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    MACH DAN FIRST HORSE INTO THE $1M MIRACLE MILE MACH DAN FIRST HORSE INTO THE $1M MIRACLE MILE

    MACH DAN after winning last season's Newcastle Mile PHOTO: Coffee Photography.

    THERE’S no place like the front when it comes to the elite harness racing at Newcastle. That didn’t come true for ace Victorian gelding... MACH DAN FIRST HORSE INTO THE $1M MIRACLE MILE

    THERE’S no place like the front when it comes to the elite harness racing at Newcastle.

    That didn’t come true for ace Victorian gelding Mach Dan at Newcastle tonight.

    And in the end, it didn’t matter as the six-year-old gelding became the first horse into the $1m Garrards Miracle Mile at Menangle in two weeks’ time with a stunning victory in tonight’s $100,000 Newcastle Mile.

    Mach Dan defeated a plucky Tasty Delight, with Petes Said So in third place in a 1:51.2 mile rate.

    Part-owner Danny Zavitsanos was on track at Newcastle to savour the win and admitted he was stunned Mach Dan could race without cover for the entire journey and still put away a quality field to earn a place in Australia’s richest Mile.

    “I’m in shock. I can’t believe this,” said Zavitsanos.

    “I didn’t think he could do that. This is just mind boggling.

    “Mind you, his Hunter Cup run was enormous.

    “But to see what he did tonight was just so fantastic. And now we’re in a second Miracle Mile. Wow.”

    Mach Dan also won this race last year to earn a Miracle Mile berth and now gets a second shot at the big race and, according to his reinsman Mark Pitt, is not out of it either.

    “He was super tough tonight,” said Pitt as he returned to the enclosure.

    “His recent runs have been full of merit and for co-trainers Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin to put me on a horse like this is a mighty thrill.

    “This run will actually do him the world of good and we can’t wait for the big race now.

    “This horse is a live chance and if he gets a good barrier, he’s not out of it either.”

    Disappointment of the race was the well-backed Kiwi pacer B D Joe ($2.30 favourite), who skipped for a few strides when the mobile let them go and lost the advantage of the inside barrier as he never settled comfortably before finishing at the rear of the field.

    YOU BEAUTY: Part-owner Danny Zavitsanos was ecstatic after his Newcastle Mile victory. PHOTO: Coffee Photography.

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    Michael Court

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