For many years, Peter Forsberg was one of the best hockey players in the world and had a big interest in harness racing. Today, the retired NHLer is enjoying the success of his new diamond, Diamanten.
by Thomas Hedlund
Diamanten (Adrian Chip) was the strongest horse when Halmstad track held the Sprintermästaren for four-year-old trotters on Thursday night (July 6). Trainer Robert Bergh was in the sulky in the elimination and Diamanten had no problem in winning in 1:53.2 over the mile.
The second elimination saw the strong Rajesh Face (Raja Mirchi) and Lutfi Kolgjini as winner. The mile is not yet the best distance for the favorite in the upcoming Derby (two and a half 5/8ths of a mile) in September, but Rajesh Face came to the lead early in the race and was never threatened by his opponents.
The last winner in the eliminations was Makethemark (Maharajah) who put his nose first on the finish line in a tight struggle.
Robert Bergh qualified three horses for the final and had to sit behind American-bred Muscle Hustle (Muscle Mass) since he is the co owner of that horse. Bergh needed to find another driver for elimination winner Diamanten and Christoffer Eriksson, who won Kungapokalen with Diamanten in May, stepped in and took care of the reigns behind Forsberg’s trotter.
An even field with many potential winners made up the mile race with $115,000 going to the winner.
Muscle Hustle was kit up with new bridle for the final and from post position six behind the gate the son of Muscle Mass left quickly for the lead. With 5/8ths to go, Diamanten was first over and the last two quarters of the race became a speed show with two horses from Bergh’s stable dulling side by side.
Diamanten passed his stablemate shortly before the finish line and came home in 1:52.3. Bergh also trained Adrian Chip for the Forsberg and in the Hambletonian 2007 the Andover Hall son was second behind Donato Hanover. It was meant to be that Adrian Chip would race in Sprintermästaren in Halmstad.
“But that day (Adrian Chip) got a fever and we had to scratch him,” Bergh said after Diamanten’s elimination.
”I would have liked to win this race myself, but when I knew who was on the outside I understood that it should be tough to do it. Diamanten is not so easy to beat when he gets close to the leader like this time. He has just such a great morale,” Bergh said after the final.
Diamanten cannot race the Derby in September since the owners forgot to make the entry for that race, but for now Diamanten can be called the king in the Swedish corp of four-year-olds. In 21 starts, he has crossed the finish line as a winner 15 times and in his account we find over $475,000.
The owner Forsberg was, according to his father Kent, spending time playing golf when Sprintermästaren was held, but we can assume that he followed the races on television.
Replay for the final unavailable.