Kiwis hard done by in Miracle Mile

By Adam Hamilton

New Zealand's two Miracle Mile runners have big challenges from their barrier draws in next Saturday night's $1million feature at Menangle.

Leading hope Don't Stop Dreaming, looking to bounce back from a sixth placing in the Chariots Of Fire, will start from barrier six, while Sooner The Bettor drew five, but will come into four if emergency Curly James doesn't gain a run.

The bad draws didn't end there.

Aussie superstar Leap To Fame's quest to create history and win the Miracle Mile just got much harder.

Grant Dixon's superstar drew awfully in gate nine and will start from barrier seven after the emergencies come out. He immediately drifted from $2 to $3.

"What was always going to be a hard race, just got harder, that's for sure," Leap To Fame's trainer-driver Dixon said.

Leap To Fame is trying to become the first pacer to win Australia's harness racing "Triple Crown" in one campaign, having already won the Inter Dominion final and Hunter Cup.

And Chariots Of Fire hero Frankie Ferocious will have to do what no pacer has done since the Miracle Mile moved to Menangle in 2009 - win from the outside barrier (eight).

In contrast, emerging Queensland star Speak The Truth firmed from $12 to $6 after drawing perfectly in gate one for trainer Shannon Price and driver Adam Sanderson.

It follows Speak The Truth's career-best win in a qualifying sprint at Menangle last night.

Frankie Ferocious' draw makes the decision harder for young gun driver Cam Hart to choose between Frankie Ferocious and his stablemate, Hi Manameisjeff, who will start from much closer in (gate five).

"Jase and I will have a good think about how the race might be run now we've got the draw and make a decision (on who he drives) from there," Hart said.

"It's certainly not ideal from right out there for 'Frankie', but 'Jeff' gets out quickly and five is good for him."

The big winner firmer after the draw was Hi Manameisjeff, in from $5 to $3.

The injury-plagued seven-year-old is unbeaten in nine starts at Menangle since joining Grimson's stable last year.

Remarkable veteran Spirit Of St Louis fared well to use his brilliant early speed from gate two at his third consecutive Miracle Mile.

Luke McCarthy's star ran second to stablemate King Of Swing in 2022 and second again to Catch A Wave last year.

MIRACLE MILE BARRIER DRAW (all runners of front row)
Speak The Truth, Spirit Of St Louis, Loyalist, Curly James (1st emerg), Sooner The Bettor, South Coast Arden (2nd emerg), Hi Manameisjeff, Dont Stop Dreaming, Leap To Fame, Frankie Ferocious.


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