May 27, 2018 - Trotting, 1.609 meters, Solvalla, Sweden
Preview from May 23, 2018
As Amérique-winner Readly Express will not take part in this year's Elitloppet,
all eyes are on Bold Eagle
, who returns to the place of his most painful defeat.
Even though he competes against trotters from nine different countries,
the French will not face particular quality in the 2018 Elitloppet.
Last year's runner-up Propulsion
seems strong enough to beat him,
the Italian Ringostarr Treb
could also become a threat.
dominated the world's trotting scene the recent years, won the Prix d’Amérique
but sank into something like a depression after last year's Elitloppet appearance.
He had won the first heat in a record time of 1:08,4 but then finished only fourth in the Elitloppet final.
Afterwards Bold Eagle was runner-up in six consecutive races during the winter meeting in Paris,
had been humbled by Readly Express in the
2018 Prix d’Amérique
However, recent signs from France might indicate that he is back in old style.
He won the Critérium de Vitesse in record time (1:08,9) in March, also defeated strong opposition
when triumphed in the Prix de l'Atlantique on April 21.
got beaten by Bold Eagle already five times in Paris,
things are different in Sweden though. The only time they met there, Propulsion came runner-up in the
one length ahead of Bold Eagle.
The US-born son of Muscle Hill loves the fast and tight racetracks in Sweden.
Last year he run the quickest time ever clocked in Europe at the Hugo Åbergs Memorial in Jägersro (1:08,1).
After a break he won a race in Gävle on April 26,
and clocked 1:09,9 with four shoes in the Meadow Roads Lopp (Solvalla, 1.640 m) on May 15,
he will run without shoes in the Elitloppet.
Currently Propulsion quotes only slightly higher than Bold Eagle in the
won the Olympiatravet at Åby on April 28,
remarkable that he did it after an almost three month lay-off.
The eight years old Italian likes the racetracks in Sweden,
already won the Sundsvall Open Trot in Bergsåker ahead of Propulsion last August.
However, this success came at the end of Propulsion's season and Ringostarr Treb
could not really keep up with the best trotters in France afterwards,
had no chance in the Prix de Amérique and the Prix de France.
Back in Sweden he appears in much better form again and might profits
from the battle between Propulsion and Bold Eagle.
Ringostarr Treb is a proven frontrunner and as he starts from gate 1,
he should take the lead in the second heat.
has been favourite to win the Svenskt Travderby last year,
but started galloping and came only fifth.
According to his trainer Lutfi Kolgjini he is a colt who would be able to run a 1:08,5.
The five years old son of Raja Mirchi loves short distances
and he has run two races on one day several times.
However, Rajesh Face is a risky bet, he got disqualified nine times at 29 starts.
is a horse from Stefan Melander,
who won the 2010 Elitloppet with Iceland and 2016 with Nuncio.
Volstead came from the USA to Sweden as a yearling and ended runner-up
behind Nuncio in the Sprintermästaren in the age of four.
Last year he won the heat and the final of the Sweden Cup (1,640 m) at Solvalla
and run a 1:09,3 in the final.
is a son of Timoko.
While his father won the Elitloppet for a second time last year,
he finished third in the Fyraåringseliten for the four-year-olds,
but came last at the Yonkers International Trot afterwards.
Most recently he attracted attention with a second place in the final of the Gran Premio della Lotteria Nazionale.
He is trained by the France-based Dutchman Richard Westerink and driven by Björn Goop,
this duo had led Timoko to both Elitloppet triumphs.
Dreammoko is a fast starter and well-positioned at gate number 1 in the first heat.
, trained and owned by the Swiss René Aebischer,
got an early Elitloppet invitation after she triumphed in the Prix du Plateau de Gravelle on March 3.
The daughter of Love You had won the Gran Premio delle Nazioni at Milan last November.
However, she was 43:1 outsider when ended sixth in the Prix de France earlier this year
and came only fifth in the Finlandia Ajo most recently, but was driven quite defensive there.
beat Bold Eagle in the 2016 Grand Prix de Paris over 4,150 meters
and won the Olympiatravet last year.
The eight years old Norwegian has massive experience on the highest level,
but his form has not been the best lately,
he ended only fourth when tried to defend his Olympiatravet title.
His owner Göran Antonsen will be his driver in the Elitloppet again.
had been invited to last year's Elitloppet already,
but owner André Battal refused. His horse suffers from lung problems,
at least displayed rising form when finished third in the
Prix des Ducs de Normandie recently.
Amiral Sacha has won more than one million euros on price money,
his biggest success was the victory in the 2016 Grand Prix de Wallonie.
The Elitloppet will be his first start in Scandinavia.
Up And Quick
has been the world's best trotter in his time,
won the 2015 Prix d’Amérique
and was only beaten by the legendary Maharajah in
He then suffered from a lasting injury and never found back to his old form.
He could not qualify for last year's Elitloppet final heat,
at least managed to win a Group 2 race in France over a mile in April.
Considering the low quality of this year's event, it is possible that Up And Quick
will reach the final heat this time. We should remember that last year's winner Timoko
had also been at the proud age of ten years.
provides additional international glamour to the 2018 Elitloppet.
The nine years old Australian mare, who won four times on Group 1 level,
has set an Australian mile record in February, actually improved the old time by astonishing 1.7 seconds.
Still the bookmakers judge Maori Time only as outsider.
got an invitation after he came runner-up in the Copenhagen Cup on May 13.
The 2013 Danish Derby winner took already part in last year's Elitloppet, where he did not make it to the final.
He surprised earlier this year when ended fourth in the Prix de Belgique,
right behind Bold Eagle and Readly Express.
gained his ticket by winning the Finlandia Ajo on May 6.
It was only the second Group race for the five years old gelding,
who had moved to Johan Untersteiner at the end of last year.
He will benefit from his massive starting speed,
still he is obviously only outsider.
gained his ticket by winning the Algot Scotts Minne on May 12.
The eight years old gelding from Finland had entered that race from a five month break.
He has won half of his forty starts. Top driver Ulf Ohlsson will steer him in the Elitloppet,
still they are only strong outsider.
is the current Norwegian Derby winner.
Still he was only 50:1 outsider in the Critérium Continental in Paris last December
and finished that race as fourteenth, why he will only be an underdog in the Elitloppet too.
Cokstile will at least arrive fresh in Solvalla, had only a single run this year.
, Germany's trotter of the year 2016, is also part of the Elitloppet,
quite a sensation for Rudi Haller and his stable in Bavaria.
The five-year-old came runner-up in the
2016 German Traber-Derby
won a Group 3 race in Paris last year and most recently won the Bild Pokal in Gelsenkirchen ahead of Cash Hannover,
who just finished fourth in the Copenhagen Cup.
Orlando Jet has won eleven of his fourteen stars, but will probably be the highest outsider in the 2018 Elitloppet.
is run since 1952.
The eight best placed horses of the two qualifying heats run the final on the same day.
From this year on it will not be possible any more that one driver can lead two different horses in the qualifying heats,
every horse will have a fixed driver.
Thirteen of the sixteen participants are invited by the Elitloppet committee, the other three can qualify by winning the following races:
Finlandia Ajo (Pastore Bob), Algot Scotts Minne (Nadal Broline), H.K.H. Prins Daniels Lopp (Heavy Sound - relinquished).