This year has been a very different one in Swedish trotting racing for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, of course, Covid19 has left its mark all over the world.
To directly remove the audience from the trotting tracks and re-classify everything into a workplace was a stroke of genius from the management of Swedish trotting.
This meant that the racing could continue to take place all the time when the majority of other businesses and racing establishments had to shut down.
For a period in March and April, the whole world watched and bet on Swedish trotting racing when racing in their own country was put on hold.
This meant that the money turned over through the betting channels in Sweden increased dramatically, and in turn, the economy of trotting racing improved no end.
Even now, when most racing is back underway around the world, it is good to see that betting activity on Swedish racing is still up 20% on this time last year.
Propulsion case like no other
The other big event to have rocked Swedish racing this year is the case surrounding Propulsion.
Already the most successful trotting horse in Sweden over the last five years, it was revealed straight after his Elitloppet victory in May that he had been subject to a nerve cutting operation.
This procedure is banned in Sweden, and horses who have undergone such operation are not allowed to compete.
Propulsion’s operation took place before coming to Scandinavia, when he was in the USA, but was not revealed until too late.
This led to the owners, Stall Zet, being obliged to repay all the prize money the horse had earned, totalling almost €3m.
It looks as if we have not yet had the final word in its entirety, but it is a sad story for the sport, nonetheless.
The stars of the show
Now for the fun part, and of all the nice horses that competed.
We can start with the Elitloppet where the victory was instead given to Cokstile, a Norwegian-born horse now owned in Italy and driven to the victory by Swedish Christofer Eriksson.
While Propulsion and Readly Express being the stars of previous years, there hasn’t been one horse that has thrust themselves into the spotlight more than others this year.
There have been many different winners in the big races during the year.
Towards the end of the year, however, the capable but insecure Very Kronos has found himself recently and stepped forward as the foremost horse of the day.
As recently as last Saturday, he won again on what was his final start of the year.
He now heads into winter training for the coming years to defend his position as Sweden's best trotter.
The toughest challengers next year will come from below in the talented four-year-olds Hail Mary and Ecurie D.
I will touch on those potential stars of the future in next week’s blog.
Improving horse my bet of the week
Now on to this week's best bet. We had no success last week, but I’m confident that this week’s selection can run a big race.
In race 10 at Bergsåker on Saturday (17:20), number 2, Coin Perdu, has become stronger with each race, winning two of his last three starts.
He faces tougher opposition this time, but I think he has the talent to win again and he heads to the track as my best selection of the weekend.