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Australian Harness Racing Preview – Saturday June 1, 2024

A difficult draw threatens to end the winning streak of Leap To Fame when the champion pacer returns to racing at Albion Park on Saturday night.

Leap To Fame.
Leap To Fame. Picture: Dan Costello/Racing Queensland

Leap To Fame commences his preparation for July's Constellations Carnival by resuming in the Ladbrokes Blackbook Divided Open Pace over 1660m.

He has won his last 11 starts including some of the biggest races on the Australian calendar, highlighted by an Inter Dominion Final, AG Hunter Cup, Cranbourne Cup and Miracle Mile.

But his return has been made more challenging by drawing on the inside of the second row, potentially limiting options for his trainer-driver Grant Dixon.

Leap To Fame's last defeat came in the Be Good Johnny Sprint last November and it came under very similar circumstances – same barrier, circuit and distance.

On that occasion he settled four pairs back on the pegs and had to wait for the sprint lane before zipping home late for fourth.

He is at risk of being locked away again but he has gone to another level this season and has proven many times that he can find a way to win.

Hi Manameisjeff. Photo Getty Images.
Hi Manameisjeff. Photo Getty Images.

Another contender for the Constellations will make his return in Sydney on the same night.

Hi Manameisjeff appears for the first time since the Miracle Mile in March where he challenged Leap To Fame for favouritism but blew his chances with an early break.

Jason Grimson's gelding had been flying before that with a string of wins and the Miracle Mile was his first defeat in 10 appearances at Menangle.

Hi Manameisjeff is a specialist at the distance, winning all six attempts prior to the Miracle Mile and a scintillating trial win suggests he is back in tip-top order.

He takes on a handy field in the J D Watts Memorial that includes Taipo who kicked off the campaign with back-to-back placings before delivering a tough win last time when he came from this same barrier. He is race fit so can make an impact again.

Max Delight came from a wide barrier when he placed behind topliner Swayzee last week. He will enjoy a much lower draw while Mach Da Vinci has yet to win when fresh but has trialled twice and his form last campaign was good so is worth including.