News

The hard way

By Michael Guerin

If Tiger Tara is going to complete pacing’s Triple Crown at Menangle on Saturday he is going to have to do it the hard way.

 After capturing both the Inter Dominion and Hunter Cup this summer the NSW pacer will try to add the A$1million Miracle Mile to give him a sweep of Australia’s three most prestigious races.

 But this time there is likely to be a huge difference as the great stallion could struggle to secure his favoured pacemaking role.

 In both of his major wins this season and also the Victoria Cup in October, Tiger Tara was able to lead and driver Todd McCarthy able to increase the tempo over the last 1200m, particularly in the section between the 800m and 400m to get his rivals gasping.

 But his chances of dictating in the Mile on Saturday night look slim after he drew barrier seven with most of his favoured rivals drawn inside him.

  Poster Boy, winner of the Chariots of Fire nine days ago came up with the ace draw while Thefixer, who surprisingly divebombed Tiger Tara with sheer speed in beating him in a prelude at Menangle on Saturday night, has barrier two.

Add in the wild card entry of Chase Auckland at three and Saturday night’s other Mile prelude winner Spankem from barrier six (after likely scratchings) and Tiger Tara not only has a lot of horses who will want to park him out but also some very quick sit-sprinters who could be sitting around him.

 The end result is the Tiger Tara is only on the third line of betting at $4.60 alongside Chase Auckland while Poster Boy heads the TAB market at $3.60 and Thefixer at $3.80.

Thefixer was superb on Saturday as was Spankem while Chase Auckland snuck into the race after winning race two and because the two third placegetters in the Mile preludes were not deemed to be strong candidates.

Thefixer will have co-trainer Natalie Rasmussen in the sulky even though she copped an eight-week suspension on Saturday night for her drive on Chase Auckland in the Chariots Of Fire a week earlier.

Most importantly her suspension doesn’t start until after this week’s meeting so she is free to drive Thefixer, with Mark Purdon will drive Spankem and Luke McCarthy on Chase Auckland.

 Other big winners in the draws for Saturday’s star-studded meeting were Centenario in the NSW Derby and returning NZ star filly Our Princess Tiffany in the NSW Oaks.

And Dream About Me will start from the ace draw in the A$200,000 Ladyship Mile in which pre-draw favourite Tell Me Tales fared terribly in the copping the outside of the front line.

 The field for the $1million Ainsworth Miracle Mile is.—- Poster Boy (1), Thefixer (2), Chase Auckland (3), Yayas Hot Spot (4), Our Uncle Sam (5), My Alpha Rock (6), Spankem (7), Tiger Tara (8), My Field Marshal (9), Cruz Bromac (10). Ems: Our Uncle Sam, Cruz Bromac.