Day At The Track

'Lenny' the forgotten horse

04:53 AM 24 Feb 2018 NZDT
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Lennytheshark, harness racing
Lennytheshark
Gloucester Park Photo

He’s the forgotten horse of Saturday night’s $750,000 Ainsworth Miracle Mile at Tabcorp Park Menangle. Yet veteran Lennytheshark, the oldest horse in the race, cannot be completely written off, despite being listed as a $21 shot in the eight-horse harness racing field.

He is the defending champion and his trainer David Aiken wouldn’t swap his stable star for any other horse in the race and issued a reminder ‘Lenny’ was going as well as ever.

“He is meeting the new kids on the block this season, but he is feeling terrific and is ready to do it all again,” Aiken said.

“I still wouldn't swap him for any other runner.

“I just finished working him an hour ago and he is going as well as ever.”

Despite his defeat last week, Lennytheshark earned an invitation into the Grand Circuit event as the defending champion, with Aiken confident the son of Four Starzzz Shark could still join a select group of consecutive Miracle Mile winners.

Victory will see Lennytheshark become just the seventh titleholder to successfully defend his crown since the prestigious sprint began in 1967.

Westburn Grant led the way win consecutive wins in 1989 and 90, followed by Chokin (1993 and ‘94), Holmes D G (1999 and 2000), Sokyola (2003 and ‘04), Be Good Johnny (2005 and ‘06) and Smoken Up (2010 and ‘11).

Lennytheshark has drawn barrier seven, but moves into six when the emergency comes out.

“I was just looking at the sectionals from last week again and he got home in 53 seconds after doing a bit of work early,” Aiken said.

“He went quicker last week than he did the year before when he won.”

Aiken agreed that the draw hadn’t helped but suggested punters would leave him out at their peril as he was in good enough shape to win.

The former Sydney premiership-winning trainer cited Soho Tribeca as the horse to beat, but said he also rated My Field Marshal as one who could spring an upset.

Soho Tribeca has drawn gate seven while My Field Marshal will come from four.

Soho Tribeca is a $3.20 second elect, while My Field Marshal is sitting on $10.

Lazarus heads the betting market at $2.40 despite drawing the outside of the front row.

“Soho Tribeca should be favourite as I reckon he is the one to beat,” Aiken said.

“That said, I can see My Field Marshal getting a really good run from the draw, which brings him right into it.”

Michael Court

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