Carnival of Miracles – night two.

Tiger Tara
Tiger Tara deserves top seeding after his Victoria Cup, Inter Dominion and Hunter Cup performances but he has to prove himself as an A-grade sprinter against an up-and-coming bunch of speedsters.

We roll into the heart of Sydney’s Carnival of Miracles this weekend with the Miracle Mile qualifying heats as well as the qualifiers for the Derby, Oaks and Ladyship Mile.

In what shapes as a fascinating and entertaining night’s racing, here are the horses I’ll be tipping to win through to the major races on March 2nd.

Race 2 – Mother Energy Pace
An absolutely cracking fast class clash between some genuine open class guns with four-year-olds Chase Auckland, All U Need Is Faith, Hail Christian and Picard pressing on from the Chariots as well as more seasoned campaigners like Wardan Express, Little Rascal and Flaming Flutter.
I’m expecting the young guns to dominate here with Chase Auckland and All U Need Is Faith running the quinella.

1 Chase Auckland ($2.40)
2 All U Need Is Faith ($5.50)
3 Picard ($4.80)
4 Hail Christian ($3.20)

Race 3 – Derby Heat 1
Centenario is a Derby quality animal but he was in such a strong heat of the Victorian edition that he missed qualification for the decider. That will not be the case here thanks an ace alley. Crime Writer had a great Victorian series and Hurricane Harley, College Chapel and Malcolms Rhythym are all genuine stars on the rise.

1 Centenario ($1.40)
2 Hurricane Harley ($2.70)
3 Malcolms Rhytyhm ($13)
4 College Chapel ($41)

Race 4 – Derby Heat 2
All Stars gem Another Masterpiece gets a favourable draw here and should cruise to a win. Lochinvar Art encounters yet another horror draw but he’s good enough to park out and run top three. Pete’s Big Jim, Max Delight and Fourbigmen are the others who will be pushing for qualification.

1 Another Masterpiece ($1.24)
2 Lochinvar Art ($5)
3 Max Delight ($13)
4 Fourbigmen ($11)

Race 7 – Derby Heat 3
Muscle Factory was such a dominant winner of the Victorian Derby that he deserves top billing for the NSW version, especially on his home deck. He’s drawn awful here and he may get parked out but that shouldn’t matter.
Hardhitter is the horse who may lead, unless he takes a trail on stable mate Demon Delight who was not up to them in the Vic Derby final after controversially getting a run. This is the race where one or two outsiders may sneak through.

1 Muscle Factory ($1.18)
2 Demon Delight ($5.50)
3 Hurricane Roy ($34)
4 Firestorm Red ($101)

Race 9 – Oaks Heat 1
This is a contest where the two best fillies in the race have drawn opposite ends of the spectrum. Two Times Bettor has occasionally looked every bit as good as her standout stable mate Kualoa but for now, is clearly playing second fiddle. Soho Nolita loves Menangle. She bolted in from the outside gate in the Pacing Gold Final and sat parked in a 1:50 mile, narrowly going down to Cheesy Fingers. Those two should run the quinella. Behind them, Platinum Revolution can run well on the home dunghill whilst Kept In Play may do her famous family proud and qualify.

1 Two Times Bettor ($1.70)
2 Soho Nolita ($5)
3 Kept In Play ($26)
4 Platinum Revolution ($31)

Race 10 – Oaks Heat 2
Emma Stewart’s standout filly raced like an open class bruiser from the moment she saw a race track. Kualoa has been beaten but she’s mighty strong and keep giving. Cheesy Fingers set Menangle alight a month back with an Australasian record mile so she’s the natural danger to the favourite here. Miss Halfpenny – who has been down on form – and Bettor Robyn are others who can feature for third and fourth.

1 Kualoa ($1.40)
2 Cheesy Fingers ($2.80)
3 Miss Halfpenny ($26)
4 Bettor Robyn ($31)

Race 11 – Oaks Heat 3
Princess Tiffany destroyed Australia’s best fillies throughout the Breeders Crown but her New Zealand campaign as a three-year-old has been wayward. A niggle, a couple of beatings to inferior horses and a stop-start plan of attack have eventually led the All Stars runner to the NSW Oaks. She’s the one to beat! Miss Streisand, Brooklyn’s Best and pole marker Swimsuit Edition will all have eyes on running second to the superstar Kiwi.

1 Princess Tiffany ($1.55)
2 Miss Streisand ($6)
3 Swimsuit Edition ($7)
4 Brooklyn’s Best ($4.80)

Race 8 – Robin Dundee Stakes
What a race we have here. Yes, Elle Mac and Utmost Delight are not here thanks to some administrative blunders but arguably the #1 and #2 seeds – Tell Me Tales & Dream About Me – are here to clash before a shot at the $200,000 Ladyship Mile. Tell Me Tales has the pole and the speed so I think she just wins whilst Dream About Me could pressure her throughout but I think both will be happy to qualify without too much busting of the gut. Talented yet erratic mare Share The Road goes in next whilst Without You’s last start win probably earned her a trip north.

1 Tell Me Tales ($2.20)
2 Dream About Me ($1.70)
3 Share The Road ($26)
4 Without You ($11)

Race 5 – Allied Express Sprint
Again, Tiger Tara lands a plum draw in a big race and outside of any unforeseen circumstances early, he will be leading, getting a cosy time throughout and winning relatively easily. Thefixer has had a look at the big track and he went well parking outside Majordan but his task will be the same here so it’s unlikely he can win. Ashley Locaz was amazing in the Chariots and gets a look at qualifying for the Miracle Mile whilst former claimer Maximan gets a charmed run behind Tiger Tara and would need to go unders to miss top four.

1 Tiger Tara ($1.55)
2 Thefixer ($4)
3 Ashley Locaz ($7.50)
4 Maximan ($8)

Race 6 – Canadian Club Sprint
Spankem’s plans suddenly changed course last week so here he is lining up at a Miracle Mile. He won’t lead but I think he can come from the one-one or one-two and beat Majordan who, in my opinion, cannot run the required time to be winning a MM. He will be leading this and he may well win but I doubt he can do so next week. Cruz Bromac gets back to a more favoured trip so his performance will be of interest whilst Our Uncle Sam is going too well to leave out.

1 Spankem ($7)
2 Majordan ($2)
3 Cruz Bromac ($6)
4 Our Uncles Sam ($4)

Quaddie (Races 5,6,7,8);
Leg 1: 1,3,8
Leg 2: 6,7,8,9
Leg 3: 3,9
Leg 4: 1,4

Down south, the top trotters will clash in the Group 1 Knight Pistol over 2240m and again, we’ll see Tornado Valley enter as an almost unbackable favourite. His main danger may have been new stable mate McLovin but he has been engaged in an easier event on the same card.
Tornado Valley is not a horse who runs away from his opposition but he should account for these easily.

24 hours earlier, Ararat plays host to its annual trotting and pacing cup. For the squaregaiters, former New Zealander Stress Factor should lead from the tapes and be impossible to chase down. Jericho’s Trumpet may be the only danger, if any.
With so much good racing around, the pacing cup has not attracted a very strong field but it should be competitive with plenty of horses getting their opportunity to claim a feature race. Such is the form Team Stewart / Tonkin are in it’s hard to go past Lookofalegend from gate two whilst Bernie Winkle and Dikerry are the other obvious hopes in a very even, if not brilliant, contest.

With the outstanding thoroughbred racing throughout the day and the Harness Racing slated for Friday and Saturday evening, it’s a great time to either get trackside, or do what I’ll be doing and put the feet up and watch all the action from the couch (sorry Hannah!)



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