NZ versus Australia in the Bledisloe Cup of Racing
Thursday 29 November 2001
New Zealand versus Australia in the Bledisloe Cup of Racing – the prestigious Miracle Mile
New Zealand could be set to win another major Australian racing trophy if harness racing star Holmes DG crosses the line first in the $A400,000 Miracle Mile at Sydney’s Harold Park tomorrow night.
A win would take Holmes DG into the harness racing record books. Never before has a horse won the prestigious race three times in a row.
Harness Racing New Zealand Promotions Manager Greg O’Connor said it was looking pretty good for Holmes DG who had drawn the coveted number one barrier for the third year in a row.
“It’s all falling into place for [driver and trainer] Barry Purdon. It’s extraordinary for the horse to draw the number one barrier again, and the horse’s lead up form has been similar to last year’s,” said O’Connor.
Holmes DG is the main rival to the favourite and former champion Kiwi pacer Courage Under Fire. The New Zealand-bred horse transferred from Christchurch trainer Bruce Negus to Sydney trainer Brian Hancock’s stable after the 2000 Interdoms
Only six horses are invited to take part in the event, and this year sees the largest number of New Zealand horses ever to line up for the honours.
“New Zealand and the harness racing industry can be proud of the high level presence we have in tomorrow night’s event with reigning Interdom champion Yulestar, and New Zealand Cup winner Kym’s Girl joining Holmes DG,” said O’Connor.
The New Zealand TAB has Holmes DG second favourite at $4.00, with Courage Under Fire at $1.80.
TAB Bookie Kevin Gutschlag says Courage Under Fire opened at $2 but was moved to $1.80 following a $7,000 bet from Australia.
“Betting has been heavy on Courage Under Fire in Australia but we’re expecting there to be a lot of support for the New Zealand contenders, particularly considering most of the country is represented. Holmes DG is from Auckland, Yulestar ($8.00) from Taranaki, and Kym’s Girl ($10.00) is a Canterbury runner,” said Gutschlag.
The race is screening live on TAB Trackside at 11.50 pm tomorrow, Friday 30 November.