Miracle Mile good to go at Menangle
By Adam Hamilton
The rain has stopped, the track repairs are well under way and the $1 million Miracle Mile will finally be run at Menangle on Saturday night.
Importantly, the majority of trainers think the one-week postponement is more of a positive than a negative.
Luke McCarthy is adamant hot favourite King Of Swing and stablemates Spirit Of St Louis and Expensive Ego will only be better for the extra week.
“They all had hard runs in the qualifying sprints and although I’m sure they would’ve backed-up again well last week, but the optimum is to have two weeks between runs,” he said.
“Even though the weather was awful earlier this week and we had a lot of flooding in areas of our property, including the training track, the horses haven’t missed any work.
“We took the opportunity to work to keep them at Menangle in the retention after the races were called-off last week and work them on the Sunday morning.
“They went on the jogger at home and we took them back to Menangle for a workout yesterday.
“Everything is on target at our end.
“Spirit Of St Louis and Expensive Ego seem really well, too.”
The other big winner from the extra week is Australia’s most exciting pacer Bondi Lockdown.
Trainer-driver Aaron Dunn was very open in saying Bondi Lockdown’s monstrous second in the Chariots Of Fire flattened him.
“I’d love another couple of days up my sleeve,” Dunn said going into last Saturday night.
He got his wish with an extra week.
“Overall, it’s a positive for sure, but it’s a bit of a balancing act … getting him over being flat, but not letting him get away on me or do too well.
“He seems good. It’s just not ideal being away from home for so long where we know exactly how to prime him for big races.”
On the flipside, driver and co-trainer Greg Sugars said the delay was frustrating with Chariots Of Fire winner Better Eclipse.
“It certainly doesn’t suit us as much as it does some others,” he said. “We’ve lost our advantage of having two weeks between runs while most others were on the quick back-up. Three weeks between runs is not ideal.
“We’d already drawn the worst barrier, so we needed as many other things in our favour as possible.”
To the race itself and, as we outlined last week, the tactics of driver Nathan Jack on Newcastle Mile winner Mach Dan will be vital.
There was growing speculation on-track last week that Jack would burn out in search of the lead on Mach Dan with a view to then allowing King Of Swing to “re-take.”
Jack remains non-committal, other than saying he would “definitely have a look” when the gate let them go.
“How hard and how long I go depends on that split-second of whether I think I’m any hope of crossing,” he said.
King Of Swing has surprisingly firmed in Aussie markets from $1.60 to $1.55 since the postponement with Spirit Of St Louis at $3, Bondi Lockdown $8 and Expensive Ego out to $20.