Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
Talented New Zealand-bred six-year-old Miracle Moose enhanced his prospects of gaining a start in the $450,000 TABtouch WA Pacing Cup next Friday night when he scored a dashing victory in the 2536m Happy 60TH Birthday Allison Taplin Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Trainer Nathan Turvey and driver Emily Suvaljko agreed that the Mach Three gelding had the class to be a major player in the 2936m Cup, with Turvey saying: “He’s a big chance,” and Suvaljko declaring “he’s definitely got the ability.”
Miracle Moose, having his second start after a three-month absence, was an $8.40 chance, and he caused a major upset in defeating the brilliant Magnificent Storm, the $1.34 favourite, in an event which was run in most unusual fashion, with $11 chance Bletchley Park pulling hard and overracing in front.
Bletchley Park, driven by Lindsay Harper, burst straight to the front from the No. 3 barrier and after a lap he led by eight lengths from Galactic Star, who was followed in Indian file order by Heez Our Perseus, Miracle Moose, Cordero and Magnificent Storm.
Bletchley Park had increased his advantage to 50 metres with a lap to travel, and with 780m to go Aldo Cortopassi eased Magnificent Storm off the pegs and dashed forward and his run was followed by Miracle Moose.
Magnificent Storm got to the front 300m from home, but he was unable to hold out Miracle Moose, who took a narrow lead on the home turn and went on to win by one and a half lengths, rating 1.55.2 over 2536m.
Magnificent Storm was gallant in defeat, and he is sure to prove hard to beat in the Pacing Cup.
“I was sitting there (four back on the pegs) with a lap to go, and I thought that Majestic Storm (in last place in the field of six) was going to have to come from too far back, and I thought that I was definitely the one to beat.
“Miracle Moose drew about a head in front on the corner,” said Suvaljko. “He doesn’t like to run past horses, but I didn’t pull the ear plugs until the top of the straight, and he responded strongly.”
Turvey said that Miracle Moose had given convincing proof that he is a top-flight pacer when he charged home from last to finish second to Vultan Tin in the 2692m Pinjarra Cup last March when he beat home horses of the calibre of Mighty Conqueror, Im Full Of Excuses, Wildwest, Simba Bromac, Galactic Star and Bletchley Park.
Then, at his following start, Miracle Moose finished second to Wildwest in the group 2 Governor’s Cup at Gloucester Park.
“The Pinjarra Cup was the most brutally-run long-distance race of the year,” said Turvey. “Miracle Moose came from last, out five and six wide, to beat five Pacing Cup runners by 30 metres. He is a quicker finisher than any of them.
“It has been a frustrating experience with him since then, with him having foot problems. He has had two or three quarter cracks, but all’s well now.”
Miracle Moose, a winner at two of his 15 New Zealand starts, has had 36 starts in WA for 13 wins and 12 placings. He has earned $168,338 from 15 wins and 16 placings from 51 starts.