Bondi sizzling ahead of Miracle Mile
By Michael Guerin
A record-breaking trackwork session has helped Victorian horseman Aaron Dunn overcome his Miracle Mile barrier draw hangover.
Because it has convinced him his exceptional pacer Bondi Lockdown is in the perfect form for Saturday night’s A$1million Miracle Mile at Menangle, even if he has a less than perfect draw.
Dunn was left groaning even before he drew barrier nine, to start from seven after emergencies come out of the Mile, because the two other favourites King Of Swing (1) and Spirit Of St Louis (2) drew perfectly.
“To see Luke (McCarthy) draw those barriers for those two horses before we even had a crack wasn’t much fun,” says Dunn.
“So our draw isn’t great and it is made a lot worse by King drawing the ace.”
That stroke of luck saw King Of Swing shorten from $2.20 pre-draw to $1.55 with TAB as he strives to become the first ever horse to win three Miracle Miles.
King Of Swing could even retire to stud if he pulls off the Mile three-peat and many see Bondi Lockdown as the heir to his throne, with his last-start second in the Chariots Of Fire after doing all the work parked the performance of a superstar.
Dunn gave him an easy week after that gut-buster but needed to blow the cobwebs out on Tuesday and together the pair smashed the track record at trainer James Rattray’s property where they are staying.
“James has had a lot of good horses here but the track record for a mile on his track was only 2:10 because it has an uphill incline.
“I wanted to go out there and break it and we did that easily, he paced 2:7 and did it well so he is where he needs to be for Saturday.”
Dunn, a relative newcomer to harness racing’s elite level, hopes fellow Victorian Mach Dan (5) may prove Bondi Lockdown’s greatest unintended ally on Saturday.
“I hope they have a real go at the start with Mach Dan and I think they will and that could stretch King Of Swing.
“If that happens and we can get some cover then we will be off and around them to find out whether we are good enough.
“We all know how good King but we can’t just sit back and gift him the race.”
Bondi Lockdown is the $7 third favourite, in from $11, for the Miracle Mile on Menangle’s biggest night of the season.