Timing is everything.
And when you’ve made an art form of it, lady luck always seems to be on your side.
Champion horsemen Tim and Anthony Butt claimed their maiden victory in the Gr.1 $750,000 Ainsworth Miracle Mile at TABCORP Park, Menangle with My Field Marshal chasing down Jilliby Kung Fu and Soho Tribeca in the sprint feature.
Amazingly, it was a race record time; the winning mile rate was a staggering 1:46.9!
The mile was run in splits of 26.3, 27.3, 26.2 and 27.1 seconds.
The winning time ranks as the 7th fastest time of all time and easily the quickest time recorded in the southern hemisphere, the previous record stood at 1:47.5 when Have Faith In Me won the Miracle Mile two years ago.
Perfectly handled by legendary big race reinsman Anthony Butt, My Field Marshal gained a perfect trail from his ideal draw while Anything For Love speared to the early lead from Jilliby Kung Fu which left Soho Tribeca quickly pushing forward deeper off the track.
Race favourite Lazarus was allowed to float off the gate from his extreme outside post before attempting to work forward three-wide but couldn’t make ground on the leaders.
With the first half covered in 53.6 seconds, Anything For Love led narrowly from the parked out Soho Tribeca while Tiger Tara, Jilliby Kung Fu and My Field Marshal all sat handy off the frantic pace.
Lazarus was always well back with Charlaval and Lennytheshark as the leaders never backed off the speed.
Approaching the home turn, Soho Tribeca raced clear from Anything For Love while Jilliby Kung Fu and My Field Marshal both came with their finishing bursts.
In a driving finish, My Field Marshal prevailed by a head margin from Jilliby Kung Fu with Soho Tribeca a further nose away in third place.
Lazarus finished 7th, the first time he has missed a top three placing during his 45 start career.
But this victory for My Field Marshal was thoroughly deserving and a longtime in the making while also cementing the spots of the Christchurch born brothers in the sports Hall of Fame.
Tim and Anthony Butt have won most major events on the Australasian harness racing calendar but the Miracle Mile had proven elusive until tonight.
“It’s very satisfying, it’s a very difficult race to win but we’ve finally reached the mountain top,” Tim Butt beamed.
“He’s a very nice horse and was given a fantastic drive by Ants (Anthony), so many people have played a role in this magnificent victory and we’ll celebrate accordingly.”
Throughout the season, Butt has astutely picked his targets with the six-year-old Art Major entire; Butt deliberately bypassed the Inter Dominion series in Perth late last year while also skipping the Hunter Cup in Melbourne earlier this month.
Butt wanted his star pacer fresh for the Miracle Mile.
My Field Marshal now adds his name to the Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit winners list for the 2017/18 season but the title of Grand Circuit champion is likely to be bestowed upon Lazarus for the second straight season despite his unplaced effort tonight.
With only the Gr.1 $200,540 Blacks A Fake at Albion Park on July 21 remaining, Lazarus has a healthy lead over Soho Tribeca.