THE name Sofia Arvidsson is quite new to many who follow harness racing in New South Wales.
But since joining the Cawdor stable of Blake Fitzpatrick four months ago, the former Swedish national has been chalking up plenty of winners.
Arvidsson made the move to Australia in 2016 and worked for various stables in Victoria while she doubled as a tourist, travelling around the country.
Quite remarkably, Sofia had never had experience with the harness horse back in her native country but after gaining some exposure to the sport here in Australia, she caught the bug and in 2019 gained her license to drive.
“I had no experience in harness racing whatsoever when I first landed here from Sweden,” said Arvidsson.
“The closest I had been to horses back home was riding them every now and then.
“But after having the opportunity to work with the standardbreds over here I became absolutely hooked, and the rest is now history I guess.”
Arvidsson holds claim to having one of the best strike rates of any driver as in three seasons in the gig, the 27-year-old has driven 84 winners and 122 placegetters from 423 drives.
She has also captured three Group 1 victories along the way, her most recent being in March on Miracle Mile night at Tabcorp Park Menangle when she guided the squaregaiter Credit Master to victory in the Trotters Mile.
“I have been extremely fortunate to have been given the opportunities that I have so early in my career,” she said.
“Hopefully, with hard work and opportunities, more success will come my way.”
Tonight, at Newcastle Arvidsson will drive three pacers for the Fitzpatrick stable and while Arvidsson is not ‘declaring’ any of them, she is confident that they will all perform well.
“All three horses are dropping in grade from the opposition they have faced in recent outings,” she said.
“If forced to single out my best winning chance it would be Wow Hes A Rock Star in Race 5.
“Blake has seized my concession claim to get him back into the race perfectly and from gate eight and over the longer journey it gives me plenty of time to balance him up.
“This is the first time I have been to Newcastle.
“It is a nice 1000m track, so I am really looking forward to getting there tonight.”