by Thomas Hedlund
The $828,400 Svenskt Travderby over 1.6 miles should have been one of the greatest races for 4-year-old trotters in Sweden, but Sunday’s race went nothing like fans expected.
Svante Båth-trained Attraversiamo (Kiss Francais) has belonged in the top of the crop since he started his career as a 2-year-old and last year he won one of the editions of E3 paired with Erik Adielsson.
This year, Conrad Lugauer’s Campo Bahia (Muscle Hill) has seized the throne and the duo went out in the parade ahead of the Derby at Jägersro as heavy favorites. Last year’s winner in the $828,000 Kriteriet, Inti Boko (Chocolatier) came to the Derby after an impressive elimination win and was second choice when the gate left the 12 Swedish-bred trotters.
Yet the race quickly went from being one of the most thrilling of the year, to something that can be called anti-climactic.
Inti Boko went off stride on his way to the front after 100 meters and shortly thereafter Campo Bahia made a break in the back of Global Welcome.
Still, the winner Attraversiamo is a super trotter who has shown tremendous capacity several times during 2019, but the race itself never got exciting since Attraversiamo easily came to the lead while his toughest opponents disappeared.
Campo Bahia was sent to position first over midway through the Derby, but that move was too heavy for the charismatic Muscle Hill son. Instead, Campo Bahia’s stablemate Ferrari Sisu, driven by Marc Elias, was the horse that challenged the leader at the stretch. But Attraversiamo never had to push the extra gear during the race and Erik Adielsson had power to use when Ferrari Sisu tried to disarm him.
Attraversiamo won in mile rate 1:56.4, Ferrari Sisu was second and Alone finished strongly for show.
“It’s so nice that he could win the Derby. The horse wasn’t really at his best today, but still he could be a winner and that tells a lot about how good he is”, said Adielsson.
Racing Brodda, at last
Mattias Djuse’s Prodigious mare Racing Brodda has fought behind some of the best mares in the 4-year-old crop during the past two seasons without capturing the big trophy, but when $424,200 Derbystoet was scheduled at Jägersro on Sunday afternoon, she hit the wire the winner.
Racing Brodda is a well-deserved winner in a stakes race. She was runner up behind Activated in Stochampionatet in July and has gotten close to the mares that dominated as 3-year-olds.
The Derbystoet became messy in the first turn. Staro Miami went off stride before the car left the field and in the first turn Activated and Adi Gallia both made breaks. So from post one, Aleppo Pine (Maharajah) took the lead for Kenneth Haugstad and when the pace went unusually slow after a quarter of a mile, Örjan Kihlström left third over and aimed for position first over with Conrads Rödluva (S.J’s Caviar).
Aleppo Pine seemed to be the winner in the last turn, but her gait went bad when the field turned into the stretch and when Haugstad pulled the plugs from Aleppo Pine’s ears, she made a break.
Conrads Rödluva couldn’t defend herself when Rikard N Skoglund accelerated behind Racing Brodda. Skoglund gave his horse a cover trip three wide during the race’s last half mile and Racing Brodda is a very strong finisher.
Driver Skoglund and trainer Djuse went to harness racing school together as teenagers and then dreamt about winning some of the biggest races there is. Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019 will be a day to remember for them both. They did it together and it was their first big stakes victory.
“She has had some problems with her technique during her career, but now she’s getting better and better. It’s hard to believe that we won the race today,” said a very emotional Djuse.
The mile rate for Racing Brodda was 1:56 over 1.3 miles. Conrads Rödluva took the silver medal, while Miss Sober won bronze.