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A skeletal scinitgraphy bone scan test has revealed some general joint issues could be affecting last season’s Trotter of the Year, Master Lavros. Overport Lodge trainer Mark Jones sent the giant Sundon gelding to Matamata to undergo the scinitraphy test after Master Lavros mixed his gait in his early racing this season. The test, which results in the production of two-dimensional images after the internal administration of a radiopharmaceutical dye imaging agent, found signs of general wear and tear in his front joints and stifles. “The report said to just carry on with him,” Mark said. “So we will treat him with irap, then swim him for a few weeks and carry on as it’s a thing that has to be managed and a long spell won’t fix.” “I would love to get back to the Glenferrie Challenge with him,” he said. The Glenferrie Farm Challenge is a $A200,000 Group One trot staged at Tabcorp Park, Menangle, New South Wales, on March 1. Mark was hugely disappointed Master Lavros broke stride at the start of this year’s Glenferrie Challenge over 1609m, after trialling boldly in the lead-up. Master Lavros returned to New Zealand, regaining his best in the NZ Trotting Championship and Cannam Rowe Cup, before being spelled. Mark is keen to show Australia trot fans what Master Lavros can do when he’s in form. Master Lavros, only six, has raced 36 times for 15 wins, earning $358,646 in stakes for owner Kypros Kotzikas. Courtesy Of Mark Jones Racing Stables - Check site here

Does the mobile go faster in the Miracle Mile than it does for other harness racing events at Tabcorp Park Menangle?  Harness Racing New South Wales chairman of stewards Reid Sanders has declared there will be no direction for the mobile to go faster than it has during the previous fortnight for the Coca-Cola and Cordina Sprints. “There is no intention to drive the mobile any faster than the normal,” Sander said. “Starter Todd Clarke will be instructed to have the mobile at a similar speed to the two lead up races.” That statement has pleased trainer Shane Tritton who believes Suave Stuey Lombo will be suited by those conditions. Tritton also has Easy On The Eye engaged in the Grand Circuit event. “I had Mach Beauty in the Miracle Mile last year, he drew three, and despite being such a fast beginner, he had no hope of crossing For A Reason and Smoken Up drawn inside him because they were all going at top speed to stay with the mobile,” Tritton declared. “He had no chance to accelerate like he normally would have. “Despite drawing gate seven in this year’s Miracle Mile, Suave Stuey Lombo should be able to do his usual thing and fire out from the barrier and take up a good position. “I envisage Easy On The Eye leading, with Stuey outside him, and that would be perfect.” Tritton will instruct drivers Lauren Panella behind Suave Stuey Lombo and David Morris, who will partner Easy On The Eye, to keep the speed on in an attempt to unsettle their rivals. “Beautide is the best horse in the race, and if the winning time is slower than 1:50.5, he will win,” Tritton said. “He will be too classy for every other runner. “He has proved it before, so we need to take him out of his comfort zone and set up a fast tempo and force him to chase. “People are forgetting Suave Stuey Lombo has sat in the ‘death seat’ at Menangle and broken 1:50 for the mile, so that will be the plan again.” GREG HAYES

 Forgotten New Zealand pacer Easy On The Eye all of a sudden holds the key to the A$750,000 Miracle Mile. And as tends to be the case with Sydney’s most famous pacing race, the war of words has begun early ahead of Saturday’s monster clash. Christen Me and Terror To Love will represent New Zealand in the Mile, with the former having been heavily backed in Australia since markets opened on Sunday. But it is Easy On The Eye who has emerged as a key player in how the Menangle dash for cash will play out. The former Steven Reid-trained pacer, good enough to finish second in the New Zealand Free-For-All last season, was purchased just two months ago by clients of leading NSW trainer Shane Tritton, who has a remarkable record with improving horses. He won a minor race at Newcastle two starts ago and then led before going down to Mile favourite Beautide and Guaranteed last start. That was deemed good enough to earn him a Mile and now he has drawn barrier one, Tritton is declaring he will lead Saturday’s race. “He is super-fast off the gate and if he leads we won’t be handing up,” says Tritton. “I know Avonnova next to us is a fast beginner but we will hold him and I am 95 per cent sure he will be in front.” While it is still hard to see Easy On The Eye beating the likes of Beautide and Christen Me, his mere presence in the race makes life harder for free-legged pacer Avonnova, who would have loved to have led. But more important will be how things pan out for Easy On The Eye’s stablemate Suave Stuey Lombo. He has paced three of the fastest four miles at Menangle in the last year and if he ran to the front on Saturday night he would take a world of catching. So is Tritton bluffing, hoping to hold the lead with Easy On The Eye only to hand it over to Suave Stuey Lombo as soon as he can? Impossible to tell. But any suspicion of that will have rival drivers worried in what could become a very expensive game of cat and mouse. What does look assured is a very fast early section of the race which could easily set up the first sub 1:50 Miracle Mile and that would help the New Zealand pair. Terror To Love is likely to have to come from last so is deservedly $26 in Australia and even $18 in New Zealand, remarkable odds for a horse who was $2.50 to win the New Zealand Cup just 15 days ago. But Christen Me has been backed in from $5 to $4.50 since the draw came out and he is one of the few New Zealand-trained pacers who actually seems to race better at Menangle. With the prospect of speed up front, a good draw and his record on the track, he has emerged as Beautide’s biggest danger and a good chance to give New Zealand our first Miracle Mile since Monkey King in 2009 and only the second in 14 years. Courtesy Of Michael Guerin - Harness Racing New Zealand

This weekends $750,000 Miracle Mile is one of the most sought after races on the Australasian harness racing calendar and as you would expect with a race of that statue it has drawn an outstanding field. Most Australians would tell you that the race is all but over before it starts with Beautide nigh on unbeatable from barrier three. Australian and New Zealand bookmakers have responded to the draw of three for Beautide by making him a $1:80 favourite with Christen Me varying from $4:50 - $4:80. We don't think that is an accurate reflection of where the two horses are because we don't think that there is anything between the two superstars.  Last year from barrier five Christen Me worked to the death and was a sitting duck for Beautide who raced three back on the inner. His run was every bit as good as the winner and Christen Me went on to be crowned Grand Circuit champion via his Hunter Cup win after again sitting parked. Christen Me only met Beautide once outside the Miracle Mile and that was in the Victorian Cup where he beat him home after settling behind him in the running and still being behind him at the quarter pole. Last year Christen Me was coming into the Miracle Mile off a disappointing run in the New Zealand Cup where he ran third after a soft run and a wild gallop in the NZFFA. This year Christen Me put in an outstanding run in the New Zealand Cup after missing away from a stand and then dealt to the opposition in the NZFFA. In cold and windy conditions, Christen Me ran the 1950 metres in 2:18.4, a mile rate of 1:54.1 with closing sectionals of 54.9 and 27.4 which was just outside the New Zealand record set by Auckland Reactor in perfect conditions.  So Christen Me goes into the Miracle Mile right in the zone on a track where he has had three runs over a mile for two wins and a second. For Dalgety the draw could not have been too much better with Christen Me drawing directly outside Beautide. "We would just love to get to the two out line and let them do their stuff." "Sure we'd love to lead but even though it is only a mile it is going to be a stamina test so you end up  being a sitting duck when you are top ending in that calibre of field," Cran said. Christen Me flew into Sydney last Friday without any problems but Cran thought the current heatwave may be a slight concern. " Murray Howard took him across and we are stabled with Blake Fitzpatrick" "Christen Me is in super shape although the 42 degrees is a bit hot," Cran said Cran has been adament all season that Christen Me is a lot better horse with that initial season on the Grand Circuit under his belt and that he has come back bigger and better. Everything points to Christen Me giving Beautide one hell of a race on Saturday night. We think he is a real chance to upstage Beautide and those odds are just way to tempting. Harnesslink Media

Harness racing superstar Beautide is has been installed an odds-on favourite to retain his Miracle Mile crown at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night. With the draw for the SEW-Eurodrive sponsored event conducted just moments ago, TAB responded by cutting Beautide’s price to $1.75. Earlier this week the James Rattray-trained gelding was $2.60 on Fixed Odds markets. Drawn well in barrier three, Beautide is aiming to become just the seventh Miracle Mile winner to successfully defend his crown since the Group One’s inauguration in 1967 when annexed by wonder mare, Robin Dundee. Former champion Westbrun Grant was the ground breaker with his wins in 1989 and ’90, followed by Chokin (’93-’94), Holmes D G (1999, 2000), Sokyola (’03-’04), Be Good Johnny (’05-’06) and Smoken Up (’10-’11). Village Kid is the only other dual winner of the prestigious sprint, having scored in 1986 and ’87. The Western Australian’s victories were split by Master Mood when two Miracle Miles were conducted in 1986. New Zealand star Christen Me is the second elect at $5 after receiving barrier four. A member of the Cran Dalgety stable, Christen Me was runner-up behind Beautide in last year’s edition of the Grand Circuit event. Christen Me is by 1998 Miracle Mile champion Christian Cullen, with no winner of the prestigious sprint producing a subsequent winner. On the opposite end of the scale, fellow Kiwi pacer, Terror To Love, is the rank outsider at $21 after drawing gate 10. The son of Western Terror slots into eight with the removal of the emergencies. Miracle Mile field in barrier order and TAB Fixed Odds: Easy On The Eye  $16 Avonova    $12 Beautide    $1.75 Christen Me    $5 For A Reason    $6.5 Chariot King   (2nd emerg) Guaranteed    $7.5 Suave Stuey Lombo    $12 Bettor Bet Black    (Emerg) Terror To Love    $21 PAUL COURTS

The field for harness racing’s ultimate speed test, next week’s Miracle Mile, has been announced. Selectors finalised the line-up last night following the Cordina Sprint, which was taken out in easy fashion Suave Stuey Lombo. Thanks to his victory in the Group One, Suave Stuey Lombo gained automatic entry into the Grand Circuit event on November 29. With two positions remaining, directors at Menangle issued invites to boom Victorian, Guaranteed, and local pacer Easy On The Eye. Guaranteed and Easy On The Eye filled the placings behind defending Miracle Mile champion, Beautide, in last week’s Coca-Cola Sprint, which was won in 1:50.4. Easy On The Eye is a Shane Tritton-trained stablemate of Suave Stuey Lombo, which stopped the clock in 1:52. The trio join Avonnova, Beautide, Christen Me, For A Reason and Terror To Love in the time-honoured event. Beautide is aiming to become just the seventh Miracle Mile winner to successfully defend his crown since the feature’s inauguration in 1967 when annexed by wonder mare, Robin Dundee. Former champion Westbrun Grant was the ground breaker with his wins in 1989 and ’90, followed by Chokin (’93-’94), Holmes D G (1999, 2000), Sokyola (’03-’04), Be Good Johnny (’05-’06) and Smoken Up (’10-’11). Village Kid is the only other dual winner of the prestigious sprint, having scored in 1986 and ’87. The Western Australian’s victories were split by Master Mood when two Miracle Miles were conducted in 1986. TAB has released a Fixed Odds Market, with Beautide the pre-draw favourite at $2.40, with Christen Me the second elect at $4.50. Christen Me was runner-up behind Beautide in last year’s edition of the Miracle Mile. PAUL COURTS

Noted speedster Suave Stuey Lombo has sealed his position in harness racing’s premier sprint – SEW-Eurodrive Miracle Mile. The Shane Tritton-trained gelding joined Avonnova, Beautide, Christen Me, For A Reason and Terror To Love in the elite field with his victory in tonight’s Cordina Sprint at Menangle – home of the Miracle Mile. Selectors will announce the balance of the line-up for the November 29 showdown after assessing each contender’s prospects. As for Suave Stuey Lombo, he worked his way into the Grand Circuit event with a stylish display by leading throughout from barrier eight. Driven aggressively by Lauren Panella, Suave Stuey Lombo was pushed forward to wrestle the lead from Bettor Bet Black, which found the front from gate seven. Given a ‘breather’ during the middle stages, the son of Bettors Delight was never seriously challenged as he dashed to a soft win from Bettor Bet Black and Mark Dennis. “After he got to the front he did it pretty easily,” Tritton said. “It was a good blowout for next week’s main event.” With the final 800 metres run in a slick 54.8 seconds, Suave Stuey Lombo covered the mile in 1:52. Boasting three of the four fastest race miles during the past six months, Suave Stuey Lombo is ready to run a personal best in the Miracle Mile according to Tritton. Last September Suave Stuey Lombo trialled in an astonishing 1:49.2, with his time the second fastest recorded in Australasia and the second occasion the seven-year-old has broken the magical 1:50 mark. Dual Miracle Mile winner, Smoken Up, became the first standardbred in the Southern Hemisphere to better 1:50 when he captured the 2011 Len Smith Mile at Menangle. The son of Tinted Cloud set the benchmark with a brilliant 1:48.5 for trainer-driver, Lance Justice. Comeback pacer For A Reason stopped the clock at 1:49.4 last November, before Smoken Up did it again with his 1:49.9 three weeks later. Suave Stuey Lombo covered the mile in 1:49.6 last June. “He is in perfect condition and will be primed and ready for next week,” Tritton declared. “I’m tipping which ever horse wins the Miracle Mile they will have to better 1:50. “It won’t be a surprise is Smoken Up’s record is broken.” PAUL COURTS

Harness racing fans worldwide can watch the Miracle Mile barrier draw as it unfolds on Sunday. With the remainder of the invitations to the Grand Circuit event expected to be extended on Saturday night, the draw will be conducted during the popular luncheon at Tabcorp Park Menangle the following afternoon. Officials have announced the draw will be streamed via the Trots TV section of as of 12:15. As it stands, three positions are still up for grabs with the winner of Saturday night’s Cordina Sprint guaranteed a position in the elite field. Defending champion Beautide was the first invited and will be joined in the November 29 showdown by Avonnova, For A Reason, Terror To Love and Christen Me. PAUL COURTS

A year ago owner Zac Cornell was less than two metres away from winning the Cordina Sprint when his talented harness racing performer Mach Beauty was defeated by dual Miracle Mile winner Smoken Up. Come Saturday night, Cornell and his partners Adrian Bau and Brian Dohnt will be hoping another of their horses, Suave Stuey Lombo, can go one better this year’s edition of the Group One at Menangle. Victory will also ensure Suave Stuey Lombo earns a berth in the Miracle Mile the following week. “Mach Beauty went so close last year and we were all so proud of him, but it would be great to win the Cordina Sprint this year with Suave Stuey Lombo,” Cornell said. “There has been a lot of talk about the Miracle Mile the following week, but as far as I am concerned the horse has to perform this week first. “If he can get the job done this week then he will deserve his spot in the Miracle Mile the following week.” Suave Stuey Lombo was unplaced behind Avonnova in the Newcastle Mile a fortnight ago but Cornell is looking forward to seeing the son of Bettors Delight back at his favourite track - Tabcorp Park Menangle. “Yeah after the Newcastle Mile we thought Suave Stuey Lombo might be better suited on the bigger track at Menangle, we were a little bit disappointed after the race, not with the horse or his performance because he couldn’t have done anymore, it was more the result,” Cornell declared. “Shane (Tritton, trainer) is happy with how he has recovered since the run. He has drawn a little bit wide this week in the Cordina, but everyone knows his racing pattern now and Lauren (Panella, driver) will be pressing forward in an attempt to lead.” Cornell is looking forward to Mach Beauty’s return, with the Victoria and Hunter Cups high on the agenda. “That’s the plan with Mach Beauty, but he was carrying a lot of weight when he returned to Shane’s, so he may not be ready,” Cornell explained. “If he isn’t then he will be aimed at the Inter Dominion again.” GREG HAYES

Menangle harness racing trainer Darren McCall was very confident Bettor Bet Black would win last weekend and believes the pacer deserves his chance in this Saturday night’s Cordina Sprint at Tabcorp Park Menangle.  McCall was pleased for the gelding’s owners, who also bred the son of Bettors Delight, and would love nothing more to capture a Group One for them. “I am really pleased for the Vagg family, they bred Bettor Bet Black and they breed plenty of horses each year,” McCall said. “They are great people and the industry would be a much better one if there were more people like the Vaggs in it. I think they have got seven yearlings again this season, it shows how much they have invested in the sport.” Bettor Bet Black has a reputation as being a ‘flyer’ off the gate, and after drawing barrier seven, McCall has no doubt he will lead in the early stages. “I’ve crossed Suave Stuey Lombo before with Bettor Bet Black in Melbourne, and we have drawn inside Suave Stuey Lombo this week, so I’m not too worried about being crossed early,” McCarll declared. “I handed over two runs back, but held the lead last start, but that was all to do with Bettor Bet Black’s fitness. “It has taken me longer than usual to get him fully fit, he came back this time carrying a lot more weight than normal and he has needed a few more runs to reach peak fitness.” McCall believes Bettor Bet Black has matured mentally this year. “He has always been a handful especially when he was at the racetrack, but he does seems a little more mature this preparation,” McCall said. “He loves routine and seems to handle everything if he is expecting it. “Win, lose or draw this Saturday night he has qualified for the Smoken Up Championship Final with his win last weekend, so he will be backing up again next week.” GREG HAYES

Talented harness racing youngster Big Spending Telf outgunned the Sydneysiders on their home soil for Victorian horseman Michael Stanley last Saturday night. The son of Changeover, which appears rich with intestinal fortitude, sat in the ‘death seat’ during the Chokin Championship heat before overpowering the leader, Quagmire, leaving the back straight. Digging deep during the latter stages, Big Spending Telf staved off a determined Kilcullen to score by two metres in 1:54.2 over a mile. “There was a bit of rain in the race before and he did all the work in the run and held them off, so he did a really good job,” Stanley said. “We’ll see what happens in the heat next week, but hopefully he can go into the Final and repeat the performance there.” Stanley stated Big Spending Telf’s biggest asset was a seemingly endless supply of stamina, but added the half-brother to Magical Telf is also blessed with plenty of speed. “There’s a lot of bottom to him. Not a lot of three-year-olds can sustain the effort like he can for as long as he can,” Stanley declared. Big Spending Telf has won four of his six starts for prizemoney of $15,750. Meanwhile, Stanley’s other runners for the night both ran big races. Blucolla Tigerpie finished third in the Campbelltown Catholic Club Ladyship Pace won fellow Victorian Beauty Secret in 1:52.4. “She was not as sharp as she was first-up which makes me think that run might have taken the edge off her a bit,” Stanley said. “But they went 52 and she was off the track the last 600 and hit the line hard, so she’s ready to win soon. “I think she’ll take far more benefit from this run than she did the first-up one.” Hilltop Hustler also performed admirably in the Group 1 Coca Cola Amatil Sprint over 1609 metres. After racing towards the tail of the field, Hilltop Hustler found the line strongly to finish sixth behind Beautide, which stopped the clock in 1:50.4. “He just needs a couple of runs against this type of opposition to pick up the tempo of these races,” Stanley said. “The way he hit the line was really good. I’m really proud of him.” HRV Media

Harness racing’s comeback King – For A Reason – is the fourth confirmed acceptor to the famed Miracle Mile. Directors of the New South Wales Harness Racing Club announced the pacer’s pass early this morning based on his recent Queensland Pacing Championship win and third in last Tuesday’s New Zealand Cup. Australasia’s fastest stallion, For A Reason boasts a best time of 1:49.4, which he established at Menangle – home of the Miracle Mile – last season. The Miracle Mile conditions states horses facing the difficulties of travel which may affect their performance in the Miracle Mile may be issued an invitation prior to Monday’s close of nominations for the Cordina Sprint. Given he has just finished a trip across the Tasman, For A Reason fits this criteria. Despite his gallant second behind Beautide in last night’s Coca-Cola Sprint, Victorian star Guaranteed has not been granted a ‘golden ticket’ in the Grand Circuit gem. “Unfortunately we cannot issue an invitation to any horses from tonight’s Coca-Cola Amatil Sprint until next week,” NSWHRC chief executive Bruce Christison said. “Directors issued an invitation to For A Reason tonight and are still considering a couple of other horses that are in New Zealand.” Defending champion Beautide was the first invited, with Avonnova earning a berth with his Newcastle Mile triumph last week. Club Directors then offered New Zealand Cup winner, Adore Me, a position in the elite field, with connections deciding to bypass the prestigious event. Second in last year’s Miracle Mile, Christen Me was given the opportunity to go one better thanks to his New Zealand Free-For-All success last Friday. PAUL COURTS

He has broken 1:50 around Tabcorp Park Menangle before and now For A Reason will get his chance to do it again in the harness racing SEW Eurodrive Miracle Mile on November 29. The glamour pacer earned an invitation to the $750,000 Grand Circuit event tonight. Following his stellar third-placed performance in Tuesday's Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup, Directors of the New South Wales Harness Racing Club wanted the multiple Group One-winner for their flagship event. Defending champion Beautide was the first to be issued an invitation to the 2014 edition and after taking out tonight's automatic qualifier at the principal track, the Coca-Cola Amatil Sprint, it gave NSWHRC Directors the opportunity to issue another invitation. The Miracle Mile conditions states that horses facing the difficulties of travel which may affect their performance in the Miracle Mile may be issued an invitation prior to the close of nominations for the Cordina Sprint (Monday). And luckily for connections, For A Reason fits this criteria. "Unfortunately we cannot issue an invitation to any horses from tonight's Coca-Cola Amatil Sprint until next week" NSWHRC chief executive Bruce Christison said. "Directors issued an invitation to For A Reason tonight and are still considering a couple of other horses that are in New Zealand" Only two other horses apart from Beautide and For A Reason have accepted invitations to the 2014 Miracle Mile and they are Newcastle Mile winner Avonnova and Kiwi star Christen Me. For more information contact NSWHRC Racing Manager David Wonson on (02) 4645 2200.

Construction on the highly anticipated Menangle Park Harness Racing Training Centre commenced this week. Earth moving equipment from TRN Group arrived at the site, which joins to the south of the Tabcorp Park Menangle to start the construction of the training track and building pads. The Training Centre has received multiple expressions of interest from local, interstate and overseas trainers and will include stables, a 1000-metre training track, day yards, water walker and a swimming facility. “It is very pleasing that we have finally broken soil on this project which anyone can imagine has been a lengthy process gaining local council and service utilities approval,” said HRNSW CEO John Dumesny. “We have the expectation that construction of the barns will commence early in the new year with occupation expected shortly thereafter.” Dumesny stated the training centre will complete the world class facility at Menangle Park. “Included in this development is a new access intersection off Menangle road which will service the training centre and race track in future years,” Dumesny said. HRNSW Media

Each runner drawn for tomorrow night’s Coca Cola Amatil Sprint have arrived at Harness Racings New South Wales’s Retention Barn at Tabcorp Park Menangle. Due at Menangle by 11 o’clock this morning, many of the connections decided to arrive early with scorching weather predictions of nearly 40 degrees scheduled today. Trainer Scott Stewart, who prepares Bitoblisss, travelled overnight from Victoria and arrived the earliest. “We got here nice and early and I gave him a look at the track,” Stewart said. “He’s travelled nicely and I’m happy with the set up with the retention facility.” Another Victorian mentor, David Lewis, is also impressed with the facility. Lewis trains Group One winning pacer, Abettorpunt. “I’m very happy, it looks very comforting for the horses and that’s the main thing,” Lewis said. HRNSW’s Manger Integrity and Chairman of Stewards Reid Sanders has been pleased with the Retention Barn since its inception at this year’s Inter Dominion. “We’ve been able to use it a few times now and we are more than happy with the way it has progressed,” Reid said. “With the assistance of Owen Mulligan, Jimmy Chang and the team at Menangle we have been able to make it a smooth transition for all concerned.” The Group One $100,000 Coca Cola Amatil Sprint is race seven on tomorrow night’s stellar program. HRNSW Media

On face value the draw for Menangle on Saturday night hasn’t been kind to harness racing’s boom pacer Guaranteed. Receiving barrier seven in the Coca-Cola Sprint, Guaranteed slots into five with the removal of the emergency for co-trainers Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin. A brilliant winner of his three starts this season, Guaranteed – along with fellow Victorians Abettorpunt, Bitobliss and Hilltop Hustler – has been sent across the Murray in a bid to secure a Miracle Mile berth. Australasia’s premier sprint, the Miracle Mile is scheduled to be run on November 29. While five can be considered an awkward draw, co-owner Mark Thompson believes the starting position “shouldn’t really have an effect” in the Group One. “I don’t think he is favoured by an inside draw anyway as he doesn’t get away all that quickly,” Thompson said. “If anything, he will get out better when a little wider out. “Given he doesn’t have blistering gate speed, the draw isn’t the be all and end all, so it shouldn’t really have an effect on him overall.” To be driven by master reinsman Gavin Lang, Guaranteed is no stranger to feature race glory at the world class venue. Successful in the Tatlow Stake as a two-year-old, the son of Artsplace won a Derby heat at three before capturing the Mount Eden Championship and Chariots Of Fire at four. The latter performance – widely-regarded as the greatest victory in the prestigious event – was the day Guaranteed proved he is a Grand Circuit contender in the making according to Thompson. “From the time he made his debut he has shown a lot of promise, and delivered on it, but in the Chariots he really showed what he is capable of,” Thompson said. “That said, people still see him as a big, strong horse, but under estimate his speed. When he gets the chance to follow and come off the pace, you’ll see how quickly he can sprint.” Aware of the high expectations surrounding the stallion, Thompson declared Guaranteed’s career won’t be defined on his first attempt at the highest level. “No doubt if he doesn’t run well plenty of knockers will come out, but I’m not worried about that,” Thompson said. “This is another step up for him and there is no doubt he will put in a good run….he won’t disgrace himself. “If you take a really hard look at the Grand Circuit races, more often than not it the horse which gets the best run that wins, so like all of them we’ll need a bit of luck. “Smoken Up is the perfect example of that…he did a power of work in his races and on many occasions got beaten right on the line by a horse that had the better run and luck. “If things go his way, again like most of them, he will go very close.” PAUL COURTS

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