Racing: Wonder horse grabs A$750k Mile

By Michael Guerin

Natalie Rasmussen (left) drives Have Faith In Me to victory in the Miracle Mile at Menangle tonight. Photo / Stuart McCormick
Natalie Rasmussen (left) drives Have Faith In Me to victory in the Miracle Mile at Menangle tonight. Photo / Stuart McCormick

Miracle Mile hero Have Faith In Me can go faster than his 1:47.5 Australasian mile record but he won't be attempting it any time soon.

That's because pacing's new wonder horse is finished for the season as his trainers look to the future.

Have Faith In Me overcame nearly galloping in the home straight to grab Lennytheshark in the last stride of a A$750,000 Miracle Mile for the ages at Menangle tonight.

His victory capped a remarkable day for trainers Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen, who won four of the five group one races they contested, finishing second in the other.

But as magnificent as the rest of their team was, Have Faith In Me has the stamp of an all-time great about him.

Still only a 4-year-old and a gawky one at that, he comes from a family that improve with age and he could develop into an even more special horse.

Which is why his season is over.

"I think a break now is the best thing for him and he will come back better," said Purdon.

"That means missing the Jewels and the big 4-year-old races at Alexandra Park but he has done more than we thought he could have at this age and he needs time to strengthen up. So I am sure he can get better."

Remarkably, the record Have Faith In Me lowered tonight was set last year by his sister Adore Me, who paced 1:47.7.

To have the two fastest winners in Australasian history as brother and sister is scarcely believable.

Adore Me set a world record for 3200m winning a New Zealand Cup and that will be the first big aim for Have Faith In Me next season.

Meaning he will need plenty of work on his hit-and-miss standing-start manners.

But if he improves as much as his big sister did between 4 and 5, Have Faith In Me will be favourite for not only the New Zealand Cup but also every other major race he contests.

While Have Faith In Me won't be heading to the Jewels, former Kiwi mare Arms Of An Angel is heading there after her brave third in the Mile after setting up the record.

The Purdon-Rasmussen day of domination started in the NSW Oaks when Our Dream About Me remained unbeaten at her 12th start by overcoming a tough run parked to thrash Australia's best fillies.

The stable had a setback in the Ladyship Mile when Willow finished second but their heavily backed favourite Fight For Glory broke down and was retired.

Smolda put them back on track winning the A$100,000 free-for-all, smashing another Australasian record in the process.

His 2:48 clocking for the 2400m mobile is an incredible 6.3 seconds inside the fastest time ever paced for the distance in New Zealand, showing just how fast Menangle has become.

Then it was Waikiki Beach's turn in the NSW Derby, as he wrested control of the race after 800m and made it 16 wins on end.

He comes to Alexandra Park next for the Northern Derby on March 11 and a first meeting with his stablemate Lazarus, who heads to a Derby prelude there this Friday.

Our Dream About Me is also nominated for the Derby but won't start.

"If we didn't have so many good colts she would probably have a go but we don't have to worry about that," said Purdon matter-of-factly.

- NZ Herald

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