Jail free card for My Field Marshal
By Michael Guerin
The Miracle Mile’s forgotten Kiwi hero could be carrying a get out of jail free card at Menangle tonight.
Because My Field Marshal may not have to meet the same qualifying criteria as his rivals heading into the two $100,000 preludes for next Saturday’s $1million sprint.
There will be eight starters in the Mile, with two spots already taken so six vacant, all to come from horses who compete at tonight’s meeting.
The first two home in he preludes are automatically invited so the Club Menangle selection committee will have to make the call on the final two invites and chief executive Bruce Christison says prior form will be one factor considered.
“The first two home in the preludes will get in and it could even pan out that the first three home go in but the committee will take into account previous form, especially if a horse is unlucky tonight.
“The two most obvious horses that could affect would be Tiger Tara, because of his form this season, and My Field Marshal because he is the defending champion and race record holder.
“I am not saying they can perform poorly and get it but we have seen in recent years a horse like Lennytheshark finish fourth in his prelude and get a Miracle invite.
“But different committee members have different views on that.”
Tiger Tara’s spot in the Miracle Mile looks a formality as he should lead and win the first prelude tonight and he is now the $2.80 favourite for next week’s great race.
But My Field Marshal faces a far trickier night at the office, drawn wide in the very strong second prelude and likely to have to make up a lot of ground in a sub 1:50 mile.
Christison says there is even latitude for his club to invite a big-name age group pacer like Chase Auckland, who competes in race two tonight, since he started in an official Mile lead-up in last week’s Chariots of Fire.
“But they would have to come out and do something special on Saturday.”
Tonight’s meeting looks set up for short priced favourites, with both the NSW Derby and Oaks heats to be dominated by hot pots and perfect for multi bet punters.