roger Walmann trained 5 Dearest (V86-7):
"She's in pretty good form. I think this is a bit tougher than the race she was in at Rättvik in her last start, but she's not chanceless".
Roger Walmann trained 2 Ti Punch Broline (V86-8) has 'only' won 4 times in 33 starts. But the five year old mare has made almost SEK 840,000. She was sixth in her last start, a race won by the top mare Une Etoile Gar.
"She has raced well. Her last start was in the mares elite, so this bronze division is a step down. She also drew a good post position. She could upset with some racing luck. I think she should go on a V86 ticket if you play with a few horses in this races. She got a tough trip in her last start - parked outside against some of the best mares".
Many V86 bettors will leave 3 Conrads Rödluva (V86-1) singled on their V86 tickets. Is she your best chance on V86?
"I think Conrads Rödluva, Zenzero Jet and Brambling all have a decent chance to win".