Day At The Track

Aussie News - February 27

09:31 AM 27 Feb 2017 NZDT
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Lennytheshark winning the Miracle Mile

LENNYTHESHARK wasn’t the only horse to beat the amazing All Stars team on Miracle Mile night. 

Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen had runners in the five major races, won three of them and finished second in the other two. 

Lennytheshark nosed-out Smolda in that epic Miracle Mile with the other All Stars runners third (Lazarus) and fourth (Our Waikiki Beach). 

Their other second came when last year’s Miracle Mile winner Have Faith In Me returned to something like his best with a fantastic effort in the Group 1 Bohemia Crystal free-for-all (2400m). 

But the race went to the emerging and exciting Tact Tate for trainer-driver Amanda Turnbull

It marked the most important step yet for the five-year-old’s charge towards being a genuine Grand Circuit horse. 

Tact Tate ran out of racing room late and caught the eye when luckless fifth to Hectorjayjay in the Canadian Club Sprint a week earlier. 

Turnbull drove him to his strength – sheer speed – and needed plenty of luck at the time, but it came courtesy of dream runs along the marker pegs late. 

Tact Tate found the room he needed, exploded through the inside and stormed past a gallant Have Faith In Me to win by 2.2m in a sizzling 1min53.6sec mile rate. That’s just 0.9sec outside the track record Smolda set in the same race last year.   

Tact Tate’s win was 14th from just 39 starts and he’s now won $303,470 in stakemoney.  

Have Faith In Me was trapped deep early, worked around to sit parked and ran a mighty race. 

SHANE and Lauren Tritton had a Miracle Mile to forget, but they salvaged something from the night when stable buzz pacer Anything For Love smashed a handy field in the last race. 

The four-year-old, who ran a close fourth in the Chariots Of Fire, underlined his exceptional potential with a sizzling 1min49.5sec mile. 

The time was just 0.3sec slower than Lennytheshark clocked in the Miracle Mile. 

“He’s so exciting,” Shane Tritton said. “He’s come a long way so quickly and is still learning. 

“He’s run himself into the ground a couple of times, but he’s learning about racing all the time. 

“We were happy to let him run (last night) and he just ran them ragged.” 

Anything For Love, purchased out of Victoria a few months ago, ran his splits in 26.6, 29.1, 27.1 and 26.7sec. 

He easily held-off a game Saloon Passage, who sat parked, and Charlaval, who enjoyed the trail. 

Also in the beaten brigade were horses like Blazin N Cullen, Shannonsablast and Monifieth, who have contested Inter Dominions. 

It will be interesting to see where the Trittons take Anything For Love next. 

FORMER Kiwi trainer Nicole Molander made a triumphant return to the scene of some of her greatest moments on Miracle Mile night. 

When Molander and husband Dean first made the move from NZ to live in Australia, Menangle was their backyard. 

They won a stack of races there with champion trotter Keystone Del – including the now defunct Group 1 Glenferrie Challenge twice. 

Molander was back on the big stage winning another feature trot last Saturday night with another former Kiwi trotter, seven—ear-old mare Dead Cat Bounce. 

Taking the mare to Menangle has been an inspired move. She was struggling to regain peak form in Victoria and has won three on end at Menangle. 

Last Saturday night was by far the biggest in the $54,000 Group 1 Australian Pacing Gold Trotters’ Cup (1609m). 

Just moments after he won the Miracle Mile, Chris Alford produced another gem of a drive, weaving through gaps late to dash past the leaders in a 1min54.1sec mile. 

ONE of the highlights of Menangle’s three-week Carnival of Miracles has been the strong presence of the Queenslanders. 

And the star of them has been Grant Dixon’s Leos Best, who won all three starts during his Menangle raid. 

The four-year-old produced a career-best performance to lead throughout in the $52,000 Group 2 Miracle Mile Invitational Drivers’ race in a blistering 1min54.5sec mile rate for 2400m. 

Mat Rue, who won a Miracle Mile on former star mare Baby Bling, took the reins on Leos Best and beat his old boss, Luke McCarthy, aboard Match Point by 5.7m. 

In the other invitational race, for Lady Drivers, young Martelle Maguire scored the biggest win of her career when she led throughout on $60.20 outsider Epaulette in a slick 1min50.8sec mile. 

IT was great to see champion driver Kerryn Manning back in action at Geelong last Saturday night. 

It was Manning’s first night back in the sulky since suffering a string of nasty injuries including three broken ribs, a punctured lung and severe concussion in a fall at Charlton on December 16, last year. 

Manning had three drives for a third, a fourth and an eighth placing. 

EMERGING star Brallos Pass would not have been out of place in one of the features at Menangle on Miracle Mile night. 

So that made him close to a certainty when connections opted to go to the Albury Cup instead. 

And the four-year-old won accordingly, sitting parked and cruising home by 9.1m in a 2min3.1sec mile rate for the 2555m trip with Ellen Tormey aboard. 

Brallos Pass, who a NSW Derby heat last season, ran second to Lazarus in the 4YO Bonanza on Hunter Cup night. 

He’s now won 12 of his 32 runs with another 15 placings and has the makings of a serious open-class player in time to come. 

The Albury Derby was won in similarly dominant fashion by Josh Aiken’s talented three-year-old The Defiant. 

With Aiken at Menangle to drive Hectorjayjay, Mark Pitt took the reins on The Defiant, who led throughout and was eased right down late to win by 2.8m. 

SOME big and luckless runs through last year’s Perth Inter Dominion could have been the making of classy WA pacer Our Jimmy Johnstone. 

The Greg and Skye Bond-trained former Kiwi was unlucky to miss qualifying for the final and ran third in the consolation. 

There has been plenty to like about his past two wins, the latest in the $50,000 Group 2 Governors Cup (2130m) at Gloucester Park last Friday night in a sharp 1min55.2sec mile rate. 

The other feature on the night went to young trainer Justin Prentice, but not with the mare most punters hoped for. 

Prentice’s stable star Major Reality was sent out a $1.20 favourite in the $50,000 Group 2 Empress Stakes, but faded after sitting parked in a 1min56.8sec mile rate for 2536m. 

It was her stablemate The Parade, driven by Gary Hall Jr, who stormed to victory over Jungle Jewel. 


Adam Hamilton

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