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Miracle Mile Preview

 Nov 28 2014

The Miracle Mile is New South Wales Harness Racing’s biggest race – a prestigious event which has grown in stature and tradition since it was first run in 1967.

It’s a race with a wonderful history, with legendary broadcaster and Sky Racing’s John Tapp declaring the best performance he’s ever seen on a racetrack - in any code - was back in 1971 when Mount Eden missed the start in the Miracle Mile, before the Western Australian great caught the field, circled his rivals, and then raced away for amazing victory at Harold Park.

The Group 1 Miracle Mile is set to jump at 9:40pm (AEDT). Tune in to Sky Racing for comprehensive coverage!

Saturday night will see the sixth edition of the great race held at its new home of Tabcorp Park Menangle. Every year in the build-up to Australasia’s greatest sprint race there has been plenty of controversy regarding who should and shouldn’t be invited and this year was no exception ... but for me, that's why this event is so great.

One aspect of this year’s race that the majority agree with, is that the champion Beautide deserves to start a dominant favourite.  Beautidie is owned by the famous Harness Racing family in Tasmania, the Rattrays, and is trained by James Rattray, a shy boy from the Apple Isle, but this lad can certainly train and has proven that with the horse he calls Beau.

In their first season together since James took over the training from his father Barry, Beautide went from winning his first metropolitan race, to dominating Australia’s two most famous races, the Miracle Mile and the Inter Dominion.

There’s talk again he might not be able to do it tough in one of the best Miracle Mile fields we’ve seen, and he’s still vulnerable against this brilliant field over the Mile. Don’t listen to that – Beautide is a freak, he’s the best horse I’ve seen in my relatively short time of covering this sport. Yep better than Blacks A Fake and Im Themightyquinn.

Barrier three is a perfect draw – James has plenty of options and so far he’s handled the pressure of the big races with absolute ease. Last start Beautide did plenty of work off the track and switched off towards the line to win the Coca Cola Sprint in 1:50:4.

“He’s in the best shape of his career, it’s exciting.” declared James Rattray this week.

That’s enough for me, I think we will see something special on Saturday night – he’s now 1.7 with but I reckon hold off until closer to the race and we might get somethng near the $2 mark.

Victorian Guaranteed is a big tough pacer they call ‘Axcel’. I love this big boy. He loves Menangle – 8 starts for 6 wins and he was far from disgraced last outing when second to Beautide. Barrier 7 does hurt him a little but he will be driven by the master Gavin Lang and he’s now out to $10 with and that’s overs for mine.

New Zealand star Christen Me has been the best backed since the barrier draw on Sunday with ($5.00-$4.20) and trainer Cran Dalgety says his star has never been better since doing it easily to win the NZ FFA at Addington. The Kiwis are tipping him but I don’t think he can survive a war with Beautide or for that matter Guaranteed in our great race.

Check out the full market for the Group 1 Miracle Mile here.

Avonnova, the Queensland champ, was purchased for $20,000 in a claimer more than a year ago. On Saturday night he will compete in a Miracle Mile, which is the reason why harness racing is a such a special sport. Hobby trainer Ian Gurney is living the dream this week and you know one thing, Avonnova will be driven aggressively by Shane Graham, and the Gurney camp won’t die wondering.

Either will Shane Tritton who has two starters in the Mile. Tritton is an amazing trainer and his best chance is Suave Stuey Lombo, who has sizzled around Menangle over the mile before. The key to his chances is crossing to the front, and if he does, he will give them something to catch.

For A Reason for Team McCarthy is the forgotten horse. He’s racing in career best form and has the draw to be very dangerous.

It will be a great race on Saturday night – it’s the Miracle Mile after all, and we can talk about how this race will be run one hundred times, just like we do every year. But I can promise one thing, it will be something special and I reckon Beautide will write another chapter into his book of greatness. 

I'm tipping Beautide to beat Guaranteed, For A Reason and Christen Me. Good luck and happy punting!


Gareth Hall - Sky Racing

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