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Next stop Cambridge for Miracle Mile winner

Champion Leap To Fame winning the Miracle Mile on Saturday night.  - Pacepix
Champion Leap To Fame winning the Miracle Mile on Saturday night.


Leap To Fame’s appearance in the $1 million The Race by Grins at Cambridge next month just went to another level.

His powerhouse $1mil Miracle Mile win means he will cross the ditch not only as the best pacer in this part of the world, but as an all-time great of the sport.

Leap To Fame overcame by far the hardest run in the race and a myriad of history to demolish his rivals at Menangle on Saturday night.

The five-year-old became the first horse to win Australasia’s premier speed test from such a wide draw (barrier seven).

And he also became just the second pacer and the first since the mighty Preux Chevalier 39 years ago to win Australia’s pacing Triple Crown in the same campaign, the Inter Dominion, Hunter Cup and Miracle Mile.

Remember, modern greats Blacks A Fake and Lazarus were unable to win the Miracle Mile at six attempts between them. This was Leap To Fame’s first run in it.

“We’re looking forward to taking him to the people in NZ now,” leviathan owner Kevin Seymour said. 

“Harness racing needs another champion to follow and get excited about, maybe even fall in love with.”

It is the first time Seymour, one of the greatest ever contributors to Aussie harness racing on all levels, has called Leap To Fame a champion.

“I’ve reserved my comments about him being a champion, but tonight he proved it by sitting in the death in such a great field and in those times,” he said.

“I couldn’t believe he could sit parked and beat a great field like that.

“It’s also the first Miracle Mile I’ve ever won in more than 50 years in the game and he did it by completing the Triple Crown, which is the icing on the cake.

“I won’t say it beats winning an Inter Dominion on your home track, but it’s right up there just behind it.”

The race changed complexion early when Leap To Fame’s main danger, Hi Manameisjeff, broke stride when being driven hard in search of the lead and lost all chance.

It helped trainer-driver Grant Dixon get Leap To Fame outside leader Speak The Truth a lot easier than many expected.

“I knew I had Speak The Truth covered on the home turn, but I was worried about those behind me given the work I’d done and times we’d run,” Dixon said.

Emerging young Kiwi star Sooner The Bettor charged at Leap To Fame and looked like causing a huge upset for a few strides, but the Queensland champ had other ideas.

“He really came at me, but my horse put his head down and really wanted to get to the line. I’m rapt for him, he really deserved that,” Dixon said.

“It felt like a long straight, that’s for sure. I’m so proud of him.”

Dixon said Leap To Fame had been life changing for him and wife, Trista.

“He’s given me the best part of my career and Trista is the best part of my life, so it’s great having Trista and the kids here tonight,” he said.

“So many people love this horse and come up to get photos with him. He’s become a real people’s horse and it’s great to be part of.”

Leap To Fame’s 1min48.3sec mile was the fourth fastest Miracle Mile of all-time.

It was his 35th win from just 45 starts with six seconds, two thirds and he's now banked $2,765,957.

And Leap To Fame also led home a trifecta for champion sire Bettors Delight with Sooner The Bettor beaten 2.5m into second spot and Speak The Truth another 3.5m away third.

Chariots Of Fire winner Frankie Ferocious made up an enormous amount of ground to finish fourth, while the other Kiwi in the race, Don’t Stop Dreaming, ran fifth.

A slot holder is yet to be confirmed for Leap To Fame for The Race by Grins, but with five spots remaining he's certain to land one. - Adam Hamilton


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