Fourth Aussie confirmed for the TAB Trot

By Adam Hamilton

Emerging star Arcee Phoenix will add to the class and strength of the Aussie raid on next month’s inaugural $575,000 TAB Trot at Cambridge.

Passionate Aussie trotting owner, breeder, sponsor and promoter Duncan McPherson today confirmed Arcee Phoenix would run in his Aldebaran Park slot in the April 12.

“We’re thrilled to partner with a young horse on the rise like Arcee Phoenix,” he said. “I tagged him back in August (last year) as the up-and-comer and when we couldn’t get our own guy, Aldebaran Zeus, back from the US quickly enough, we set our sights on Arcee Phoenix.

“It was really cemented when he won the Maori Mile and we’ve just been waiting for Chris (Svanosio, trainer-driver) to give us the nod since then.”

Arcee Phoenix has raced just 31 times for 10 wins, eight seconds, three thirds and banked $256,625.

The former star juvenile has been fantastic in Victoria’s biggest trotting races this year, most recently running a close second to Just Believe in the Group 1 Australian Trotting Grand Prix at Melton on February 24.

“What a run that was,” McPherson said. “I thought he was home despite doing so much work, but Just Believe nabbed him on the line. It showed he’s right there with the best of them.”

Arcee Phoenix will only have one more run before the TAB Trot and that’s in Saturday night’s $100,000 Group 1 Hammerhead on the Miracle Mile card at Menangle.

Svanosio, a real emerging force in Australasian trotting training ranks, said he was thrilled at the prospect of being part of such a strong and fantastic new race as the TAB Trot.

“What a race it’s going to be, so strong, so many stars in it,” he said. “It will be a great race to watch, let alone train and drive one in.

“We’ve got a horse we really like and he’s on the way up. Hopefully we can match it with them.

“He’s got the race this week and then I’ll switch the focus to NZ, but he won’t race again in between Sydney and Cambridge.

“There’s a race he could go in on the day he’s due to arrive in NZ, but he’s not an experienced traveller and that would be asking too much of him, I think.”

Svanosio has been to NZ before, but never to one of its major racedays.

“Quite a few years back I spent a bit of time at old Donny Hayes’ place outside Auckland and saw Tupelo Rose win the NZ Oaks with Teddy Demmler driving,” he recalled.

“I’ve made a few hit-and-run trips to trial horses with a view of buying, but never been to any of the big days like NZ Cup or anything. This will be an amazing race, especially driving in it, too.”

Arcee Phoenix is the fourth confirmed Aussie runner, joining Just Believe, Callmethebreeze and Queen Elida. The confirmed Kiwis are Oscar Bonavena and Muscle Mountain.

McPherson said Arcee Phoenix’s inclusion added to the best trotting field Australasia has seen in many years.

“I’m going to say it’s the best in at least 20 years,” he said. “It’s pretty much got it all. It’s the crème de la crème, a real smorgasbord for the purists.”

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