There is one word for what is happening in Swedish harness racing at the moment, and that is ‘scandal’.
As we touched on last week it was discovered that Elitloppet winner Propulsion had previously undergone an operation in the USA that would prevent him from running in Sweden.
The so-called nerve cutting operation, one that in my opinion is an awful procedure to make on a horse, as it could mask any pain the horse might feel, which could hide any bigger issues. To take away this indicator of injury, is simply not good.
Furthermore this operation was not disclosed to the buyer of the horse when bringing him to Sweden. However, the export papers sent to Svenskt Trav (Swedish Trotting Association) detailed the intervention in full. There are now questions to be answered as to how this has not been discovered until Propulsion had been competing in Sweden for over five years!
The investigation is ongoing, and a legal case is expected to go on for months, and possibly years, but in principle all of Propulsion’s wins in Sweden will be made invalid, I cannot see any other outcome in this.
Not only will his exploits on the track be erased from the record books, but the horse will now be banned from standing as a breeding stallion in the future. Any offspring of Propulsion that are already with us will be exempt from this, as it is not fair to punish other owners and breeders for someone else’s mistake.
It is a sad way for the winner of Sweden’s race to be remembered, and it is a huge mistake for someone to have made, but the big question will now be; who is responsible for this whole incident?
Shoeless Rhyme can take the week’s big race
To more positive events and we can look forward to our main event this weekend, taking place at Boden, Sweden’s northernmost trotting track.
At this time of the year, the sun is up all night in northern Sweden, making this evening event on Saturday a bit special.
Normally the main event, the Norrbotten Stora Pris, late in the evening under the midnight sun, but this year it has been brought forward a couple of hours, as no audience means the spectacle is lost somewhat.
Ironically, the horse that has won the last four runnings of the race is none other than Propulsion!
This year we have two runners who took part in the Elitloppet, namely Makethemark and Milliondollarrhyme.
The latter hasn’t won a race yet this year, but I think it may be time to finally grab a victory.
He finished fifth in the final of Elitloppet, with his starting position making it very tough for him to win.
Fredrik Larsson’s horse will run without shoes for just the second time, the first time being in the final at Solvalla. He was much better than previous races without them, so with the shoes off again he can win on Saturday.
As for my best bets, last week’s selection Campo Bahia disappointment. Coming back from a long time off the track, he clearly wasn’t at his best, and was well beaten.
This week, my most likely winner comes in race 11 at Boden. Giant Shadow. He is likely to start quickly, and is getting into a prominent position early on, he will be hard to peg back. I can see him leading from start to finish in the race on Saturday evening.