Fresh off a win in the 2013 IIHF World Championship with the Swedish National team, Vancouver Canucks' Daniel & Henrik Sedin were able to celebrate their biggest win as standardbred owners by capturing the 2013 Elitlopp with trotter Nahar.
Favoured Sebastian K cleared to the lead early from Post 2 but faced immediate pressure from Brad De Veluwe, with Raja Mirchi launching a three-wide bid around the opening turn to also vie for the lead.
Raja Mirchi eventually cleared the first-over Brad De Veluwe and trotted stride for stride with Sebastian K through the half-mile marker. Åke Svanstedt asked Sebastian K for another gear down the backside as the pace picked up, with Nahar (Robert Bergh) starting a three-wide bid just past the half and Arch Madness (Trond Smedshammer) following that flow. By the final turn, Nahar was three-wide and in contention with the early leaders.
As the field hit the stretch, Nahar powered past Sebastian K and Brad De Veluwe but had to deal with a game Arch Madness on his back. Bergh was able to guide his charge to the wire first with Arch Madness finishing second for the second straight year. Timoko rallied for third.
Bergh trains Nahar for Stall Sedin AB, the first Elitlopp win for Bergh and The Sedins.
The field for the 2013 Elitlopp was determined after two eliminations over a rainy Solvalla racecourse.
Nesta Effe found room late in the stretch and exploded with trot to take the first of two Elitlopp eliminations.
After a recall caused a slight delay, Timoko (Joseph Verbeeck) tried to cut the mile with first-over pressure from local favourite Raja Mirchi (Lufti Kolgjini). Shaq Is Back (Daniel Redén) was in the pocket with Take My Picture (Jody Jamieson) situated second over and Nesta Effe (Roberto Vecchione) third along the rail. As the field hit the final turn, Take My Picture began to fade and that gave Nesta Effe a seam to split horses for a three-wide stretch rally.
As Raja Mirchi put away Timoko, he could not hold off the rush of Nesta Effe. In deep stretch, Nesta Effe hit the wire first with Timoko three-quarters of a length back in second and Timoko hanging on for third. Formula One (Björn Goop) closed well to finish fourth with Take My Picture fading to sixth and not qualifying for the final.
The second elimination featured a rematch between Arch Madness and 2012 Elitlopp winner Commander Crowe. Last year, Arch Madness finished second to Commander Crowe after a pocket trip. This year, Trond Smedshammer was not letting him go. The inside four horses - Arch Madness (Trond Smedshammer), Commander Crowe (Matthieu Abrivard), Sebastian K (Åke Svanstedt) and Brad De Veluwe (Tuomas Korvenoja) all battled for the lead and Arch Madness won the early battle with Sebastian K taking back and Brad De Veluwe driving on to eventually clear.
Sebastian K, the Oslo Grand Prix winner, stalked the leaders patiently on the outside - perhaps looking to flush cover - before deciding to drive on after the half as Nahar (Robert Bergh) launched a three-wide bid from the backfield.
Around the final turn, Sebastian K eventually put away the early pacesetter but still had to hold off Nahar. Sebastian K had enough to keep Nahar at bay for the half-length win. Brad De Veluwe just held off Arch Madness, who found room late and rallied for fourth.
The post draw for the final has been conducted and will line up as follows:
1. Nesta effe
2. Sebastian K
3. Raja Mirchi
5. Brad De Veluwe
7. Arch Madness
8. Formula One
Winning driver was an
Winning driver was an absolute statue... Great looking horse race!