Can Tiger Add Miracle Mile To Magical Season

28 February 2019 | Chris Barsby

Victory for Tiger Tara in the $1 million Ainsworth Miracle Mile will be the ultimate exclamation point on a remarkable season.

Already successful in the Inter Dominion plus the Victoria and Hunter Cups, the powerful Bettors Delight stallion is now chasing Australasia’s signature sprinting event.

Not only would it cap a great season on the Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit, it would cap a great career!

The Kevin Pizzuto trained pacing warrior has been sublime this season, three brutal mauling’s in the garden state plus an agonisingly close second in the New Zealand Cup at Addington.

As a result of those efforts, Tiger Tara holds an unassailable lead in the quest to be crowned Grand Circuit champion for 2018/19 with 360 points, some 240 points clear of his nearest rival Our Uncle Sam.

But to claim the Miracle Mile, the millionaire pacer needs to overcome history.

As it stands, since being switched from Harold Park to TABCORP Park, Menangle back in 2009, no pacer has won the speed feature from the three outside draws.

Barrier’s 6, 7 and 8 have proven to be the ultimate graveyard, in fact; only one pacer has ever placed from one of those draws.

On Saturday night, Tiger Tara will start from gate 7 with regular reinsman Todd McCarthy aboard.

McCarthy is hoping to join his father John as a winner of the Miracle Mile after he scored back to back victories behind champion pacer Be Good Johnny in 2005/06.

Not only is history standing in front of Tiger Tara, the might of the All Stars stable is also a major stumbling block.

The record setting stable has won the Miracle Mile in 2016 with Have Faith In Me.

The Christchurch based operation has three runners engaged via Thefixer, Chase Auckland and Spankem.

Thefixer, who conquered Tiger Tara in the New Zealand Cup and again last week in the Allied Express Sprint looms as a major threat after landing an ideal draw, he will start from gate 2 with Natalie Rasmussen sticking with the Bettors Delight gelding.

Boom four-year-old pacers Chase Auckland (Luke McCarthy – gate 3) and Spankem (Mark Purdon – gate 6) both possess the right skill set to claim the Miracle Mile and look primed following their excellent victories last week.

Chase Auckland scored in 1:50.4 while Spankem rated 1:51.5.

Interestingly, the last four-year-old pacer to win the Miracle Mile was Have Faith In Me for the All Stars.

Another four-year-old chasing the major prize is last start Chariots winner Poster Boy, the outstanding pacer will start from the inside gate which provides driver Chris Alford with plenty of options.

Prepared by Emma Stewart at Ballarat, the brilliant conditioner is chasing her maiden victory in the famed feature.

Unbeaten in three starts this season, Poster Boy scored a brilliant come from behind victory in the Chariots while rating 1:49.1.

Last year, Jilliby Kung Fu ran a cracking race when second behind My Field Marshal following his Chariots triumph.

Alford won the 2017 Miracle Mile with the recently retired Lennytheshark.

Defending champion My Field Marshal is at the opposite end of the track in comparison to Poster Boy, the fastest pacer in Australasia has the dreaded outside draw and he will start from gate 8.

He will require luck but fortune favours the bold and the brotherly combination of Tim and Anthony Butt know this better than most.

Last year, My Field Marshal rated 1:46.9.

Back to back champions include Smoken Up, Be Good Johnny, Sokyola, Holmes DG, Chokin and Westburn Grant.

Leading trainers Shane and Lauren Tritton has a pair of runners in Newcastle Mile winner Yayas Hot Spot (gate 4) and My Alpha Rock (gate 5).

Yayas Hot Spot will be handled by young Lachie Manzelmann while Lauren takes the drive behind My Alpha Rock, a runner-up behind Spankem last week.

The Tritton stable finished third with star mare Arms Of An Angel back in 2016 behind Have Faith In Me and Lennytheshark.

No mare is contesting the Miracle Mile this year.

The Ainsworth Miracle Mile is scheduled to start at 9.28pm local time.