Maharajah, the Swedish trotter who won the Prix d'Amerique earlier this year, has been ruled out for the Elitlopp next month at the Solvalla track in Stockholm. Thankfully for his trainer, Stefan Hultman, he has another gun ready for the Elitlopp battle: Panne de Moteur, a 6-year-old son of Credit Winner out of 2005 Hambletonian Oaks champion Jalopy.
Maharajah, a son of Viking Kronos (American Winner-Conch) will not participate in any of the big races this summer. The 9-year-old superstar has been busy breeding, but combining stud work and training has taken its toll on the horse.
"Unfortunately, he's gotten some reactions due to the double work he has been putting in, and therefore he can't start on Friday and we have to cancel the plans for Olympia Trot as well,” said Hultman.
"Basically, the load has been too heavy on him and his body is worn after training and breeding full time. Naturally, things feel very sad right now because it would have been cool to be able to defend our gold in the Olympic Trot, but we need to look ahead. We'll aim to defend our title in Prix d'Amérique next year instead. I understand many people are disappointed, but I can't be egoistic. I need to take my responsibility as a trainer.”
Hultman delivered the bad news on Wednesday afternoon and later that night Maharajah's stablemate, Panne de Moteur, turned in a stunning performance at Solvalla. A performance that had Elitlopp written all over it.
"I can't keep chasing him forward to the lead every time, I need to drive him differently sometimes as well,” said winning driver Orjan Kihlstrom. "He is very good when he is in form; he felt fantastic. He caught with the leader in two steps down the straight and finished with the ear plugs untouched.”