Miracle Mile boost for B D Joe
By Adam Hamilton
New Zealand’s main Miracle Mile contender B D Joe’s prospects have been boosted even before he heads to Saturday night’s Newcastle Mile.
In a late and surprise move, Team McCarthy has opted to skip Newcastle and run Bondi Lockdown in the qualifying sprints at Menangle on Saturday week.
Regardless of barrier draws, Bondi Lockdown would have been a clear favourite for Newcastle after two fantastic runs, including a Menangle win last Saturday, from two starts since joining Team McCarthy.
The key to the Newcastle Mile is that only the winner gets a ticket into the Miracle Mile.
So, Bondi Lockdown’s absence has significantly boosted B D Joe’s chances of snaring.
The Newcastle race will still be strong, but its headline act is gone.
Bondi Lockdown’s owner and former trainer-driver Aaron Dunn confirmed the change of plans last night (Sunday).
“I had a good chat with Luke (McCarthy) tonight and he talked me through the reasons,” Dunn said.
“Only the winner gets through from Newcastle and if we didn’t win, we would have to back-up again in the sprints the week after. If that happened, he would’ve raced four weeks in a row by Miracle Mile night.
“So, Luke said it makes more sense to wait and go to one of the qualifying races (there are two on the night) at Menangle the week after.”
It is likely six of the eight spots in the Miracle Mile will still be open when the qualifying sprints are run.
Only the Newcastle Mile winner and next Saturday night’s Chariots Of Fire winner are guaranteed entry into the Miracle Mile.
Dunn said the other factor was Bondi Lockdown’s form in two runs for Luke and Belinda McCarthy at Menangle.
“They say he’s loving the track and it looks that way,” he said. “They are keen to keep racing at Menangle as long as they can.”
Bondi Lockdown posted his first win in almost 12 months – albeit just from eight starts – when he rocketed home from a seemingly hopeless position to win the mile free-for-all at Menangle last Saturday night.
He was clocked to run his closing splits in 52.8 and 25.8sec.
Friday night’s Newcastle Mile kick-starts a massive weekend in NSW harness with huge anticipation around Captain Ravishing’s appearance in the Chariots Of Fire.
Captain Ravishing is a $1.40 pre-draw favourite. The barrier draw is scheduled for 2pm (NZ time) today (Monday).