New stars in Melander’s barn

by Thomas Hedlund

Stefan Melander is and has been one of the most successful trainers for many years in Europe and in Sweden for the last 20 years.

The biggest milestone in his training career came in New Jersey at Meadowlands in 2001 when he drove the Pine Chip son Scarlet Knight to the victory in Hambletonian. Recently, harness racing fans in Sweden have been charmed by Nuncio (Andover Hall), a horse that Melander found at the Harrisburg Sale in 2012. Nuncio crossed the Atlantic ocean after two great seasons in America, where he won Kentucky Futurity and Yonkers Trot, among other big races. In Sweden, the son of Andover Hall won Elitloppet in 2016, but the story of Nuncio as a racehorse ended in 2017 and now he serves as a popular stud at Menhammar Stuteri outside Stockholm.

For Melander, there are new chances to reach the winner’s circle after great races and in his barn he can now count on at least two very special American-bred horses.

Enterprise (Chapter Seven), earlier trained by Melander’s nephew Marcus Melander, won an elimination for the Hambletonian last year and the owners (Stall Courant) decided to try the 4-year-old in Europe this season. On Tuesday (April 3) Enterprise starts in Solvallaserien for 4-year-olds at Solvalla.

“The horse came in good condition and it’s very exciting to have a horse like him in the barn,” Stefan said. “Everybody knows what a great horse this is and we have some specific goals during the season. The two biggest objectives are Kungapokalen ($243,400) at Åby in May and Sprintermästaren ($243,400) in Halmstad in July. For now, I’m not having Enterprise in top shape. We’ve seen it before, that American horses need to step up a little bit after the 3-year-old season in America when they come to Europe. The Swedish horses develop more between those seasons, while American horses already have shown a lot of their capacity in the tough races in USA. If Enterprise adapts and develops with his new kind of training that he gets here, I think that he will be very profitable in the elite later on. But, the races for 4-year-olds are the main targets right now.”

Snowstorm Hanover (Muscle Massive) was purchased by Stefan earlier this year. At the Tattersalls January Select Mixed Sale he paid $180,000 dollars for the Kentucky Futurity winner.

“This is also a nice horse, but he came late to my barn and can’t race as early as Enterprise, but that doesn’t matter. We’re aiming at the races for 4-year-olds later this summer and I like the horse,” Stefan said.

2,140 meter (approximately 1.3 miles) $24,300
Horse – Trainer

Cuba Libre Ice (DK) – Johan Untersteiner
Earl Variera (US) – Stefan Melander

Eldorado B. – Hans-Owe Sundberg

Enterprise (US) – Stefan Melander

Eurythmic Sisu – Petri Salmela

Zack’s Zoomer – Stefan Melander