No joy for Kiwis in Newcastle
By Adam Hamilton
What looked great on paper turned into a horror story for Team Telfer’s pair in last night’s Newcastle Mile.
While hot favourite B D Joe didn’t look to handle the track at all and Alta Wiseguy kept running into backsides, Mach Dan grabbed a guaranteed Miracle Mile berth by going back-to-back in the $100,000 feature. Both are trained by Steve and Amanda Telfer and Hayden Cullen.
And it was some win, probably a career-best, after Mach Dan was buzzed off the gate from a wide draw, sat parked and dug deep ,late to win by a neck in a slick 1min51.1sec mile.
It was only 0.4sec outside Majordan’s track record.
More on the winner soon, but B D Joe and Alta Wiseguy will now have to back-up in the qualifying sprints at Menangle next Saturday to have any chance of grabbing Miracle Mile berths.
B D Joe’s chances were effectively over as soon as the starter said go when he paced roughly out of the gate. He settled near the rear and then looked all at sea as paced roughly on several occasions before finishing last.
Alta Wiseguy began well and settled behind the leader Pinny Tiger.
Things looked good down the back straight the last time, but Pinny Tiger found little when challenged and as he tired, Alta Wiseguy was bailed-up in traffic.
He ran sixth, just 7.9m from the winner.
Mach Dan’s win capped a huge week for owners Danny and Jo Zavitsanos, who won a spirited bid to have Australasia’s buzz pacer Captain Ravishing run in their slot for the world’s richest harness race, the $2.1 million Eureka at Menangle on September 2.
Of all the slot races, none have created quite the interest as the Eureka even before its run for the first time. That’s due in large part to the fact the sport’s two most exciting young pacers, Captain Ravishing and Leap To Fame, are eligible for it.
But, in the short term, Captain Ravishing will be a rival to the Zavitsanos’ with Mach Dan in the Miracle Mile.
Mach Dan could be one of three Stewart and Tonkin trained runners in the $1 million Miracle Mile on March 4.
Captain Ravishing is guaranteed a berth if he wins the Chariots Of Fire, while it will be a surprise if Hunter Cup hero Honolua Bay doesn’t book his spot through one of the qualifying sprints next Saturday night.
“Yes, he’s in the Miracle Mile again,” boomed Danny Zavitsanos after last night’s win. “He went enormous in the Hunter Cup and he ran up to that again tonight. To sit parked, win and go that sort of time is huge. All credit to Emma and Clayton.”
Just some of the other big names chasing Miracle Mile spots in next Saturday night’s qualifiers will be: Bondi Lockdown, Spirit Of St Louis, Expensive Ego, I Cast No Shadow, Better Eclipse and Major Meister.