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Cordina Sprint preview

With the Melbourne spring carnival, some of the lesser-known diamonds in Australian racing appear over the next few weeks - the Ballarat Cup, Super Saturday at Ascot in Perth, and not to be outdone, harness racing (the trots) gears up towards the Miracle Mile and the Gloucester Park Summer Carnival.

Aspiring journalist and keen harness racing enthusiast Thomas Hudson, @tommyhud9, makes his blog debut with a look at the final qualifier for next week's Miracle Mile.

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Cordina Chicken Farms Sprint Preview

The Miracle Mile Carnival rolls on this Saturday night as the $100000 Cordina Chicken Farms Sprint takes place at Tabcorp Park Menangle. The race provides the 10 competitors a final chance to secure an invitation to next week’s Grand Circuit event. Five names have already been confirmed in what is shaping up as one of the strongest Miracle Mile fields in recent memory, with last year’s champion Beautide proving he is once again the one to beat with some dominant victories in recent weeks.

As with the vast majority of Group 1 mile races at Menangle, a very fast first quarter is ensured this Saturday with a number of noted leaders and on-speed runners in the Cordina field. Blazin N Cullen, Mark Dennis, Devil Dodger and Bettor Bet Black will all fancy their chances of getting to the fence in the charge to the first turn, but the lightning-fast Suave Stuey Lombo, with a driver hell-bent on leading aboard in Lauren Panella, will be aiming to bullock its way to the lead and is expected to do so. The Shane Tritton trained gelding (currently trading at $1.30 with TAB.com.au), has enjoyed a stellar season thus far winning three of its five starts, with two of those victories coming over Beautide. This class factor leads many to believe the horse affectionately known as ‘Stuey’ will be winning this Saturday night and booking his place in the Miracle Mile.

Betting markets indicate that it is hard to find a horse capable of causing an upset, however Belinda McCarthy’s 4-year-old superstar Bling It On currently sits as second favourite ($4.50). This horse is a somewhat unknown quantity in these open class events, but his record as a two and three-year-old is nothing short of incredible with the horse boasting a 72% win record and having already earned upwards of $700000 in prize money. It will be very interesting to see whether or not the star youngster can mix it with his more tried and tested rivals.

Of the rest of the field, a lot of the chances will depend on the outcome of the early speed battle spoken about previously. Victorian trainer David Aiken brings Cold Major to Menangle to add an extra element of mystery to the race, while fellow talented Victorian Abettorpunt will be trying to improve on last week’s fifth placing in the Coca-Cola sprint.

John Tapp’s Menangle fast-class regular Chariot King will throw its hat into the ring yet again, while one of Shane Tritton’s other entrants into the race, Laterron, has been in top form since coming to the stable and is an outside chance.

Several quality races surround the Cordina Sprint on Saturday night, with heats of the Beautide championship continuing for the M0s. Three heats of the Smoken Up championship also take place on the night, featuring some of the region’s best open class horses. The square gaiters get a run in the final event, as the second heat of the Franco Australian Trotters championship takes place.

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