by Thomas Hedlund
Courant Stable in Sweden can look forward to the final of the $302,000 Paralympiatravet at Åby racetrack in Sweden on April 25 since their 7-year-old Scarlet Knight son Disco Volante took an impressive elimination win when Solvalla played host to V75-finals on Saturday afternoon.
Stefan Melander trained Disco Volante has developed incredibly well since last season where the Courant stable owned colt showed great capacity at several occasions. But the big step towards and against more merited trotters has been taken this winter and Disco Volante was the bettors’ first choice when the first ticket for Paralympiatravet was at stake.
Driver Ulf Ohlsson sent Disco Volante to the lead after 600 meters and the pace was high throughout the whole race, which led to a safe victory in strong mile rate of 1:54 over 1.3 miles.
The betting handle was once again strong when the V75 was on the agenda Saturday and there is no doubt that Swedish harness racing and its betting company ATG has a big advantage on the European betting market for the moment. Harness racing keeps going on in Sweden and government and health ministries in the country still allow the business to roll, pretty much as usual, at least for the active part of the industry. Horsepeople must follow severe restrictions, set by the health ministries in Sweden and as long as they follow the rules, racing can continue.
The V75’s betting handle Saturday was over $11.3 million in Sweden and when big upsets lined up in five out of seven races, the payout for three vouchers gave almost $1 million each.
Four divisions of the $60,500 Margaretas Unghästserie over 1.3 miles were held at Solvalla. Clockwork (Zola Boko) won in a mile rate of 1:59.4 in the division for 3-year-old mares, while Forever Melon (Infinitif) took a safe wire to wire win in 2:01.4 when the 3-year-old colts and geldings were gathered behind the car.
Adrian Kolgjini’s 4-year-old Ultion Face (Joke Face) impressed a lot in a 1:57 win in the lead for colts and geldings and the divisions ended with another wire-to-wire winner in 4-year-old Trixton mare Alaska Kronos, who won in 1:59.
Green Manalishi to Sweden
Courant Stable’s Green Manalishi (Muscle Hill), trained by Marcus Melander, will fly to Sweden next month. Marcus’ uncle, Stefan Melander, will be in charge when Green Manalishi flies over the Atlantic ocean where several big stakes are awaiting this year. If the COVID-19 situation doesn’t change anything in the schedule, he will contest eliminations for the $201,000 Kungapokalen at Åby racetrack the night before the Paralympiatravet. The final is scheduled for May 9.
Marcus Melander spoke to Swedish harness racing media sulkysport.se on Saturday afternoon.
”Green Manalishi will leave our farm on April 7 and flies the same night to Belgium, so I suppose he will be in Sweden on April 9 or 10. The horse is ready to race and we’ve been very satisfied with him in training. It seems like he’s developed a lot during the winter and I think he’s good enough for competing the Elitloppet already this year,” Marcus said.
Green Manalishi in training: