by Thomas Hedlund
Joyce and Richard McClelland-bred Milligan’s School (Yankee Glide—Tori Ann) has been a serious threat on the Swedish V75-circuit and other big races since he landed in Europe in the winter of 2016/2017. The 9-year-old has earned $100,000 or more at five occasions and his European career so far contains several high staked wins and a total earnings of $1,883,945 (American earnings included).
When Swedish track Bergsåker offered a new race, with $53,500 to the winner, Milligan’s School took the opportunity to start his sixth season on Swedish ground in the best possible way on Saturday (Feb. 19).
Driver Ulf Eriksson understood that the front position would fit his horse well over 2,640 meters and when Milligan’s School hit the lead with strong French trotter Ble du Gers on the outside, the race started to become a show worth waiting for. Ble du Gers is the kind of trotter that never gives up, the same can be said about Milligan’s School, at least when he races in front. So the battle between them began at the back stretch during the last lap and leader Milligan’s School fought well and seemed to have control of the race as the wire approached. But from out of nowhere and far outside, Stoletheshow was equipped with jet motors and he flew into the hunt for the leading duo. Milligan’s School put his nose, or head first at the wire and the first big race of the year in Sweden ended up in Stefan Melander’s possession. Melander owns and trains the 9-year-old winner who won in a mile rate of 1:58.3 over 1.6 miles.
Runner up Stoletheshow and bronze medalist Ble du Gers both finished with the same mile rate as the winner.