Huge targets lie ahead for Don't Stop Dreaming

By Adam Hamilton

Fans are hoping for a Miracle Mile rematch with Leap To Fame and Don’t Stop Dreaming.

If not, the pacing stars will lock hooves again in the $1m Race By Grins at Cambridge on April 12.

Young gun Don’t Stop Dreaming franked his fantastic second to Leap To Fame in the Group 1 Hunter Cup last Saturday week when he blitzed his rivals in the $50,000 Hondo Grattan (1609m) at Menangle last night.

It booked his spot in Australia’s biggest four-year-old race, the $250,000 Group 1 Chariots Of Fire, at Menangle on March 2.

Co-trainer Mark Purdon said Don’t Stop Dreaming would be “kept up to the mark” with a free-for-all at Menangle the week before the Chariots.

Should he win or run extra well in the Chariots, Purdon’s latest pacing star would be invited to the $1mil Miracle Mile at Menangle on March 9 – should connections wish to run him.

And waiting for him would be Leap To Fame, who blazed his way to another feature win in last night’s $100,000 Group 2 Cranbourne Cup. He obliterated the track record to post his 33rd win from just 44 starts.

More on him soon.

With Purdon back in NZ, top young NSW freelancer Jack Callaghan took the reins on Don’t Stop Dreaming and was buzzing after the win.

“He’s such a professional dude with an electric turn of foot,” he said. “I’m really honoured to be able to drive him and a massive thanks to All Stars for the opportunity.”

Leap To Fame now flies back home to Dixon’s Tambourine stables, but only for a brief visit, before an eight-hour road trip to NSW for the $100,000 Group 2 Newcastle Mile on February 23.

Victory will guarantee his spot in one of the world’s great sprint races, the $1mil Miracle Mile at Menangle on March 9.

Leap To Fame is well on his way to greatness, but winning the Miracle Mile would fast-track that.

He is trying to become the first pacer in history to win Australian harness racing’s “triple crown” in the same campaign, having already bagged the Inter Dominion pacing final and Hunter Cup.

But that’s just the first stage of what could be a monstrous 2024.

Beyond the Miracle Mile, Dixon will take Leap To Fame outside Australia for the first time to tackle the $NZ1mil Race By Grins at Cambridge in NZ on April 12.

“He’s in for a busy time with the big races and travel that’s required, but he’s thriving on the racing,” Dixon said.

Leap To Fame’s Cranbourne win was his fourth victory in as many weeks.

“I was super happy with him again tonight. There was a strong breeze out there. I had to give him a bit of a tap in the last bit to keep his mind on the job, but he ran away with it,” Dixon said.

“He came through it well and it’s good we get to fly him back home where he can get back into his routine before we travel again to Newcastle.

“With Newcastle being 15 days before the Miracle Mile, he can come again after that and we’ll head back to Sydney as close as we can to the Mile.

“Providing he’s well after the Miracle Mile, he’ll go to Cambridge. We haven’t quite worked out what he’ll do in those five weeks between the Mile and the NZ race.”

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