A G’s White Socks has already been part of one racing miracle. On Saturday night at Tabcorp Park, Menangle, he’ll get a shot at another.
This time it’s in the $1 million Ainsworth Miracle Mile, Australia’s greatest and richest harness race.
A G’s White Socks is a rejuvenated veteran, a horse whose career was on the scrap heap six months ago until trainer Greg Hope radically changed the gelding’s diet and the real A G’s White Socks resurfaced.
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AG’s White Socks has rediscovered his best form. Picture: Stuart McCormickSource:Supplied
He has won two Inter Dominion heats and a Ballarat Cup since and from barrier one he will get his chance in Saturday night’s super sprint, likely to lead or sit behind the leader.
But even if A G’s White Socks wins the Miracle Mile, the most important thing he has done this season won’t be going fast — it will be the time he went slow.
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A G’s White Socks is the horse champion Kiwi horseman and two-time Miracle Mile winner Ricky May was driving when he effectively died in a mid-race incident at Omakau in New Zealand on January 2. The horse was leading when the driver had a major medical incident and collapsed in the sulky.
The jarring footage caused a shock around the racing world. May’s heart had stopped. He was dead for an estimated 10 minutes but was revived and, after surgery to fit him with a permanent defibrillator, May is returning to health and, hopefully, one day to the sulky.
But trainer Greg Hope said the kindness, the bond between regular driver May and A G’s White Socks, may have helped save May’s life.
“Usually, when a horse gets loose, or has nobody controlling like that, they will bolt and go faster,” Hope said.
“But he didn’t. When he felt Ricky lose tension on the reins he eased up, slowing right down. That meant when Ricky eventually fell out of the sulky the two of them weren’t going that fast and it helped reduce the damage to Ricky.
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The Off & Racing panel look ahead to the biggest races of the weekend.
“It really was quite incredible and I have thought about it a lot since that day. We were so lucky.”
May will watch from New Zealand on Saturday night as Victorian horseman Greg Sugars takes the reins. Hope said his little mate, given a second chance at life, would love to see A G’s White Socks win.
“Ricky has been a huge part of this horse’s life,’’ Hope said. “He looked after him in his races when he was young and also when he lost his form last season.’’
But Hope and Sugars don’t plan to go slow at Tabcorp Park. From the one alley, they will try to stay handy, maybe even lead.
And if they do trail King Of Swing, they will get their chance as he often rolls away from the markers in the home straight which would give A G’s White Socks his chance.
He is just one of many horses with a chance in the great race but at $6 he is possibly the best each-way bet.
And he might be the only one to ever save a champion driver’s life.
Originally published asSocks on track for another Miracle
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