Reference variable in anim BP is always none


I have an animation blueprint setup and I have a blueprint with two skeletal meshes. I’d like to store a reference to the blueprint with the two meshes inside the anim BP, so I can call a pure & const function to get the movement speed for the anim BP.
Short question; Is this possible? I’ve tried to do wit with no luck, see details below.

In my construction script, I set the animation class with the ‘Set anim instance class’, then I get the anim instance from the skel mesh and cast to that type of class, all of which works fine, no issues.
I then try and set a variable, which is a reference to the parent class. But any time the animation plays, the variable is down as None and I can’t call the function.

I’ve tried this during construction and event begin play, always the same none result.

If I store just a simple float in there, can every tick update that float doing a cast, it works.

Thanks for any help,