An unusual problem
By Michael Guerin
The defending champion may have an unusual problem in Saturday’s A$1million Ainsworth Miracle Mile.
Because trainer Tim Butt believes the field of hotshots may not go fast enough to suit Australasian mile record holder My Field Marshal.
My Field Marshal came from near last to win a supersonic Miracle Mile last year in an Australasian record 1:46.9, in the ten fastest miles in the history of harness racing.
But while Saturday’s field contains local hero Tiger Tara, New Zealand Cup winner Thefixer and new superstar Poster Boy, Butt is worried the race time could be up to two seconds slower than last year.
And that could leave My Field Marshal struggling when the sprint goes on.
“Our horse is a great stayer who loves it when they go the first half (800m) in 54 seconds and he just keeps going,” says Butt.
“But I don’t see it being that sort of mile this time. I think the front line is pretty even on gate speed so the inside ones should be able to hold their spots without too much pressure.
“So without that sub-26 opening 400m the horses who settle back can be in trouble and that could be us.
“I am not saying he can’t win but from barrier eight we are going to need to some pressure early and in the middle stages and I am not sure where that is going to come from.” Punters and bookies agree with Butt with the expected move in the TAB market coming for Thefixer, who opened $3.80 after drawing barrier two but is now the $3.50 favourite with the Australian TAB, with Poster Boy out from $3.60 to $3.90.
That comes as the scenario of Thefixer leading with Poster Boy on his back and Tiger Tara having to do the bullying sitting parked becomes the conventional wisdom about Saturday’s great race.
Butt says while he can see the race bring a tricky one for My Field Marshal the flashy stallion is racing as well as when he won the great race last season/
"He went his final 400m very fast very wide last week so I am not worried about his form.
"But the draw does worry. Still, there isn't much I can do about it and that will be Ants's job (brother and driver Anthony)."