Monkey King in record Miracle Mile
New Zealand horse Monkey King confirmed himself as the best horse in Australasia when he smashed the Australian record in winning the $500,000 Miracle Mile (1609m) at Menangle on Sunday.
The seven-year-old had come to Australia on the back of winning the New Zealand Cup and New Zealand Free For All and with a dashing drive by Ricky May added Australia’s biggest race joining Kiwi superstars Chokin and Christian Cullen.
"He is now the best horse I’ve ever driven and he can just do everything," May said.
"I couldn’t believe it when I got the one-one and coming to the turn I knew he’d be hard to beat.
"It is a great way to bring up my 50th Group One and I still think there are more big wins in him."
Monkey King had enjoyed the run of the race as the speed was on from the start.
There were four across the track coming to the first turn with Lonestar Legend, Kiwi Ingenuity, Smoken Up and Melpark Major all keen to lead.
They ran the first quarter in 26.2 seconds and only backed off to 29.4 when Smoken Up finally found the front with Melpark Major on his outside.
May was able to watch all of this unfold in front of him in the run of the race.
He then waited until well into the straight to make his winning surge leading up and running past Smoken Up who kicked back but was held on the line by a neck.
Gutsy Australian stayer Karloo Mick ran third another 1-1/4 metres away as the winner recorded 55.2 for the last 800 metres for an overall 1:50.8.
Monkey King’s trainer Brendon Hill had taken a relaxed approach into the Miracle Mile only hobbling the winner once and galloping him to keep him fit.
"It is unbelievable, we knew he could do something like this but when it happens you just sit and shake your head," Hill said.
"He had always had the class to win these big races but he is just putting it all together now and we are seeing how good he actually is.
"I’ll have a think about what I am going to do next, I might even go back to New Zealand and then come back for the Victoria Cup (at Melton next month)."