Miracle Day scores miracle result in revived Hibernian Handicap

Shayleigh Ingelse guided the Dar Lunn-trained Miracle Day to victory in Friday’s Hibernian Handicap at Dubbo.
Image: Racing Photography.

After gaining a start as an emergency, the Dar Lunn-trained Miracle Day went around in Dubbo’s revived Hibernian Handicap (1100m) as a $26 roughie.

Despite drawing awkwardly with gate 13, Shayleigh Inglese rode the six-year-old a treat, with the pair finding a good spot a little better than midfield as the Brett Robb-trained Rylen’s Pick (Shannen Llewellyn, $6.50) and the Dar Lunn-trained Praline (Kath Bell-Pitomac, $61) ran the field along at a very slick speed. 

Peeling wide on the home straight, Miracle Day finished strongly, putting a length and a half on the Alison Smith-trained Brief Statement (Will Stanley, $4), while in third and almost two lengths back was the Clint Lundholm-trained Raging Rush (Jake Pracey-Holmes, $4.20).

Lunn was quick to praise the two-kilogram claiming apprentice. 

“She rode him exactly how I told her to,” Lunn told NSW Country and Picnic Racing.

“They had the wide gate, and she got back running sixth or seventh with a bit of cover because we knew they would go quick.

“From there, she got to the outside and finished strong, and it was an excellent win.”

Making Friday’s victory all the more impressive was that Miracle Day was first-up from a 32-week spell. 

A four-time winner who won three-on-the-trot in late 2021 when trained by Kris Lees, the Street Boss gelding has the ability. 

Lunn tested Miracle Day in town last prep, but he failed to impress and would bleed a start later at Dubbo, leading to a good stint in the paddock.

“He’s got ability, and I took him to town for a TAB Highway and thought he would go well, but he went pretty ordinary,” Lunn said.

“He was then going good at home, and I started him at Dubbo, but he bled on me and bled pretty bad. 

“We gave him a good spell, and he’s been good ever since; he probably needed it, as his feet aren’t the best, and he’s got a few little niggles. 

“Still, he does go nice, and he’s been working really well up to his start there the other day; I thought he would run a good race.”

Lunn believes there is improvement in Miracle Day, which is being set for the 1200m Benchmark 82 Handicap at Mudgee on March 31. 

“During the last bit of the race, he picked them up quickly and pricked his ears, so he had a bit in the tank when he was hitting the line,” Lunn said. 

“We’ll look at a race at Mudgee at the end of the month if everything is going right with him.”

Lunn’s stable, which scored a double on their home deck on Friday, has been firing lately.

The Dubbo conditioner has prepared eight winners from his past 28 starters, including four from his past six.

The in-form pair of Elson Boy and Pants On Fire will head to the $150,000 Western Districts Country Championships qualifier at Coonamble on Sunday, and Lunn admitted it had been a good little period for his team. 
“A couple of those good horses had a break, and they have come back that little bit better,” Lunn said. 

“Everything is just falling into place. It’s not like we’re doing anything special or different; we’ve just got a bit better class of horse.”