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Miracles of Life
Returns to dead heat in the Perri Cutten Caulfield Sprint

18 October 2014

Looking through the fields for the Caulfield Cup meeting one name stood out in the support races.  Former Adelaide mare Miracles of Life was due to make her return to racing for her new connections.  Very little has been heard of her since she was sold at the Magic Millions Broodmare sales last May and I had actually wondered if she was coming back as planned of if she had been retired.

When Miracles of Life first appeared in the mounting yard for her first race start in December 2012 she was the smallest of the 2yos in the field and didn't stand out in particular.  She had won a trial defeating Erbawi (who has gone onto success in country SA and Darwin) by six lengths but others were more fancied.  After settling midfield Miracles of Life stormed up the inside in the straight to race away winning by over 5 lengths.  She impressed the locals but interstate they took little notice of such a race from SA with the glamour horses from the bigger stables appearing interstate.  Two weeks later though that all changed where although it was only a small field of 6 she settled in second place and then just made it an exhibition gallop racing away around the turn to win by 9 lengths.  Suddenly she started to attract headlines with the question of would they go to Melbourne for a Blue Diamond lead up race and would trainer Daniel Clarken keep her local jockey Lauren Stojakovic for the race. 

The Blue Diamond Preview was on Australia Day and after settling midfield Lauren kept Miracles of Life in the clear and once she straightened again the tiny filly hit full speed and left the rest behind as if they were tied to the fence.  She won by over 4 lengths from fillies from the Moody and Waterhouse stables and now the media went into a frenzy.  Many 'experts' believed that connections should get a senior local jockey to ride her in the Blue Diamond Stakes but the stable stood firm keeping the winning formula for the big race while there was also the question of if she could sustain her speed under the high pressure against the Sydney and Melbourne colts.  Garnering a huge following in Adelaide this flashy filly with the stable name of Barbie from a small stable with an 'unknown girl' jockey headed to the Blue Diamond Stakes.  In retrospect the field was very strong with runners including future Cox Plate winner Shamus Award and future star 3yo and this season's early wfa star in Dissident plus glamour filly Guelph who would go on to win two 2yo group 1 races and be a star 3yo filly the following spring and the talented black type performers in Gregers and Fast N Rocking.  Once again Lauren rode the perfect race and while the field got closer on the line the little filly from Adelaide was again too good winning the big race by 1 1/2 lengths from Fast N Rocking with Godiva Rock third.  Four wins from four starts the temptation was there to go to Sydney for the Golden Slipper but having achieved the heights in her first preparation Miracles of Life was spelled for the spring.

After winning a barrier trial easily from Australia Day and Eclair Big Bang (who would go on to create his own headlines that spring) Miracles of Life resumed with an unlucky 4th in the McNeil Stakes in August 2013.  A second placing followed in the Champagne Stakes where she was wide but fleetingly looked a winning chance before Thump near the rail kicked clear while Miracles of Life fought hard to a clear second.  However after a disappointing run in the Blue Sapphire at Caulfield on Guineas day it was found that she had a lung issue which would need a good spell to repair and hopefully see Barbie back to her best in the Autumn. 

She returned in March 2014 at Flemington where she took on the older sprinters for a 6th placing beaten less than 2lengths in a blanket finish then it was back to Adelaide for the Autumn carnival.  In the Manihi Classic, an open sprint, Miracles of Life was back in form as she went for home taking control in the straight but in the final few bounds Angels Beach got up to just nose her out on the line.  Two weeks later Miracles of Life lined up in the Redelva Stakes for 3yos where she carried 57kg and after being well back to the turn she made a long sustained run around the field and valiantly tried to catch the speedy Minaj but the front runner held her off by a length.  It was so close and yet so far for that elusive victory as a 3yo.

The Euclase Classic is a Group 2 race for the sprinting 3yos and is often used as the lead up to the Goodwood.  Victorian runner The Quarterback was sent out favourite but on settling it was Classy Jack who led from Miracles of Life while the favourite got well back.  Into the straight Miracles of Life put in her claims and this time there nothing else had a chance  as she put the race beyond doubt winning by nearly two lengths from the fast finishing Jazz Song with Classy Jack holding on for third.  The emotion after the race was incredible as Barbie was back on the winners list but it may have been her last race as she had been entered in the Magic Millions on the Gold Coast Broodmare sales as Teeley Assets dispersed their stock.  For me this is the race where afterwards I took the photo as seen below that would be awarded the Best Picture of the Year at the TRSA Racing Awards for the 2013-14 racing season.  As it turned out Miracles of Life did well enough during the week to line up in the Goodwood but after hitting the lead around the turn she faded to finish well back.  She was then sold at the Gold Coast for $900,000 to Stonestreet Stables who announced she was joined the stable of Peter and Paul Snowden in Sydney and race on as a 4yo mare.

After two barrier trials Miracles of Life went back to Caulfield the site of her biggest win to take on sprinters in the Group 2 Perri Cutten Caulfield Sprint.  Trainer and jockey Hugh Bowman spoke in hushed tones as jockeys prepared to take their mounts for the race with a clear plan in mind.  Jumping from barrier 4 in the field of twelve Miracles of Life was quickly into stride settling in third place inside Pago Rock behind I'm All The Talk and Thermal Current out wider on the track.  Approaching the turn Miracles of Life was under a hold but had moved up to a close second inside I'm All The Talk with Thermal Current third on her outside from Pago Rock outside Facile Tigre with Unpretentious next and Bel Sprinter well back.  Into the straight Miracle of Life took over the lead from I'm All The Talk who fought strongly as Pago Rock made ground and Bel Sprinter started to run on through the field.  With 200m to go Miracles of Life kicked clear as Thermal Current got his second wind then Bel Sprinter came through the gaps that had appeared to give chase as Shamal Wind ran on wider out.  Inside the final 50m Miracles of Life was starting to tire as Shamal Wind made the first challenge and then Bel Sprinter made his run between them.  In the final few strides Miracles of Life fought back strongly and stuck her nose out in determined fashion as Bel Sprinter made his dive on the line and Shamal Wind was still there on the outside.  Right on the post Bel Sprinter got the bob in but Miracles of Life with that head held stretched out countered the last second challenge.  It appeared Miracles of Life had just held on but the low angle replay showed Bel Sprinter may have cut the uplifting win that her supporters back in Adelaide needed at the very last moment. 

Finally the photo finish flashed up on the big screen and racecaller Greg Miles was quick to confirm that the race had indeed ended in a dead heat between the gallant Miracles of Life and the Group 1 winning sprinter Bel Sprinter who dwarfed her as they pulled up after the race.  While Bel Sprinter returned to scale first Hugh Bowman on Miracles of Life was interviewed for the carnival coverage on channel 7.  In winning Miracles of Life took her career record to 13 starts for 6 wins and 3 placings with over a million dollars in prizemoney.  She is to now be aimed at the feature straight races during the Flemington Cup Carnival no doubt with her legion of fans watching on from Adelaide.                         



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