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Menangle Harness Previews 24/02

 Feb 21 2018


Can Lazarus live up to his name?  The bible tells the story of Lazarus being raised from the dead and while the situation is nowhere near as dire as that, trainer Mark Purdon has only a week to resurrect the form of his star pacer.

After taking out the New Zealand Cup, Inter Dominion and Hunter Cup in the space of three months it was expected Australasia’s best pacer Lazarus would win the Miracle Mile but was struck down with a virus before his last start third in the Gr. 1 Canadian Club Sprint at Menangle.  To make things harder Lazarus will start from the outside draw and since the Miracle Mile moved to Menangle, no horse has placed in the race – let alone won it from barrier 8.

So with Lazarus now vulnerable who is ready to take the challenge to him?  Soho Tribeca was beaten narrowly in the Allied Express Sprint on Saturday night by Anything For Love.  Formerly trained in Western Australia, Soho Tribeca has won the WA Pacing Cup, run 2nd in the Hunter Cup and finished 2nd in his Miracle Mile qualifier. 

Anything For Love was brave on Saturday night and was driven as aggressively as prerace tactics suggested.  Can he back up a week later after becoming Australia’s fastest bred pacer?  He has drawn a good barrier and will be in it for a long way.

Chariots Of Fire winner Jilliby Kung Fu is the baby of the field but has hit form at the right time for trainer Margaret Lee.  Tiger Tara has been nothing but brave for trainer Kevin Pizzuto and the stallion will line up for his sixth run in six weeks.  My Field Marshal’s trainer Tim Butt has won most of the big races in Australia and New Zealand however the Miracle Mile is one event missing from Butt’s trophy cabinet.

It should be an exciting race and I’m tipping

6 Soho Tribeca

3 Anything For Love

5 Jilliby Kung Fu

1 Tiger Tara


Ameretto can lay claim to being the mare in Australia and New Zealand despite not winning at Gr. 1 level.  On Saturday night she will line up for her 15th Gr. 1 start and won’t get a better chance to breakthrough in this grade.  She has been placed five times at the highest level including a 2nd behind Lennytheshark in the Victoria Cup earlier this season.

The barrier draw has been kind and she draws better than any of her main dangers.  The Kerryn Manning trained mare should dominate from the front and looks hard to beat.

Her main danger will be Our Golden Goddess.  The stablemate to Ameretto led the Ladyship Cup at Melton and held off her rivals late last time out and from her good draw she won’t be too far behind her stablemate. 

Rocker Band has finally drawn a good barrier and will get the run of the race while Carlas Pixel will need to adopt different tactics this week after winning the Robin Dundee Stakes last Saturday night leading throughout.

The Purdon pair Partyon and A Piccadilly Princess both looked below their best in the Sibelia Stakes but you can’t write off the All Stars stable while Our Rona Gold would be a winning chance if she led but she has drawn wide.


2 Ameretto

4 Our Golden Goddess

1 Rocker Band

6 Carlas Pixel


Victorian trainer Emma Stewart had a night to remember on Saturday winning two heats of the NSW Derby and a heat of the NSW Oaks.  It is quite conceivable that Stewart could win both Gr. 1 events and she looks to have multiple winning chances in the 3yo feature for the boys.

Poster Boy was narrowly beaten in the Victoria Derby despite looming as the winner turning for home.  On that occasion he was grabbed late by Colt Thirty One but the barrier draw on this occasion should see Poster Boy in the stalking role. 

Stablemate Maraetai finished 5th in the Vic Derby after racing midfield and when he got into the clear at the top of the straight it took him 50 metres to hit top gear.  He couldn’t have been more impressive in his NSW Derby heat and will start directly outside his stablemate Poster Boy.

Colt Thirty One was surprisingly beaten in his Vic Derby heat as the favourite but bounced back by winning the final.  He has come up with barrier one in the NSW Derby and will need to be driven aggressively in the early stages to take advantage of it.  Is a very versatile pacer and can definitely win.

Of the rest Major Times, The Black Prince, Code Bailey and The Devils Own can all feature with the right run.


4 Poster Boy

1 Colt Thirty One

5 Maraetai

2 Major Times


Nostra Villa has only been beaten twice in her career.  Once was in a semi final of the Breeders Crown as a 2yo and the other occasion was last Saturday night when attacked midrace and bravely fought on to be narrowly beaten in the Oaks heat.  There looks to be depth in the filly ranks this season but Nostra Villa is entitled to top billing at this stage. 

She has drawn barrier eight and will move into seven if the emergencies fail to gain a start and with her versatility she looks very hard to beat.

Stablemate Imprincessgemma led and ran a very slick last half in her heat victory.  She has drawn a lot better than Nostra Villa and will be close to the speed throughout.  That was her first run in 2018 and you would think she would take some benefit from it.

Soho Burning Love sat behind Imprincessgemma and never got out.  She looked to full of running but she has drawn the Menangle carpark and is going to need a lot of luck from there while the Queensland filly Fame Assured could not have been more impressive in winning her heat on Saturday night in what could be a big evening for owner Kevin Seymour and trainer/driver Grant Dixon.  The chances don’t end there, it looks a race full of chances.


8 Nostra Villa

2 Imprincessgemma

11 Soho Burning Love

4 Fame Assured

Gregory Hayes - Sky Racing

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