Kiwi pacing stars Have Faith In Me and Smolda may need the ace they have stored up their sleeves to sneak into the Miracle Mile via tonight's preludes.

While the pair go into their A$100,000 group one miles as second favourites, both face wide draws in races where they need to finish top two to be guaranteed a start in next week's A$750,000 Miracle Mile at Menangle.

And trainer Mark Purdon admits that won't be easily achieved.

"They are both up against it," says Purdon.


"Have Faith In Me has drawn wide and is going to have to keep pressing forward in a race where Lennytheshark is likely to lead and be very hard to beat," says Purdon.

"I'm happy enough with him but the way he has gone this campaign I think we can all see he is not as good as he was this time last season.

"He could have a hard run and a top two finish would be a good result.

"Whereas Smolda also faces having to give a really good horse in Hectorjayjay a start and I can see him having to work hard too.

"He was disappointing by his standards in the Hunter Cup but has started to spark up again and was the best he has been since in track work on Tuesday.

"But he really is up against it," the trainer said.

Purdon can take some solace from the fact that as the Miracle Mile defending champion (Have Faith In Me) and Inter Dominion winner (Smolda) his pair would have the inside running for two of the remaining seven invites to the Miracle Mile should they finish third or even fourth tonight.

He can be a lot more confident heading into tonight's NSW Derby and Oaks preludes, where he has three hot favourites and one second favourite.

Ultimate Machete should win his Australian debut while Vincent looks set to bounce back from his disastrous Victoria Derby in another heat which leaves stable rep Motu Meteor against Our Little General in the heat of the night, with the latter favoured by the draw.

And Partyon, winner of the Harness Jewels and Breeders Crown last season, will be red hot in the second, weaker heat of the NSW Oaks.

Piccadilly Princess faces a second line draw in her A$51,500 mares race but should get a good run through and will again be short with bookies.

The final seven Miracle Mile invites will be made tonight with the all-important draw around mid-afternoon tomorrow.