As Good As The World's Best?

Published: July 20, 2016 09:32 am EDT

The trainer of downunder standout Have Faith In Me is adamant his horse is "just as good" as the current top older pacing horses and could competitively race with the likes of Always B Miki, Freaky Feet Pete and Wiggle It Jiggleit.

In February, the four-year-old son of Bettors Delight, Have Faith In Me rewrote the Australasian harness racing record books with a 1:47.5 mile in the $750,000 Group I Miracle Mile at Tabcorp Park Menangle. At the time, trainer Mark Purdon and co-trainer/driver Natalie Rasmussen stated the horse's best was yet to come.

Purdon and Rasmussen recently concluded a trip to North America, spent some time in some of the sport's top barns, and observed the older pacing class up close and in person. Upon returning home, Purdon agreed with local racing scribes that if his horse was fully integrated with the North American style of racing and used the faster style of racebike used here, his horse would be able to break the 1:47 barrier.

"I am sure he would be but I don't think there is any great desire to race him up there," Purdon told The New Zealand Herald.

Unfortunately for harness racing fans, that matchup is unlikely to take place. The world's trotting ranks have faced off against each other for years in races on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, but given seasons and distance that's less plausible on the pacing side. Plus, the possibility of dominating the downunder ranks makes staying home that much more lucrative to the horse's connections.

"If he is the best down here this season, which we hope he will be, then he can win more money than he could up there because up there he would be one of three or four with similar ability," noted Purdon.