Fourth in the Prix d’Amérique and second in the Elitloppet, on Tuesday night it was time for an incredible performance from Propulsion — a 1:49.2 record for a 5/8ths mile track in Europe.
by Thomas Hedlund
Hugo Åbergs Memorial at Jägersro racetrack in Malmö, Sweden, is one of the most prestigious races for the elite in Europe and over the mile, this year’s edition saw many good horses behind the starting car.
In post position one, Propulsion started as favorite and much of the talk before the race was about how and if the son of Muscle Hill should take the lead.
Propulsion (Muscle Hill—Danae) had no chance to protect the lead and it was Twister Bi (recently winner in two big races in Norway) who surprisingly was the quickest behind the gate. The driver of Twister Bi, Christoffer Eriksson, got company on the outside by Dante Boko and Adrian Kolgjini and Propulsion was served a trip second outside by Örjan Kihlström.
The fractions were quick and Propulsion had to do his best to keep going in the back of Dante Boko, but when Örjan Kihlström left for three-wide Propulsion, the horse picked up the hunt for the leader. In the home stretch, Propulsion had done the job and when he crossed the finish line, he did it in the best time ever on a 5/8th of a mile track in Europe: 1:49.2!
“So much is circulating in my head right now. The last two weeks have been tough with the history of Delicious and everything. It feels like Propulsion is lifting her up right now”, trainer Daniel Redén said after the race, referring to the premature retirement of star mare Delicious due to stomach problems (full story here).
”I’m so grateful over my horses, my staff and every person around me in this moment. To win this race one time is so big and I would like to give this feeling to everyone in the business. Now we’ve done this twice, with the same horse and it’s like a dream,” Redén said.
Driver Kihlström was more than impressed by the horse.
“Daniel told me that the horse was in his best shape ever and that we could go for a real good performance. He was right, as usual, and Propulsion is just a champion, a really good and strong horse”, Kihlström said.
Jerry Riordan trained horses Ringostarr Treb and Twister Bi took second and third place in the race, respectively.