Day At The Track

Maharajah steps up his comeback in Sweden

03:09 AM 22 Nov 2013 NZDT
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Maharajah, harness racing Stefan Hultman, harness racing
Stefan Hultman trains Maharajah

Travkompaniet Stall AB trainer Stefan Hultman will not confirm Swedish superstar Maharajah‘s annual campaign in France even though he appears  to be giving him a chance to build up his stamina for the great test that is Vincennes in this weekend’s  V75 in the Gavle Stora Pris, being run over 3140m for the first time in 50 years.

The Gavle Stora Pris was run over a mile when it was won by Timetosaygoodbye last season and has been raced at various distances between 1600m and 2640m in most years, with the middle 2140m trip the most common distance.

 But the time honoured event which has been run since 1942, used to be contested  over 3120m  or 3140m in the 1960s and this is the first time it has been held at 3140m since 1962.

But Hultman will not be drawn into speculation on the future racing programme for “The Emporer” the shining jewel of the giant 6000-member Travkompaniet Stall AB syndicate’s big team of top trotters.

Stefan Hultman indicated to the Travkompaniet Stall AB’s website that he wants to take one race at a time after the horse's recent  injury problems.

Beset with fetlock problems for most of his career, Maharajah looked set to take on the Elitloppet for the first time this year after a brilliant win in the Olympiatravet in record time. But once again the fetlocks flared up and he was denied a chance at Sweden’s greatest race.

Bred by US Hambletonian Society member and  President of the Swedish Breeders Association Margaeta Wallenius-Kleberg at her  Menhammar Stud, where he has also stood in the spring for the past two seasons,  Maharajah has won 28 of his 53 starts with 11 placings and earnings just shy of 19 million SEK (€2.11 million).

The Prix d’Amerique has always been the connections coveted prize for their superstar after a stellar age-group career which saw him winning both the Svenskt Trav-Kriterium (Gr1 3YO) and Svenskt Travderby (Gr1 4YO) and besting the field in the  Grand Prix De l'UET (Gr1 4YO) – the European Derby.

The son of Viking Kronos’ first attempt at Vincennes as a 5YO in 2011 was spectacular with a win in the Prix de Belgique (Gr2 and PDA qualifier) followed by  gallant second placing to Ready Cash in both the Prix d’Amerique and Prx de France.

He capped it off with a remarkable win in arguably the toughest of the great group ones of the Vincennes Winter Season, the Prix de Paris over 4150m.

Maharajah  finished fourth in the Prix d’Amerique the following season but was disappointing earlier this year when he finished 11th  in the PDA and a fifth place in the Prix de Paris his best effort.

But he appeared to bounce back spectacularly with his brilliant Olympiatravet win before his fetlocks flared up again and he went back into stud duties in the spring.

He returned refreshed on October 30 after a six month layoff with a stunning win at Solvalla in  1.12,7 (1.57MR) over 2160 meters (vault start), in yet a new National Record.

Regular driver Örjan Kihlström was delighted  with Maharajah's performance as he told the ATG site.

“He feels nice and fit, couldn’t feel better. That’s essentially the only thing that matters, because we all know how good he is when he is fit. He is far from done. It’s great to feel him in this condition.

But Kihlstrom has since succumbed  to a herniated disk injury and for only the third time in 53 starts and the first time in over four years will Maharajah will not be driven by his good mate with Bergsaker’s Ulf Ohlsson taking up the reins as he returns to the V75 for the first time since April 20th, when he won the Olympictravet.


Gävle 23/11/2013 SE (Gr2) Int 3140  all €58,000

1         Disco A.E. (h   Scarlet Knight - Queen A.E)  Dr:Per Lennartsson   Tr: Stefan Melander    

2         Haraldinho (g   Scarlet Knight - Havannas Julia)  Dr:Johnny Takter   Tr: Catarina Lundström        

3         Premier League( g   Barbeque - Super Diva)  Dr:Daniel Olsson  Tr:  Jörgen Westholm           

4         Francais du Gull (h   Jag de Bellouet - Tantiem Gull)  Dr:Erik Lindegren   Tr: Erik Lindegren    

5         Winning Love (h   Love You - Falin Amber Dance)  Dr:Åke Lindblom   Tr: Åke Lindblom           

6         Lord Capar (h   Varenne - Foxy'n Rowdy)  Dr:Petter Karlsson   Tr: Mats Karlsson    

7         Perfectly Enough (h   Express It - Just About Enough)  Dr:Erik Adielsson   Tr: Stig H Johansson            

8         Zlatan Blou (h   Korean - Kandy Blou)  Dr:Jorma Kontio  Tr:  Päivi Kontio          

9         Maharajah (h   Viking Kronos - Chili Khan)  Dr:Ulf Ohlsson   Tr: Stefan Hultman    

10         Clear Sign (g   Smok'n Lantern - Atas Nice Sun L. )  Dr:Peter Ingves   Tr: Henrik Svensson           

11         Trustworthy Ås (g   Dream Vacation - Keep the Word)  Dr:Henrik Svensson   Tr: Henrik Svensson   

by David Sanders for

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