Lost: The real Have Faith In Me.
If found, please return to Menangle in time for next week’s $750,000.
That is the strange story of the defending Miracle Mile champion and Australasian mile record holder as he returns tomorrow night to, where he is unbeaten.
If last year’s version of Have Faith In Me turned up in the $100,000 Canadian Club Sprint tomorrow night there would be plenty of punters willing to bet he could down Lennytheshark and Bling It On.
After all, he came from behind Lennytheshark to down him in last season’s Miracle Mile in 1:47.5, still the fastest mile ever paced in the Southern Hemisphere.
Bizarrely he has only won one moderate race since, struggling to find his best form in New Zealand and Victoria and more often than not racing erratically.
Exhaustive vet tests have found a kidney abnormality which nobody knows how to fix, leaving trainerwith little option but to keep racing him.
"It has been a strange season with him,” says Purdon.
“He wasn’t himself at the start of the season and even though we now know why he hasn’t come right back to his best.
“He is good enough to still be racing but can he make it back to what he was this time last season in time for the Miracle Mile? I doubt it, to be honest.”
The other problem facing Have Faith In Me is his poor manners in recent starts have seen him placed out of the draw behind the mobile, meaning he will have to give the Hunter Cup trifecta of Bling It On, Yayas Hot Spot and Lennytheshark a start over the mile.
“It is not going to be easy because he has to be put in the race.
“He has to run top two to be guaranteed his Miracle Mile spot but as the defending champion we are hoping he can sneak in even if he only finishes third or fourth.” Purdon is more confident with Inter Dominion champion Smolda in tomorrow night’s other Miracle Mile prelude, but says it will be hard to catch Hectorjayjay.
“He was a bit tired after his below par run in the Hunter Cup but his work on Tuesday morning was better.
“But it stacks up as a tricky race and if he can finished top two or three and qualify then I’ll be happy.”
Purdon does have four hot favourites and a second favourite at tomorrow night’s meeting, with the TAB opening a market on how may races he will win, up to three wins being the favoured option at $2.40.
MICHAEL GUERIN | @GuerinSports