Miracle Mile goes back a week this season

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The best pacers in training will get their shot at two or more major victories following changes to dates and conditions for the 2017 Ainsworth Miracle Mile at Tabcorp Park @ Club Menangle.

Australia’s biggest harness racing sprint, the $750,000 Ainsworth Miracle Mile will now be run on Saturday, February 25 in Sydney.

The club has moved their feature race back a week so that Grand Circuit campaigners can contest the Victoria Cup on Saturday, January 28, 2017 or the Hunter Cup on February 4 (or both) and still be fresh enough to contest the sprint races the week before the Ainsworth Miracle Mile.

Trainers must also race their stable stars in either the Canadian Club Sprint or the Allied Express Sprint on February 18 if they wish to be invited into the Miracle Mile.

The only exception will be the Cordina Chariots Of Fire, for four-year-olds, which will be run on February 11 and has an automatic invitation into the Miracle Mile for the winner.

It should be noted that there will no longer be an automatic invitation for the Victoria Cup winner to contest the Miracle Mile.

Bruce Christison

Bruce Christison

That means the MM field will comprise the Chariots Of Fire winner (assuming they accept the invitation), plus the first two horses across the line in the Canadian Club Sprint as well as the first two over the line in the Allied Express Sprint run the same night.

The remaining three starters and two reserves will be chosen from the horses that contested either the Chariots of Fire or were drawn in the field for either of the sprints.

According to Club Menangle CEO Bruce Christison, moving the sprints to the week before the Miracle Mile will create a level playing field for all competitors.

“All horses that make the MM field will now race the week before, with the exception of the Chariots winner, which will qualify the previous week,” said Christison.

“Moving our date for the Mile back should help everyone by making it more achievable to target both the Victorian and NSW carnivals.

“Horses can now contest the Victoria Cup and Hunter Cup and then have a week off before our sprints at Menangle.”

Club Menangle chairman Ray Sharman endorsed the changes: “Our club wanted to work with Harness Racing Victoria to develop the January and February months as a time of premium harness racing on the east coast,” said Sharman.

“This goes a long way towards achieving just that.

“We can now look forward to a spectacular few weeks of harness racing.”

Courtesy of Mandy Zammitt,

Social Media & Trotguide Co-ordinator.