Josefine Eilertsen makes her debut on Saturday as trainer for the world’s best coldblood horse, Odd Herakles.
“Of course I feel the pressure,” the 27-year-old told Equus.
Odd Herakles has not lost a race since he came in second in the Nordic Championships last year after.
Afterwards, the horse has started twelve times and earned 2.1 million NOK. In total, the 10-year-old has won 48 races and run inn a whopping 7.9 million kroner. Odd Heracles is the world’s best in the coldblood class.
The horse has since 2014 been trained by veteran Lars O. Romtveit. He turned 70 earlier this year and has downsized his business. Josefine Eilertsen works for Romtveit, in addition to both riding and trotting. The owners wanted Josefine to take over the responsibility, and on Saturday the horse will try to defend last year win at the Union race in Färjestad.
Over 100 million
300,000 NOK awaits the winner in Karlstad, and the bookmakers have made Odd Herakles a huge favorite in the biggest game, V75. Even the Swedes have given up the competition against the Norwegian winning machine. Eilertsen and the horse are managing bets of many tens of millions of NOK.
– Nothing is safe in trotting, but everything looks normal, Eilertsen reassures us.
– Odd Herakles trots the same course as he has done for the last six years. The training is also the same. Everything is really the same except that he has changed stables, but the stable is only backstretch away, the coach continues.
Belief in victory
Eilertsen is originally from Harstad but has been stationed in Eastern Norway since she debuted as a monté-jockey (trotting) in 2010. Since then, she has won 62 races as a jockey and has ridden in 3.7 million kroner.
In 2018, she won the National Championships for coachman in Bergen, but now she is in the professional super-elite class, as a trainer.
– I am very excited, Odd Herakles looks just as good in training as he usually does. Track and distance are perfect, and he has beaten these horses all year. I cannot help but be optimistic, says Josefine Eilertsen before the most important race of her career.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today