Can High Tide Be Topped?

Image courtesy of: tasracing.com.au
Beautide is favourite to defend his Miracle Mile. Image courtesy of: tasracing.com.au

Australia's best pacer, Beautide , is in line to become just the seventh horse to win back-to-back Miracle Miles at Menangle on Saturday night (8.40pm AEST). The Interdominion champion has drawn gate three and is likely to get the perfect trail behind noted speedsters Easy On The Eye , Avonnova and Suave Stuey Lombo .

Trained and driven by James Rattray, Beautide recorded the fastest mile rate (1:50.2) after winning the event last year, bettering the mark set by Smoken Up (1:50.3) in 2010. Interestingly, Smoken Up is the last horse to win the Miracle Mile consecutively (2010/11), and also set an Australasian record mile rate of 1:48.5 in winning the Len Smith Mile at Menangle in April 2011. With a slick field engaged on Saturday night, that record looks in danger, especially if conditions are perfect and they go crazy up front.

The Miracle Mile first appeared on the harness racing calendar in 1967. It was staged at the old Harold Park circuit, which was sold off a few years ago. Prize money on a balmy night in March 1967 was $10,000, with another $5,000 in time incentive bonuses. As history shows, eight-year-old mare Robin Dundee bettered Mineral Spring's Harold Park record of 2:01.2 and became the first pacer in the southern hemisphere to better two minutes for the flying mile. Almost 21,000 patrons roared at the Glebe circuit as Robert Cameron guided Robin Dundee to a 25-yard victory in a then sizzling 1:59. My how times have changed, literally!

The purse almost forty years ago was considered massive at the time - $15,000. There have been 46 editions of the race since and the prize money has increased by 50 times the original offering to $750,000!

New Zealand champ Christen Me has drawn alongside Beautide in gate four and is considered the main danger. Consistent grand circuit performer For A Reason also has admirers, while star Victorian Guaranteed could be the knock-out horse if the pace is suicidal.

On a star-studded night, the other Group 1 is the Australian Trotters Final (3009m), while there are also six other Group 2 events on the 10-race card. 
    




Chris Bombolas - Tatts Senior Writer

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