Second Swedish start for Just Believe

By Adam Hamilton

Greg Sugars has plenty of unfinished business with Aussie trotting star Just Believe in Sweden.

The pain and disappointment of striking trouble and galloping in a heat of the famed Elitlopp last Sunday week still stings.

But they will team again, albeit in a lesser race, to chase some consolation in the $A85,000 Jamtlands Grand Prix in Ostersund, eight hours north of Stockholm, on Saturday night (NZ time).

"The disappointment has subsided a bit. As we all know, everyone in racing goes through plenty of disappointment, but that was a pretty big one for us," Sugars said. "But the worst of it is behind us now so we can turn the page and look forward to the next challenge."

Just Believe faces easier opposition and the stretch from 1609m to 2140m will really suit, but he's drawn poorly, just as he did in the Elitlopp.

"Yeah, he's got eight, which is outside the front because nine and 10 start from the second row," Sugars said.

"But a good probably isn't as vital over the 2140m. There are some good horses in the race and we knew wherever we went next it would be a good field, but it's certainly not the depth of the Elitlopp.

"He's far better suited over the longer distance week. The tempo will suit him better. I'm told the 2140m races are run more like our races at home where they burn early, back it off and then sprint again at the finish.

"I'll have a chat to some locals about how the race might be run, but if I go back the tempo might allow for a midrace move."

Crucially, Sugars said Just Believe had thrived since the Elitlopp.

"He seems bright and certainly hasn't taken any harm from it," he said. "He worked really well last weekend, better than he did before the Elitlopp, so the extra time to get over the long trip across has done him the world of good.

"A couple of people who have seen the field think a top three or four finish is a real chance. I'd love to think we could do that."

If Just Believe pleases Sugars this week, he will have one more run before heading back to Melbourne in mid-July.

"There is another race, very similar to this one, at Boden a week later," Sugars said.

"That would definitely be his last run because I've got to get back home and the next flight for him is mid-July."


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