Taking them on could help
By Michael Guerin
Champion Australian reinsman Chris Alford says taking on the most feared horse in harness racing could actually help Poster Boy win the A$1million Miracle Mile.
The Victorian four-year-old earned an automatic invite to Australasia’s richest harness race with a stunning display in the A$200,000 Chariots of Fire at Menangle on Saturday night.
He came from fourth last at the 600m mark to blow past some superstar opponents and had punters beaming after being backed in from $5.50 to start $3.80.
Trainer Emma Stewart was quick to accept the invite to the Miracle Mile on Saturday week so Poster Boy joins longshot Newcastle Mile winner Yayas Hot Spot as the only guaranteed starters with the other six spots to be decided from two preludes at Menangle this Saturday.
In one of those preludes will be the iron warrior of pacing Tiger Tara, fresh from adding the Hunter Cup at Melton to his Inter Dominion and Victoria Cup victories this season which has seen him ascend to the top of the Australian pacing ranks.
But while Tiger Tara remains the $3.50 Miracle Mile favourite with the Australian TAB compared with Poster Boy’s $6.50, driver Alford says the hard-running champ could aid Poster Boy.
“The harder they go in the Mile the better it will suit us,” said Alford, who tipped Poster Boy strongly last week.
“He will follow any speed and in fact his best chance of winning the Mile would be if they went really hard and he can sit off them just like he did tonight.
“I am glad Emma accepted the invite because he has developed into a really good Grand Circuit horse.
“He has always been fast but now he is strong enough to carry that speed longer and that is what you need for a Miracle Mile.” While Poster Boy has his spot in the great race the competition for the remaining six places has intensified as more big names eye the preludes.
Tiger Tara’s trainer Kevin Pizzuto will also have Majordan in them after he smashed some serious free-for-all opponents on Saturday night, leading from barrier nine to pace 1:49.5, which compares favourably with Poster Boy’s 1:49.1 considering Majordan did all the work in his race.
“He is a really good horse but Tiger is flying at the moment,” said Pizzuto comparing the pair.
Kiwi trainer Mark Purdon could have up to five prelude contenders, including Chase Auckland who was the luckless Chariots favourite after never getting clear in the straight.
Saturday’s meeting will also sees heats of the NSW Derby and Oaks as well as the open class mares chasing the final four spots in the Ladyship Mile, which will be run Miracle Mile night March 2.
Dream About Me and Elle Mac will make last minute trips to Sydney on Friday to contest the final lead-up to the Ladyship Mile, with the pair needing at least a top four finish to be guaranteed a start.
And they will be joined on the flight by Princess Tiffany, who was originally going to miss the NSW Oaks but after trialling well at Rangiora last week she will head to Menangle on Saturday night for the Oaks heats.