Win yes but no Miracle Mile for Stylish Memphis
By Adam Hamilton
Caretaker trainer-driver Jack Trainor couldn’t believe star Kiwi mare Stylish Memphis was overlooked for a Miracle Mile berth.
And it was the same story on the other side of the ditch with her regular trainer Mark Jones.
Despite stretching her record this Sydney raid to four wins from as many starts and completing back-to-back Ladyship Mile wins (now called Queen Elizabeth II Mile), the field selectors didn’t seem her worthy of a Miracle Mile start.
Surprisingly, when her CV was not as polished, she gained a Miracle Mile spot by winning last year’s Ladyship Mile.
“It’s surprising and disappointing,” Trainor said. “I thought she’d done enough. She’s been fantastic this trip, even better than last year I think.”
Jones said: “It was pretty tough I thought. We can’t do any more than win. It would’ve been great to have a shot at the Miracle Mile.”
But Jones quickly switched the focus to what Stylish Memphis could control and that’s successfully defending her Ladyship title in a fighting fashion.
“We’re just lucky to get back and win it again. And lucky to have Jack (Trainor) to look after her and drive her inch perfect, so it’s mission accomplished,” he said.
It was closer than many expected, but Stylish Memphis dug deep when it mattered to hold-off the barnstorming finish of Nathan Purdon’s Spellbound to win by a half-neck in a 1min51.9sec mile.
It was a messy race at times with Fairy Tinkerbell crossing Stylish Memphis to lead, putting her behind the leader while others jostled for the spot outside the leader.
Stylish Memphis got clear in time, took a while to balance-up and just pinched a big enough lead to beat Spellbound, who smashed the clock storming home from last.
Back to the Miracle Mile build-up and King Of Swing showed he was primed to chase history next week as the first three-time winner.
He was crossed early and had to sit parked in a blazing 1min47.9sec mile, but still held-off the fast-finishing Bundoran to win by a half-head.
You could argue it was up with the best wins of his career considering King Of Swing was part of the 24.9sec opening quarter burn and then sat parked.
Bundoran’s second also gained him a Miracle Mile start, while Jay OK’s third saw him named first emergency.
The other sprint saw former Kiwi pacer Spirit Of St Louis continue his fantastic form with a dominant win in a 1min48.2sec mile.
Jack Callaghan gave him a lovely trail just off the hot pace set by Expensive Ego and he swamped them late to win by 4.6m with Majestic Cruiser closing well late for second to also grab a Miracle Mile berth.
Victorian raider Like A Wildfire’s third saw him named second emergency for next week.
The surprise came when the selectors promoted Expensive Ego into the Mile field despite him only finishing fourth last night.
There is no doubting how good Expensive Ego is at his top and he did run well last night, but he is winless in four runs this campaign.
Thankfully, Bondi Lockdown got a start in the Mile after his monstrous second in the Chariots Of Fire.
The Miracle Mile draw will be done tomorrow night (Monday) at Club Menangle.
Miracle Mile Field (pre-draw): King Of Swing, Spirit Of St Louis, Bondi Lockdown, Expensive Ego, Mach Dan, Bundoran, Better Eclipse, Majestic Cruiser, Jay OK (1st emerg), Like A Wildfire (2nd emerg).