Remembering the special 2014 Elitloppet brings forth interesting thoughts, the differentiators :
- Horses most important
- International competition
- Competitive fields
- Sponsors of significance
- Media attention – web, broadcast and print
- Special big bet V75 added Sunday for Elitloppet Day and multi-country wagering opportunity on all or part of the card on Saturday and Sunday
- UET Master Series affiliation
- Strong undercard that also included monte, coldbloods and various distances/starting methods
- Weekend long activities including Friday-Saturday racing, parties and entertainment
- Sweden Cup co-weekend feature on Saturday
- Branded collectibles
- Connection with the race, racing, equine and human history
- A prescription/foundation for the future
Another great Elitlopp Weekend is over. Attendance at Solvalla Elitlopp Sunday was 27,357, which was 1,732 more than 2013. Total turnover during the three days of competition, during Elitlopp weekend, was 364,332,526SEK (€40,338,897, or US$54,832,045, well above 2013. Attendance stamped the Elitlopp Weekend 2014 a success, in three days 56,788 people came to “Solvallavägen”, or 6,353 more than last year.
Speaking of the horse, the international aspects were clearly evident…a French Trotteur, Danish trainer and Swedish driver and It became the French victor (Timoko) in the Elite race in 2014 when the Richard Westerink trained Timoko won with Björn Goop aboard in 1.09.5kr.
In the finale Panne de Moteur was fastest away and took the lead briefly, but Orjan Kihlström chose to release the lead to Bjorn Goop and Timoko. The first 500 meters was passed in 1.09.7kr. Digital Ink sat outside the leader, no one advanced forward, and Goop completed the first lap in a rated 1.10.7kr. At the end of the last turn Digital Ink went off-stride outside the leader and also Raja Mirchi galloped when three-wide, which opened up for Panne de Moteur behind the leader.
Stefan Hultman's horse was no match against Timoko who eased away to a victory in 1.09.5kr,the fastest winning time in an Elitlopp Final (Panne de Moteur won in 1.08.9kr in his elimination).
This was Bjorn Goop’s second Elitloppet win( Conny Nobell in 2006 by disqualification). Panne de Moteur was second at 1.09.7kr. Third was Daniel Reden with Delicious U.S. at 1.10.0kr and fourth was Italy’s Pascia’Lest, who finished strong on the inside at 1.10.2kr.
Every aspect of the Elitloppet weekend appeared successful and worthy of study by those organizations seeking to effectively stage a world-class trotting event. Congratulations to the participants, management and patrons…you made it work…again !!!
by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com