Önas Prince quickest from the start in Jarlsberg

by Thomas Hedlund

Per Nordström-trained Önas Prince (Chocolatier) possesses a beautiful technique when it comes to trotting. Few other horses in the world among the older elite trotters, can boast of such a length of stride and efficiency as Önas Prince and the top of all his performances was probably when he won the Paralympiatravet at Åby in early May this year.

In Elitloppet, the 7-year-old Chocolatier colt struggled with a nasty trip in his elimination. But on Sunday (July 7) during Jarlsberg’s big weekend, Önas Prince won the track’s biggest event, the $150,000 Ulf Thoresen Grand International over 2,140 meters and looked as strong as he was in the Paralympiatravet

Önas Prince proved that there are few horses that can take the lead away from him when he starts behind the gate. And at Jarlsberg, he almost looked attached to the car when the race began. He is fast behind the gate, period.

Then Nordström did a tactical maneuver which eventually led to the very comfortable victory in Norway. He held the pace at a steady, high level, which made it difficult for horses back in the field to challenge for the win. And the fact that the pace was steady was probably good for Önas Prince, because he looked strong, but not exactly in the same fantastic shape as at Åby in May. Ten out of 10 was the grade in May, and eight out of 10 in Norway on Sunday afternoon. And that is probably just the way Nordström wants it. If he had a horse in full condition, better than ever in early May, then it would be difficult to keep the same shape two months later, after a tough race in Elitloppet. And the next objective is the $300,000 Hugo Åbergs Memorial on his home track Jägersro the last Tuesday this month. Then we can be sure that Önas Prince will be on fire for real.

Önas Prince won in a mile rate of 1:53.2 over 1.3 miles (replayhere) and 4-year-old Devilish Hill followed as the runner up after a pocket trip, while Gamin Jaba finished strongly in third.


Title defender Hierro Boko is one out of eight contenders when Mikkeli’s $150,000 St Michel Ajo is scheduled on Sunday (July 14), but he will not be one of the most trusted horses from the bettors’ part, even if he claimed the mile race in a strong 1:49.4 performance a year ago.

There are some well merited trotters behind the gate in Finland on Sunday. Alessandro Gocciadoro’s Denver Gio, third in Elitloppet in late May, Daniel Redén’s Don Fanucci Zet, winner of Elitloppet 2021 and Jörgen Westholm trained Castor The Star, who gets closer and closer to the very top among older trotters in Europe. There are some great horses that makes us believe in another sub 1:50 mile in Mikkeli.


Horse — Driver

1. Castor The Star — Mats E Djuse

2. Jason’s Camden — Hannu Torvinen

3. Hierro Boko — Jarmo Saarela

4. Denver Gio — Alessandro Gocciadoro

5. Don Fanucci Zet — Örjan Kihlström

6. Kyle Web — Henri Bollström

7. Mellby Jinx — Daniel Wäjersten

8. Condor Bar — Hannu Halme


Daniel Redén-trained Hail Mary (Googoo Gaagaa) has gotten an invitation to $1 million Yonkers International Trot, which is scheduled for Sept. 7. Earlier, title defender Vivid Wise As (Yankee Glide) was invited and is set for the big race at Yonkers.

Hail Mary will enter the racetrack on Saturday (July 13), in the $100,000 Årjängs Stora Sprinterlopp, where he will face not only some great opponents but also a bad post (8).

Bengurion Jet, Click Bait, Decision Maker and Night Brodde are some of the contenders in the strong 10-horse field.