Honolua Bay $2.80 favourite for Miracle Mile
By Adam Hamilton
Hunter Cup winner Honolua Bay is favourite to "do a King Of Swing" and complete the double by winning Saturday night's $1 million Miracle Mile at Menangle.
King Of Swing, winner of the past three Miracle Miles, did the Hunter Cup/Miracle Mile double in 2020 and last year.
Honolua Bay's odds were slashed from $3.50 into $2.80 after drawing ideally in gate four. He will come into three if the emergencies don’t get in.
It came just hours after he produced a mesmerizing last-to-first performance in a 1min49.2sec mile to win his Miracle Mile qualifier at Menangle. Honolua Bay replaced buzz stablemate Captain Ravishing as favourite. He will have to overcome a horror barrier draw to avenge his shock Chariots Of Fire defeat in the Mile.
The explosive four-year-old, who was surprisingly rundown by Catch A Wave after leading in the Chariots last Saturday week, eased from $2.80 to $5 after the drawing second from the outside (gate nine).
Captain Ravishing and Honolua Bay are among the record four runners – or half the field – in the Miracle Mile for champion Victorian trainers Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin.
There other runners are: classy speedster Hurricane Harley (gate three, $9) and Newcastle Mile winner Mach Dan (eight, $17).
Stewart and Tonkins' best results in a Miracle Mile so far have been thirds with Poster Boy (2019) and Guaranteed (2014).
Stewart confirmed stable driver Mark Pitt would stay with Captain Ravishing, David Moran will drive Honolua Bay and Amanda Turnbull will partner Hurricane Harley. No driver has been locked-in for Mach Dan as yet.
Team McCarthy, who has won the past three Miracle Miles with retired champion King Of Swing, have two chances to make it four in a row on Saturday night. Spirit Of St Louis (gate two, $4.50) and Expensive Ego (10, $17) ran second to King Of Swing last year and in 2021 respectively.
Stunning Chariots Of Fire winner Catch A Wave, just the second Miracle Mile runner top trainer Andy Gath has had, fared well in barrier five and firmed from $4.50 into $3.80. He is one of five Victorian-trained pacers in the race.
The lone mare in Australasia’s premier speed test is former Kiwi pacer Braeview Kelly, who blasted her way in after a stunning Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Mile win at Menangle last night.
She is trained by Jack Trainor, who confirmed top freelance driver Cam Hart would stay aboard for the Miracle Mile.
“The way I see it, he was good enough to qualify her for it, so he should stay on,” he said. “She’s come through what was an amazing win last night really well, but it’s obviously another step-up and we know how hard it is for the mares’ to beat the boys in these biggest of races.”
Braeview Kelly is Trainor's second Mile runner. Stylish Memphis ran sixth from an outside draw in 2021.
MIRACLE MILE BARRIER DRAW (All starters on front row): Major Meister (1st em, $10), Spirit Of St Louis ($4.50), Hurricane Harley ($9), Honolua Bay ($2.80), Catch A Wave ($3.80), Braeview Kelly ($34), Bondi Lockdown (2nd em, $34), Mach Dan ($17), Captain Ravishing ($5), Expensive Ego ($21).