Day At The Track

Beach training works the oracle for 'Miracle'

08:49 PM 06 Dec 2010 NZDT
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Mach Three
Mach Three

Miracle Mach came to harness racing trainers Greg and Nina Hope three months ago carrying along with him a reputation for not being able to fulfill his obligations. The son of Mach Three formerly trained by leading horseman Mark Purdon and Grant Payne, suffers from a number of ailments including Navicular disease, or syndrome as it's sometimes known.

It causes inflammation and degeneration of the navicular bone,mostly in the front feet it can lead to lameness.

As a result it's hard to blame the $80,000 Ready To Run Sales purchase for his lack lustre outlook on life. But things took a turn for the better at Sunday's Waimate Trotting Club meeting when leading reinsman Dexter Dunn scored a decisive win for the in formWoodendBeach trainers. The 4 1/4 length victory was polished off with a 27.4 final 400 on the grass circuit at Waimate, givingthe well know bunch of owners something to cheer about. Miracle Mach is races by Phil and Glenys Kennard along with Hazel Van Opzeeland and Brian McCully, all major contributors to the sport of harness racing.

Co-trainer Greg Hope was happy with the performance by his recent acquisition but still adamant we haven't, and may never get to see the best of Miracle Mach. "He works like a horse that can't fully stretch out and is being restricted in some way or another, Blair Orange said as much. For some reason he doesn't seem to be able to empty the tank completely, he's not extending in his gait and it's almost like he's catching somewhere," Hope said. "I've got some theories and we'll sit down and talk to the owners about possible solutions."

An unlucky runner last start at Geraldine in the hands of John Dunn, Miracle Mach was driven by brother Dexter Dunn who settled the son of super-sire Mach Three early before showing speed to loop the field with a lap to run. Once in front Miracle Mach never looked like getting beat and was well clear of the opposition at the line. "Im not sure what the difference was this week but he paced perfect, whereas last week he paced terrible," said Greg Hope.

Beautifully bred Miracle Mach's family is riddled with black type. Second dam Aberfeldy left smart pacers Reba Lord (15 wins) and Megaera (8 wins) to mention a few. It was four year old's first win from nine starts, but one suspects if Greg and Nina Hope can ever get to the bottom of his problems, then Miracle Mach may advance that record in the not to distant future.

Steve DOLAN

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