Svanosio a believer as Arcee Phoenix stamps ticket in style

New kid on the block Arcee Phoenix rocketed into calculations for the $575,000 Trot Slot in New Zealand when he downed champion trotter Just Believe in the $24,000 Uncle Petrika Trotters Free For All at Melton on Saturday night.


Considered the only real opposition to Just Believe ($1.07), Arcee Phoenix ($7.50) made full use of his favorable draw, quickly securing the front running while Greg Sugars was content to sit parked on Just Believe over the 1720-metre sprint trip.

The pair cleared out from their rivals with 500 metres to travel, however, Arcee Phoenix appeared to be travelling just as well as Just Believe, who was unable to bridge the gap on the leader in the home straight.

On the line Arcee Phoenix held a six-metre margin over Just Believe after reeling off a slick 55.9 last 800 metres, returning a mile rate of 1:53.5, only .04 of a second outside the track record.

Driver Chris Svanosio admitted he was keen to set a genuine tempo with Just Believe leading the outside horses.

"You know Just Believe can run home in 26 seconds sitting in the breeze pretty easily if you don't take the sting out of him," Svanosio said.

"I wanted to use the inside draw and him sitting outside me to my advantage, I think I was too easy on my horse leading into Sydney, so I was happy for him to have a good hit out tonight."

Svanosio said the victory had given him renewed confidence prior to contesting Australasia's first trot slot race on 12 April.

"These are the races you want to be going around in and Just Believe is as good as they come, it was my chance to beat him tonight from the draw," he said

"It's going to be a lot harder in New Zealand but I'm happy to be going over there with a win under my belt."

Svanosio acknowledged the importance of a favorable barrier draw to the chances of Arcee Phoenix.

"A good draw over there will help because he is so good in front," he said.