BENDIGO’S Chris Svanosio says he feels gutted for fellow trainer John Meade following a possible career-ending injury to his star trotter Sparkling Success.
The champion six-year-old was due to fly out to the United States later this week, where he was to compete in the $1.3 million Yonkers International Trot on October 13.
But a suspensory ligament injury, detected during a veterinarian’s check on Monday, has put paid to those plans and potentially the champion Group 1 performer’s career.
Svanosio, who has driven Sparkling Success in his past 22 starts for nine wins, including a pair of Group 1s and was to again be in the sulky in New York, said there were no signs anything was amiss with the horse on Saturday following his win in the Group 3 Maori’s Idol Trotters Free For All at Tabcorp Park, Melton.
“The vet was there to check him (on Monday) and he said ‘everything looks good, except there’s a little bit of a bump here, he’s going to America, so I might as well scan it’,” he said.
“He scanned it and straight away he said there was a hole, it was as simple as that.
“We all know what it’s like in the trotting game, (horses) are up and firing one moment and they are gone the next, but it’s still pretty tough when it happens.”
Svanosio has made no secret that he considers Sparkling Success the best trotter he has ever driven.
Following his dominant win earlier this year in Australasia’s richest trotting race – the $300,000 Great Southern Star – his Bendigo driver believed the gelding was still on his way up in racing.
“He has been a great horse for me, had he not got injured he could have kept racing in Australia and been one of the top trotters for years because he’s only lightly raced,” Svanosio said.
“Hopefully he can come back, but that won’t be for a long time
“Suspensory ligament injuries generally mean they might never race again – he definitely won’t be racing in the next 12 months,” he said.
“I have been talking with Meadey and it’s pretty shattering for him. He’s quite upset as you could imagine.
“To get so close and for that to happen is shattering. There were a lot of people going over and a lot had gone into organising the trip from Harness Racing Australia and people who had sponsored him.”
Svanosio will still travel to the United States and will spend part of his next four week’s working with American trainers and attending some yearling sales.
He will also still attend the Yonkers International Trot meeting, which features the world’s richest trotting race.
The story of Sparkling Success and his hobby trainer, retired south-west Victorian farmer Meade, has captivated the harness racing industry.
The gelding has won 17 of his 37 starts and been placed 14 times for stakes earnings of $420,170.