Leap Defies History For Miraculous Mile Win

10 March 2024 | Adam Hamilton
LEAP TO FAME_Miracle Mile Presentation

LEAP TO FAME_Miracle Mile Presentation Photo by Club Menangle

LEAP To Fame defied all sorts of history to become an all-time harness racing great with a powerhouse win in last night's $1mil Miracle Mile at Menangle.

Despite doing all the work outside the leader in blazing time, the Queensland sensation was simply too good and strong for a vintage Miracle Mile field in one of the toughest performances the iconic race has seen.

Leap To Fame became the first horse to win Australasia's premier speed test from such a wide draw (barrier seven).

And the five-year-old became only the second pacer and the first since the great Preux Chevalier 39 years ago to win Australian harness racing's Triple Crown, the Inter Dominion, Hunter Cup and Miracle Mile.

It moved leviathan owner Kevin Seymour, a notoriously head marker on horses, to declare Leap To Fame a champion for the first time.

"I've reserved my judgement until now; tonight, he proved he's a champion by sitting in the 'death' (outside the leader) in such quick time and winning," he said.

Leap To Fame's 1min48.3sec mile was the fourth fastest Miracle Mile of all time.

"I can't believe he could sit parked in the death and beat such a great field. I'm just so proud and it goes to show I do believe in miracles."

"It's also my first Miracle Mile win after more than 50 years in the game. It's the one big race to escape me, and now we've got it, and he's done it by completing the Triple Crown, which is the icing on the cake."

Trainer-driver Grant Dixon was as proud as excited after the win.

"I'm so rapt for the horse; he really deserved that. That other horse (Sooner The Bettor) had a much softer run and really came at him, but he wanted to get to the line."

"This horse has given me the best part of my career, and Trista (Dixon, wife) is the best part of my life. Having her and the kids here is just so special."

The race changed complexion soon after the start when co-favourite Hi Manameisjeff galloped while hunting for the lead, which meant Leap To Fame was able to get outside the leader, Speak The Truth, easier than expected.

Leap To Fame had Speak The Truth covered at the top of the home straight when Sooner The Better charged at him with a huge challenge, but he fended him off to win by 2.5m with another 3.5m away to Speak The Truth in third.

Leap To Fame's win took his record to an amazing 45 starts for 35 wins, six seconds, two-thirds and earnings of $2,765,957.


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