Former Miracle Mile winner Baby Bling will chase another Gr. 1 victory in Saturday night's Treuer Memorial however her task was made all the more harder after she drew barrier ten. The Belinda McCarthy trained mare returned to form on Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Menangle winning the Robin Dundee Stakes and owner Harvey Kaplan is hoping she can continue to hold her form. "I was very pleased with her performance on Saturday night, it was great to finally get some idea of where she was at and despite the draw this week I'm hoping she can produce another solid run," Kaplan said. "Baby Bling has been a little bit difficult to follow this campaign, she was outstanding first up, very disappointing at her next run and then her Queensland trip didn't give us any idea of where she was at for a couple of reasons, then when she got back to Sydney she ended up drawing barrier twelve in the Cordina Sprint." Kaplan confirmed the McCarthy stable had been giving glowing reports about the mare's condition and wasn't totally shocked by Saturday's win. "The stable had been reporting that she was back to the weight that she was at when she won the Miracle Mile and had been working extremely well but when she was drawn so wide I still had some concerns but to everyone's credit she was very good considering she was forced to cover extra ground." Baby Bling will be nominated for next year's Inter Dominion series and Kaplan believes that will give him and the rest of the ownership group options going forward. "She will be nominated for sure, we might even give her a run in the series and she how she goes but she has already qualified for the Ladyship Mile so we already have that option." "I don't know if the rest of the owners are as keen as I am, but I would still like to see her go to North America but nothing would happen before March next year." Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |
Three-time Olympic Gold Medallist Stephanie Rice will be the face and Ambassador of the 2014 TAB.COM.AU Inter Dominion Championship Sydney. The announcement was made this morning at Dawes Point which coincided with the filming of a television commercial and photo shoot for the Inter Dominion advertising campaign. Three industry ambassadors were also present, Amanda Turnbull, Sammy Kilgour and Seryn Adams to enhance the profile of women in harness racing. Amanda Turnbull is the reigning champion driver in NSW and her grandfather and father both won Inter Dominion Grand Finals. Seryn Adams also heralds from a famous harness racing family and Sammy Kilgour is a high profile owner and participant. "I am most privileged to be the Ambassador for the Inter Dominion as it is an exciting time for harness racing," said Rice. "I am very passionate about helping women in sport raise their profiles. There are many amazing women currently dominating harness racing." Rice is no stranger to harness racing having acquired a ten percent share in the pacer Steffi Rice. Those earnings go to support the Melanoma Institute of Australia. "She has been running some nice races and it's a great thrill when the horse you own wins a race, "she said. Minister for Tourism, Major Events and Racing, George Souris, said the NSW Government is pleased to support the Inter Dominion Championship in Sydney, having secured the event for NSW for three consecutive seasons, from 2013 to 2015. "I am also delighted that Olympic heroine Stephanie Rice has been appointed as Ambassador and 'face' of the 2014 Inter Dominion Sydney, Australian harness racing's pinnacle event ," Mr Souris said. "The Inter Dominion was a Great Success this year, delivering an estimated $4m in direct visitor impact from overseas, interstate and intrastate visitors with future events promising solid results." HRNSW CEO Sam Nati said that Stephanie Rice was the perfect choice as Ambassador. "When we met with Stephanie the synergies were apparent. Firstly, she resonates with the critical 18-35 year-old demographic that our industry needs to tap into. And secondly, her enthusiasm to promote the success of women in sport provides tremendous leverage for obtaining mainstream media coverage," he said. In what promises to be a bigger and better series than last year, the 2014 TAB.COM.AU Inter Dominion Grand Final will again be broadcast live on Channel 9. Nominations for Inter Dominion 2014 close on Monday 9 December. The Qualifying Heats are scheduled across Australasia on Saturday 15 February, and Grand Final day, including seven Group One races and $2 million in prizemoney will be run on Sunday March 2 at Tabcorp Park Menangle. Kate Dumesny| Event & Information Coordinator | Harness Racing New South Wales |
It was a drive that couldn’t have been scripted any better. And one that will have the Tasmanian harness racing fraternity in a buzz for weeks. Cool, calm and collected, reinsman James Rattray had some onlookers in a panic when he settled Beautide three back on the pegs in the SEW Eurodrive Miracle Mile at Tabcorp Park Menangle tonight - but he knew exactly what kind of horsepower he had in his reins. Opting to take a sit on the $2.90 favourite For A Reason proved to be the winning move . . . and one that created history. As the pair crossed the line leaving Christen Me and For A Reason in their wake, the mile rate of 1:50.2 was a new race record. It was also the first time in 45 years a horse from Tasmania had won the great race. In fact the only other ‘Tassie’ pacer to put his name on the Miracle Mile honour roll is Halwes when taking out the second edition of the sprint in 1968. But this win was truly a fairytale come true. Not only did Beautide beat the odds ($5.10), so did Rattray, at just 28 years of age he became the youngest trainer to win the Miracle Mile. Beautide was bred, and is owned, by Rattray’s father Barrie Rattray, who has been breeding from that family line for more than 30 years. “I should know what to say . . . I’ve been practising this speech since I was 12,” Barrie said after the win. “The support for this horse has been enormous.” For the record Finishing order of the 2013 SEW Eurodrive Miracle Mile: Beautide, Christen Me, For A Reason, Im Victorious, Smoken Up, Restrepo, Mach Beauty, Terror To Love. Sectionals: 26.6, 28.8, 28.6, 26.2. Mile rate: 1:50.2.
You seldom see big-spending owners Emilio and Mary Rosati so ecstatic – even when they win. Yet the startling performance by five-year-old trotter Amore Stride to annihilate his rivals and win the Franco Australian Trotters Final at Tabcorp Park Menangle tonight had the normally reserve couple bubbling with excitement. The standing start event over 3009m was one of the most competitive fields seen in a trotting race with 15 starters with outstanding credentials. And it signalled a massive night for the Belinda and Luke McCarthy training and driving team as they set off on a feature-race rampage they were hoping would culminate in success in the SEW Eurodrive Miracle Mile. Emilio explained that Amore Stride was far and away his wife’s favourite horse and when she first saw him at the sales in New Zealand she insisted that Emilio pull out all stops to secure him. “I would have paid anything to keep Mary happy and now this horse is starting to show his true potential,” grinned Emilio after Amore Stride accounted for favourite Keystone Del and Gentle Image in the trotting feature. Earlier the stable scored with Two Eye See in the Baby Bling Championship Final, beating Ohoka Colarado and Christian Ruler while another of their stable stars Baby Bling, although overlooked for the Miracle Mile, scored a return-to-form win over Simple Saver and Gliding Rose in the Robin Dundee Stakes.
My brain tells me that For A Reason will win Saturday’s $750,000 SEW Eurodrive Miracle Mile at Tabcorp Park Menangle. The only problem is that my heart keeps saying how can you forget about champion eleven-year-old pacer Smoken Up, Tasmanian hero Beautide, three-time New Zealand Cup winner Terror To Love, and superstar Kiwi pacer Christen Me? The answer to that question is - I can’t, which is why I won’t be putting my life savings on For A Reason on Saturday despite the fact that everything points to him as the winner. The McCarthy trained come-back hero has been dynamic since returning from an injury prompted stud career, winning five of his eight starts, two of them in 1-50.0 or better. Of those five wins, his biggest winning margin came when he paced 1-50.0, while the second biggest was when he destroyed his rivals in 1-49.5. Now, I’m no Albert Einstein, and I’m not claiming to be, but surely it doesn’t take a genius to work out that the explosive son of Art Major is better when racing on a hot pace? Yes, I know that Smoken Up is virtually impossible to run past and that Justice thinks he could go close to breaking 1-49.0 for a second-time this weekend, but I have serious doubts that his eleven-year-old legs will be able to muster the speed to hold out For A Reason, if he was to peel off his back on the bend. If that theory doesn’t unfold and Smoken Up is crossed by Mach Beauty and or Beautide at the start, it will completely change the complexion of the race and give both of those horses as well as New Zealand stars Terror To Love and Christen Me a much better shot at the gold. But, either way, I think For A Reason is the horse to beat come 9.30pm (AUS Time) tomorrow. T.A.B NZ Miracle Mile market: 1) Smoken Up -$4.40 2) For A Reason - $3.40 3) Mach Beauty - $21 4) Abettorpunt E1 – $31 5) Beautide - $5.50 6) Christen Me - $5 7) Terror To Love - $6.50 8) Im Victorious – $15 9) Bitobliss E2 - $31 10) Restrepo - $14 By Mitchell Robertson
It's Miracle Mile time and there's plenty of news on Trots TV this week. Sky Racing's Fred Hastings chats to Dexter Dunn and Justin Prentice following the trials of Christen Me and I'm Victorious at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Tuesday whilst Luke McCarthy provides an insight into the chances of For A Reason in the big one. Seryn Adams pops on by to tell us what we can expect in the 2014 HRNSW calendar and you can view all the latest race replays and trials. www.trotstv.com.au - providing a fresh view on harness racing in NSW Harness Racing New South Wales Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales | 22 Meredith Street Bankstown NSW 2200 T: 02 9722 6600| F: 02 85805792 | E: email@example.com| W: www.hrnsw.com.au & www.trotstv.com.au Warning to recipients: This email and any attachments are confidential and subject to copyright. If you are not the intended recipient any use, disclosure or copying is unauthorised. If you have received this email in error please advise us immediately by reply email and delete all copies. It is your responsibility to examine this email and any attachments for viruses. Any personal information in this email must be handled in accordance with privacy legislation.
Habibti may still race in Auckland during the month of December, but that will all depend on how she goes in Australia first. The superstar trotting filly of last season flew out late last week and, according to her co-trainer David Butt, has settled in well at the Victorian property of Susan Hunter. “She has settled in a treat and her work this morning was great,” enthused Butt. Habibti will be eased into her Australian campaign with an M0 on Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Melton, before she takes on the big fish in next week’s Bill Collins Trotters Mile. “She seems reasonably forward, so I expect her to be very hard to beat on Saturday,” said a bullish Butt. “The plan is to then race her in the Bill Collins Mile next week, followed by the Dullard Trotting Cup and if we are happy with her performances in both of those races she may go via Auckland for their feature trot races on the way home,” explains Butt. Butt has few qualms about Habibti stepping out into the open class ranks, but believes that this Australian campaign will provide her with a good introduction. “It looks a little bit easier than going head-to-head with the likes of Master Lavros, Stent, Peak, and, Stig, straight off the bat” he explains. “Judging by the times she ran last season she should have no problems in open class but you never quite know until you get there,” said Butt. “It’s never easy for a four-year-old trotting mare in open class but, in the saying that, she is a little bit special,” he added. Meanwhile, fellow kiwis Mah Sish and Vulcan will also fly the New Zealand flag at Melton on Saturday. The latter will clash with Habibti in next week’s Bill Collins Mile. “If he can replicate his Australian form from last season he will be hard to beat,” says Butt. “As will Blitzthemcalder if he lines up. They tell me he was pretty impressive in his trial yesterday.” While there is plenty of high class racing coming in from Melton on Saturday, it will be playing second fiddle to Tabcorp Park Menangle, which has a card made up of ten group or listed races, headlined by the $750,000 Miracle Mile. By Mitchell Robertson
Former New Zealand mare Simple Saver, who was sent to New South Wales trainer Kevin Pizutto by Motueka's Dave Neal on the advice of her former trainers' Peter & Leonne Jones, kept her perfect Australian record intact when notching up her seventh straight victory at Tabcorp Park Menangle tonight. The five-year-old daughter of Live Or Die and good producer Debbie Duck, was buzzed off the gate by Josh Willick, who has steered the talented mare to all seven of her Australian victories, before dictating terms in front and kicking too strongly in the stretch to post an impressive time of 1-52.9. The mare that possess great gatespeed has continued to step up since arriving across the ditch and is now likely to compete in the $50,000 Robin Dundee Classic next Saturday on a card which will be made up of ten group or listed races, headlined by the $750,000 Miracle Mile. "Peter (Jones) told me that this mare would do a great job in New South Wales, but I'm not sure of either of us thought she would go this good," explained Neal. "Debbie Duck has been a great producer for me over the years and we rate Simple Saver's younger brother who is by Major In Art a fair bit as well," he added. Simple Saver won three races while trained by Peter and Leonne Jones in New Zealand. Her last start in the country resulted in a third in the Nelson Cup Meanwhile, New Zealand mare Elusive Chick disappointed in the same race, fading to finish sixth after racing outside Simple Saver. By Mitchell Robertson
SEW Eurodrive Miracle Mile starters will not only be racing for the highest prizemoney in Australasia next Saturday night (November 30) but they will also aim for the $50,000 bonus if the track record is lowered. The historic record of 1:48.5 was set by the Tabcorp Park Menangle mile specialist Smoken Up in 2011which was the first time the magical 1:50 mile rate had been broken in the Southern Hemisphere. In recent weeks For A Reason has recorded times of 1:50 and 1:49.4 demonstrating the track with good weather conditions has been perfectly prepared to peak on Miracle Mile night by veteran track curators Owen Mulligan and James Chang and their dedicated team. The prizemoney split for the Miracle Mile is: 1st = $450,000 plus trophies and satin rug; 2nd = $112,500; 3rd = 75,000; 4th = $37,500; 5th = $30,000 and 6th to last = $15,000. There are no nomination/acceptance fees or other deductions from the prizemoney. For further information telephone NSWHRC racing manager David Wonson on 0438 398 251
World Driving Champion Mark Jones has answered an S.O.S from good friend Shane Tritton and will travel from New Zealand to Australia to drive Mach Beauty in Saturday night’s Cordina Sprint at Tabcorp Park Menangle. Jones won the 2003 World Drivers’ Championship in Canada and as recently as last week drove Dominion Trot winner Master Lavros. “Mark is a great driver, I stayed with him in New Zealand when I had Suave Stuey Lombo over there for the New Zealand Cup and when Lauren (Panella regular stable driver) was suspended I decided to get the best replacement I could find,” Tritton said. “The plan is for Mark to fly in on Friday to drive at Newcastle and then he will take the drive on Mach Beauty on Saturday night, the plan is to fly Mark back and forth this week and again on Miracle Mile night, I’m very happy that he has made himself available for my stable.”Tritton acknowledged that a number of the leading drivers in Sydney had already committed to other stables in the feature races which forced him to think outside the square. “Most of the good drivers already have their particular horses for other stables, Mark drove for me in New Zealand recently, I’ve known him for a few years and have actually bought a couple of horses off him in the past so our friendship goes back a few years.” Saturday night will be the last chance for Mach Beauty to push for a spot in the Miracle Mile and Tritton is happy with how his stable star has coped after a short but tough campaign. “I’m happy with how Mach Beauty has pulled up from Saturday night, he ran a blistering first quarter on the wet track and was still giving his all at the end of the race.” “I think the first up run may have taken a little bit more out of him than I originally thought but I think he has shown everyone that he wouldn’t be out of place in a race like a Miracle Mile after his two runs in the past fortnight.” Courtesy of Harness Racing NSW
New Zealand Cup runner up Fly Like An Eagle has soared into Sydney and will attempt to qualify for the Miracle Mile by winning Saturday night's Cordina Sprint at Tabcorp Park Menangle. Trainer Paul Fitzpatrick welcomed the Kaikoura Cup winner into his stable on Tuesday and is hoping for a strong showing this weekend. "I can't really do much in such a short time, I have had a good chat with former trainer Mark Purdon and he has given me a good idea of what I am dealing with, he has joined my stable in peak form," Fitzpatrick said. "Something similar happened with Auckland Reactor during his career, unfortunately not everything went to plan with him but after Fly Like An Eagle drew so well on Saturday night I'm expecting a pretty big effort." Fitzpatrick confirmed that he knew for nearly a fortnight that Fly Like An Eagle would be joining his stable for a shot at the Miracle Mile. "The horse has been bought to send to America and John Curtin is the agent for the sale, he spoke with me a couple of weeks ago and mentioned there was a possibility that Fly Like An Eagle would be coming across, I'm not too sure how long he will stay here for but I think they might be keen to target some of the bigger Victorian races as well." Meanwhile Fitzpatrick is hoping Lous Lad can continue on his winning way this weekend after scoring back to back victories since resuming from a break. "I hadn't really planned on a Miracle Mile campaign with him because he has always just been below the very best ones but I'm really pleased with how he has come back since the spell and in the back of my mind has always been the Bohemia Crystal Free For All on Miracle Mile night." "He hasn't taken any harm from the run on Saturday night on the wet track, his recovery was very good but it is going to mean that he will have four runs in the space of four weeks." Courtesy of Harness Racing New South Wales
Two time Miracle Mile winner Smoken Up will return to Tabcorp Park Menangle for the eleventh time in his career when he competes in the Cordina Sprint on Saturday night. In his previous ten trips to Menangle he has won seven times and has been placed at his other three attempts and according to trainer Lance Justice the eleven year old is as good as he can be. "The only problem I have going into Saturday night is the draw, I'm confident he is ready to perform up to his best, he isn't a young horse anymore but he still gives everything he has when he races," Justice said. "He hasn't been able to draw an alley recently in the random barrier draws but that happens so he will just have to do it a bit tougher than he would have had he drawn barrier one or two." Smoken Up will carry saddlecloth number eleven but with the emergency runners out he will start from barrier nine. The last time the son of Tinted Cloud drew wide at Menangle was in the 2011 Len Smith Mile when he blasted out from the outside gate to record the Australasian mile record of 1:48.5. "A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since then, it is like asking a sixty five or seventy year old man to be competing against the young blokes, it won't be easy but I wouldn't swap him for any of his rivals." "The plan was to give him a shot at the Cordina Sprint because that would allow me to give him two weeks between runs after the Legends at Melton, it has turned out to be the right decision because that was a very tough run after another tough draw." Justice would like Smoken Up to be given another chance to race in a Miracle Mile after winning the race in 2010 and 2011. "He missed the Miracle Mile earlier this year but he is over the issues he had and it would be nice for him to have another shot at the race in an attempt to win it for a third time." "There is no doubt he will love getting back to Menangle, he has never put in a bad run there yet." Courtesy of Harness Racing NSW
HE might not be favourite for the SEW Eurodrive Miracle Mile, but there are plenty who would love to be driving Beautide when he lines up in the $750,000 sprint at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday week. The Tasmanian sensation warmed up for the biggest assignment of his career with an almost carefree trial hitout at Menangle on Tuesday afternoon, making short work of a couple of rivals as he cruised around the Miracle Mile journey in a leisurely 1:53.4. Beautide (James Rattray) quickly worked to the front and went through the first split of the mile in 27.8 seconds before Rattray backed off the speed with a 29.9 second split. He then began to up the ante with a third quarter of 28.2 before coming home with his best split yet, 27.5 seconds to win untouched by almost 11-metres from Mach Wiper (Luke McCarthy) with Rupeeno Cullen (Darren Keast) a distant third. Rattray knows he won’t be allowed to get away with a leisurely quarter like that second one on Saturday week against the best pacers in Australasia. Yet he also knows his charge will be as fit as hands can make him and will run the race of his life against a champion field of contenders who have already acquitted themselves in Miracle Miles, New Zealand Cups and Inter Dominion Championships. Beautide – and the rest of Tasmania - will be ready for them. For further information telephone NSWHRC racing manager David Wonson on 0438 398 251.
One of the best SEW Eurodrive Miracle Miles in recent years now looks a formality on Saturday week after some of harness racing’s big guns set their sights on winning this weekend’s $100,000 Cordina Chicken Farms Sprint at Tabcorp Park Menangle. Boom former Kiwi Ideal Scott will line up against former Miracle Mile winners Smoken Up and Baby Bling as well as New Zealand Cup improvers Fly Like An Eagle and Caribbean Blaster over the Miracle Mile track and distance in an effort to earn automatic qualification for the elite sprint. Those already qualified or invited to contest the big race are Beautide, Im Victorious, Christen Me, Terror To Love and Saturday night’s Coca-Cola Sprint winner Restrepo. Saturday night’s winner earns an automatic invitation – while the losing connections will have to cross their fingers and hope the directors of the NSW Harness Racing Club are feeling generous. The field, in barrier order, for this weekend’s Group One Cordina Sprint is: No. HORSE DRIVER 1 Mister Presley (2nd em) 2 Abettorpunt Matthew Craven 3 Fly Like An Eagle Gavin Fitzpatrick 4 Ideal Scott Luke McCarthy 5 Gaius Caesar Darren Binskin 6 Field Officer (1st em) Grant Dixon 7 Forever Gold Darren Weeks 8 Mach Beauty Mark Jones 9 Caribbean Blaster Kate Gath 10 Terrorway John McCarthy 11 Smoken Up Lance Justice 12 Baby Bling Mat Rue By Sean Vella
HE was all the rage from down south and Restrepo lived up to his reputation to beat the favourite in tonight’s Coca-Cola Amatil Sprint at Tabcorp Park Menangle. In what was described as a nail-biting finish, Restrepo held off Sydney glamour pacer For A Reason by the narrowest of margins to earn his spot in the SEW Eurodrive Miracle Mile field on November 30. After landing in an early speed battle with Mach Beauty, astute reinsman Gavin Lang eased Restrepo behind the leader, later proving to be the winning move as the first quarter was run in a slick 26.8s on the wet track. Around the home turn Lang angled the five-year-old into the clear where he fought off a late challenge by For A Reason (Luke McCarthy), who made his move from the one-one. With only a neck separating the pair over the line, the closing quarter was 27.1s resulting in a mile rate of 1:54.5 for the $100,000 Group One. Fellow Victorian Bitobliss ran on well to finish third after having one crack at them while Mach Beauty faded into fourth. Restrepo now joins Im Victorious, Newcastle Mile winner Beautide, as well as New Zealand Cup winner Terror To Love and the third placed Christen Me into what is already become a stellar Miracle Mile line up. Restrepo also kicked off a great string of success for Lang and trainer Emma Stewart on the night. They also partnered together to win a heat of the Mount Eden with Guaranteed and a heat of the Chokin Championship with the unbeaten Yankee Rockstar.
WITH tonight’s Coca-Cola Amatil Sprint being the focus of attention leading up to the Miracle Mile, Harness Racing New South Wales Stewards this morning placed security guards on four of the horses engaged in the $100,000 Group One. Favored runners For A Reason, Restrepo, Field Officer and Gaius Caesar were all placed under surveillance. The HRNSW Integrity division is regarded as the most proactive in Australasia and the move can only install confidence in the concept of fair racing opportunities for all horses racing in the number one state. Meanwhile, Miracle Mile invitee Christen Me has been given the all clear after sustaining a heel cut in the New Zealand Free For All yesterday afternoon, won by veteran Pembrook Benny. Christen Me baulked at a dislodged marker peg and went into a wild gallop early in the FFA in which he finished close up behind the placegetters after handing in the run of the race. The winner of tonight’s Coca-Cola Amatil Sprint will receive an invitation to contest the $750,000 SEW Eurodrive Miracle Mile on November 30. For the first time in Miracle Mile history, however, the Directors of the NSWHRC, who issue the invitations for the Miracle Mile, will meet tonight to discuss the prospects of the other runners in the Coca-Cola Amatil Sprint progressing to the great race. Opinions vary between trainers as to the best preparation for horses leading into the Australasian sprint championship - either a clear period to prepare for the Miracle Mile or a start the week before. In the past connections have not been given any indication as to their prospects prior to committing to next week’s $100,000 Cordina Sprint or leaving their horse’s chances to the Directors decision. This move by the Club will assist those connections with horses on the cusp of an invitation. The Group One Coca Cola Sprint will be run at Tabcorp Park Menangle tonight at 8.15pm.