Mark & Mach Beauty in Miracle Mile

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Catch driver Mark Jones did enough with the Shane-Tritton-trained Mach Beauty in the Cordina Chicken Sprint at Menangle on Saturday, November 24, to gain one of the last invited spots for next Saturday’s $A750,000 SEW Eurodrive Miracle Mile (November 30).

Mark gave Mach Beauty every chance in the Group One $A100,000 final lead-up, but they couldn’t get past evergreen 11yo Grand Circuit star Smoken Up down the long Menangle straight.

Smoken Up, the Menangle track record holder at 1:48.5 set two years ago, and Victorian trainer-driver Lance Justice, lasted in a fast 1:49.9 for the 1609m.

Mark Jones

Mark Jones

Mark, enlisted by Tritton when regular driver Lauren Panella was suspended, had Mach Beauty flying early from the six gate to cross and lead, then handed to Smoken Up (barrier nine) after the opening 200m.

Mach Beauty was travelling strongly on the corner and Mark had him out to challenge when Smoken Up was being niggled at in front by Justice to keep running time.

But once again, getting past Smoken Up is another matter.

In the run home, Mach Beauty gave it his all, but Smoken Up wouldn’t be denied, pulling out all the stops to score by a half a length.

Victorian Abettorpunt ran third. Ex-Kiwi Fly Like An Eagle settled midfield but couldn’t quicken running seventh, 14.7m from the winner, while NZ FFA placegetter Carribean Blaster was eased back and couldn’t get close, running eighth.

Last April’s upset Miracle Mile winner Baby Bling (1:50.5) was never a factor running ninth, while $2.20 favourite Ideal Scott disappointed, tailing the field.

The barrier draw for the Miracle Mile will be decided at 5pm (NZ time) on Sunday, November 24.

The invited starters are: Terror To Love, Christen Me, Smoken Up, Beautide, Im Victorious, Restrepo, For A Reason, Mach Beauty.

Emergencies: Abettorpunt, Bitobliss.

Mark, who warmed up for Menangle with a couple of unplaced drives at Newcastle on Friday night, is to return to drive Mach Beauty in the Miracle Mile.

Mach Beauty, a 5YO Mach Three gelding from a Falcon Seelster mare, had earlier finished third behind Beautide and Abettorpunt in the $A75,000 Newcastle Mile on November 9, the winner going 1:52.6.

He has won 15 of 37 starts for $A217,992 in stakes and has a best winning mile of 1:51.2.


Mark also had the catch-drive on the top Tim Butt-trained mare Elusive Chick in the $A22,000 Summertime Chicken Ladyship Pace, finishing sixth to former Canterbury mare Simple Saver.

After working forward three wide early, the $1.60 favourite battled in the run home, finishing 9.4m from Simple Saver, the Dave Neal-owned and former Peter and Leonie Jones-trained mare. who led and won in a career best 1:52.8.

Simple Saver (5m Live Or Die-Debbie Duck), now with NSw trainer Kevin Pizzuto, has been a revelation over the sprint racing at Menangle.

She is now unbeaten in seven NSW starts, having previously paced 1:52.9 to score at Menangle on November 2.

Simple Saver has earned $A55,765 in Australia, while her career earnings now total $77,158.