Fast Facts on Horse Racing in Sweden

January 17th, 2022

Horse racing is one of the most popular sports in Sweden, and harness racing in particular.

Harness racing is conducted on 33 tracks across the elongated country and is overwhelmingly for the trotting gait.

Trotters, and the people who work with them, are part of the fabric of Swedish society. Racedays are well-attended and betting – conducted through the ATG betting agency, is extremely popular.

Racing is conducted throughout the length of the country, including in the far north – one of the ATG’s Ten Major Races for 2022 is the Norbottens Stora Pris, held in the midnight sun in Boden, Sweden’s northernmost racetrack.

The best-known race in Sweden is the Elitloppet, held at Solvalla racetrack in Stockholm. Held over one mile on the last Sunday in May, the winner is decided after two qualifying rounds and a final on the same day.

With a first prize of 3 million Swedish Kronor (about $330,000), it is one of the most prestigious trotting races in the world. Four North American-trained horses have won it, including the champions Mack Lobell, Billyjojimbob, and Moni Maker. Other notable winners include Varenne, Victory Tilly, Timoko, and Roquepine.

Solvalla, a 1000m (about five furlongs) track, also plays host to the Jubileumspokalen, a one-mile event for 5-year-olds in August which is another of Sweden’s Ten Major Races, along with the Swedish Trotting Criterium for 3-year-olds in September.

Another important venue is Aby, on the outskirts of Gothenburg, Sweden’s second-largest city. Also a 1000m track, Aby’s notable races include the Paralympiatravert (2140m, a little less than 1 3/8 miles) in May and the Aby Stora Pris in mid-August over 3140m (nearly two miles).

The other major Swedish track is Jagersro, near the southern city of Malmo, which hosts the Hugo Abergs Memorial in July and the Swedish Trotting Derby in September. Sweden also has its own Breeders’ Crown series, which concludes with four finals in November at Eskilstuna, west of Stockholm.

Though it is of less importance than harness racing, thoroughbreds do play a role in Sweden. Jagersro hosts some thoroughbred contests but the most important track for gallopers is Bro Park, northwest of Stockholm, which hosts the Stockholm Cup in September.

Normal win, place, and show bets will be available when TwinSpires offers betting on Swedish racing in the early part of 2022. The signature bets from ATG, the V-wagers – which offer bets on multiple races – should be available in the second quarter of 2022.