Emerging trainer Chris Svanosio wants to join the growing throng of Victorians chasing the riches at next month’s Queensland Constellations.
Svanosio has the best and most exciting team of horses he’s ever had and at least three of them – Arcee Phoenix, Aroha Koe and Louie Lou I – could be headed north.
“I’ve been saying for the last month or so, this week and the next will shape if I go to Queensland and what it looks like,” he said.
Saturday night at Melton is D-Day for exciting trotter Aroha Koe (race eight) and in-form three-year-old pacer Louie Lou I (seven).
“Basically, they’d both have to win or run really well to take them. I certainly won’t just take them for the holiday, even though some of the owners have already booked their trips,” Svanosio said.
“Aroha Koe was absolutely flying before last week when he was trailing Queen Elida into the race, but galloped.
“He’s come through it well, so we’re backing him up this week. It’s up to him to do it all right and convince he should go to Queensland.”
Louie Lou I showed promise last season, including a second in a Breeders Crown semi-final, but has improved enormously this season, like many of Svanosio’s young team.
“He’s come back really well and he’s been running some quick times,” he said.
“He won his first three runs back, but the second last time was probably his best run. He ran terrific times from back in the field and almost won again.
“Unfortunately, he’s drawn seven (outside the front) this week, but I still think he’ll go close.
“If we’re happy with him, he’ll go up for the South East Derby and the Queensland Derby.”
Trotting mare Lady Adelia is chasing her sixth win from just eight starts this campaign when she takes on a small but select field in the Carlotta’s Pride Free-For-All over 1720 metres on Saturday night.
Feature races are on her radar, but not in Queensland.
“She’s improved that far this season, it’s been amazing,” Svanosio said. “But, this is her biggest test for sure against the likes of Queen Elida and Revelstoke. It will give us a guide where she sits for races in the Vicbred in September.”
For all of the talent Svanosio has mentioned so far, brilliant four-year-old trotter Arcee Phoenix is the one he is most excited about.
“He finished last season with a terrific second in the Vicbred (3YO) Final, but has come back and gone to another level,” he said.
Arcee Phoenix’s three wins from as many starts this season have been by an aggregate 49.7 metres.
“He’ll go around next weekend and if things go well, there’s a $150,000 race at Albion Park on July 8 for him. Aroha Koe could go to that same race,” Svanosio said.
That race is the inaugural Group 1 Great Square, restricted to three and four-year-old trotters.
Svanosio, who said “about two thirds” of his 22-strong stable are trotters, will be watching closer than most when Aussie star Just Believe has his second run in Sweden at Ostersund around 2am on Sunday.
“Not just because I love my trotters, but I train a three-year-old half-brother to him, called Keep Believing. He’s raced by a few of the same owners and although he didn’t do much in two runs last season, I think he’s got his share of talent,” he said.
By Adam Hamilton