HARNESS racing fans throughout New South Wales are set for one of the most action-packed weekends in recent memory.
Beginning with Friday night, enthusiasts will enjoy the Group Two $100,000 Newcastle Mile, the winner gaining automatic entry into the $1million Garrards Miracle Mile at Club Menangle on March 4.
On the topic of Club Menangle, the world class venue will host night one of the Sky Racing Carnival Of Miracles on Saturday night.
The stellar card is headlined by the $250,000 Cordina Chicken Farms Chariots Of Fire.
Leading Sydney reinsman Luke McCarthy has a strong hand in some of those big races and is certainly no stranger to Group One glory.
Known as one of the best in the business, McCarthy boasts a fantastic success rate at the top level with 76 majors to his credit.
McCarthy has the task of handling the Stephen Telfer-trained Kiwi raider, Alta Wiseguy, in the Newcastle Mile and will then partner Cantfindabettorman for his trainer-wife, Belinda, in the Chariots Of Fire.
Tefler has two runners in Newcastle’s feature with stablemate B D Joe drawing barrier one and Alta Wiseguy to start from gate two.
Alta Wiseguy came across the ditch boasting strong form but finished eighth at Tabcorp Menangle a fortnight ago when beaten six metres in a fast run race.
The gelding has drawn to get every chance and should be a lot closer to the speed in the feature sprint.
“He looks like he is a nice horse,” McCarthy said. “It is a really smart field in the Mile, but from that draw he should be able to balance up a bit closer than he did last week and hopefully we can trounce some of his more fancied rivals.
“I think from what I have seen of his performances, he can definitely win it with the right run.
“This weekend is a massive one and the Sydney carnival is one that I look forward to every year.
“It is great to have such top racing right at our backdoor and Menangle is simply a world class facility.”
- MICHAEL DUMESNY