By Duane Ranger
Slice of Heaven has 100,000 reasons to maintain his solid form-line at Albion Park on Saturday night.
Trainer Donny Smith, said he was now on top of the five-year-old gelding’s feet problems, and if he continued to race the way he has been, then a trip to Sydney was on the cards.
“I’ve had him for just on a year now and he’s never felt this good. There’s a $100,000 race on Miracle Mile night at Menangle I’d like to take him south for that,” Smith said.
“But for him to get there he’s going to have to keep doing what he’s been doing – and I think he can."
The $1m Ainsworth Miracle Mile will be held on Saturday March 2. On Saturday Slice Of Heaven will make his open class debut in the richest race - the $14,580 Congrats C. J. Gerrard Oam C/7+ Pace.
The son of Rocknroll Hanover has copped the widest second row draw (12).
"(Glenferrie Hood) and Lilac Flash are the horses to beat, but my fella can win if things go his way," Smith said.
"Drawing 12 isn't so bad because we might be able to get on 'Glenferrie's' back and get into the race that way. I'm looking forward to his open class debut because there's some nice horses in the race and I know he can measure up."
Slice Of Heaven has won three of his last four starts including a close-up victory over last season’s Horse-of-the-Year, Colt Thirty One, at the same venue seven days ago.
"He's had a few niggles over the years and when he came to us (from J J Alchin – NSW) I knew within a month he was better than average. He’s come ahead leaps and bounds," Smith said.
“I told the staff he’s the best we’ve got. That was last April and he’s gone on to prove us right. He did have soft feet and it's taken a while for them to harden up, but I seem to be on top of that, which really pleases me."
Smith said he didn’t train Slice Of Heaven like a champion.
"He's got quite a bit of untapped potential. I just train him like I do any of the other horses. He’s yet to be tapped into," he said.
“Yes he can win on Saturday. We need him to warrant a trip to New South Wales."
Slice of Heaven, the winner of 14 of his 34 starts (and $77,653), was bred in New Zealand by Harvey Kaplan of the Jordash Breeding Trust. He was the fifth foal of 10 out of the unraced 2003 Kiwi mare, Pacific Rocket - She's Mighty.
Smith said he was sold to Alchin and his clients for $52,000 at a Ready To Run Sale before he was two.
Alchin trained him to win five of his 22 starts before Smith took over the training duties in March last year