16 January 2013 - Young Junortoun harness racing trainer and driver Chris Svanosio could write a unique new chapter in the history of the time-honoured Warehouse Central Victorian Championships, hosted by the Boort Club at Charlton on Sunday.
Fifty-three years ago Miracle Echo, a pacer trained by Ken Wills and driven by Rod Osborne won the first ever Central Victorian Championship at Echuca. Ironically Svanosio trains his horses from the same property that Wills trained Miracle Echo. Ken Will's son Laurie said today that Miracle Echo is the only CV championship winner to come from the Star Hill stables and it would be great if Chris could add another to the record on Sunday. "Dad preferred to train the pacers, so a CV Trotting Championship would definitely be a first for the stable," Wills said. Svanosio will start his improving trotter Tiroroa Idol in the $30,000 Group 2 trotting race and he gives his honest performer a real chance of collecting a prize. "There might be a couple better than him in the race, but my horse is honest and they won't want to do anything wrong," he said. In the last couple of months Tiroroa Idol has come of age with two race victories at Bendigo. The best performed son of the Angus Hall stallion Framework, Tiroroa Idol graduated to the CV final with a tough heat victory at Bendigo on 7 January. "He got caught in the death early, then I was able to sprint lane home, so the run was very good, very tough," Svanosio said. Tiroroa Idol thrives on hard yakka and its that toughness that Svanosio believes gives him a top chance to train and drive his first ever Group race winner. "He is a gross doer, you cannot be easy on him and I have to keep the work up to him," Svanosio said. "At Tabcorp Park recently he raced three wide early and just got run down on the line, he is improving all the time and he is now trotting really good." Svanosio gave Tiroroa Idol a trial on Monday night at Bendigo and four-year-old gelding won that too. On Sunday he takes on a bit of class and Svanosio named Chris Lang's Kyvalley Rap, the winner of four of six starts and Geoff Webster's Tendaho, also the winner of four races, as the two toughest to beat. Tiroroa Idol will start from a 10 metre handicap in the final. The first race at Charlton on Sunday is set to run at 5:17pm, the Warehouse Sales CV Trotting Championship final is race five at 7:06pm and the Group 2 $30,000 Warehouse Sales CV Pacing Championship final is race seven at 7:54pm. In the Pacing Final Emma Stewart's brilliant Restrepo, to be driven by Gavin Lang has a daunting task from a 20 metre handicap. Local trainer Glenn Douglas has up and comer Daylight Dan on the front line. Daylight Dan the winner of his last four starts in a row will be driven by Chris Alford. Kiwi Chris Butt drives Bendigo pacing heat winner My Temudjin in the Pacing final and Ruth Shinn's Steam Washed is an exciting candidate. The Central Victorian Pacing Championship is one of the most sought after prizes on the Victorian Country harness racing calendar. First conducted in 1960 for a stake of 400 pounds the status of the race has grown over the years, with many of Victoria’s finest horsemen successful in winning the event which has been held annually throughout Central Victoria. Great horses from the past including Charles Armagh (1962 - Ken Pocock), You Crovottie 1964 – Bill Davies), Lord Setay (1966 – Dick Benger) and Honest Reward (1968 – Ralph Ford) have had their name etched into the history books by winning the race, with noted reins persons Ted Demmler, Noel Shinn, Clinton Welsh, Max Wishart, Brian Gath, John Caldow, Lance Justice, Kerryn Manning, Chris Alford, Gavin Lang, Bruce Clarke all piloting winners as the race progressed through the ages. It was decided to include the Central Victorian Trotting Championships into the mix in 1984, with Admiral Aaron (John Koek) being the inaugural victor. The stature of this race will continue to be part and parcel of the Victorian Country Harness Racing scene for many years to come.- David Aldred