- 06 October 2017
NZ HARNESS NEWS
King Of Swing took line honours in the first heat of the Sires Stakes Series for three-year-olds at Cambridge this evening, heading home a stable quinella for trainer Ray Green in the process.
It was a relatively tame affair for a field of classy pacers and King Of Swing was able to lead uncontested from his inside draw and waltz around at his own leisure.
Catch driver Phil Butcher gave him some rein at the top of the straight and he found enough to resist the challenge of stablemate Recco Lover, who had followed him everywhere in the trail.
King Of Swing still rated 1.56 for the 1700-metre trip, but as a last start Group 1 winner in Australia, it was hardly a taxing outing.
Both stablemates are now automatically qualified for the $170,000 Group 1 Final on New Zealand Cup Day at Addington on November 14.
The hot favourite, Alta Maestro, was disappointing after sitting parked for the last 1200 metres and ultimately faded out to finish last.
The outside of the six-horse field, South Beach Arden, sat three back on the markers for Scott Phelan and dashed up the markers to nab third placing.
His stablemate, Mach Shard, who had sat last on the outer, couldn’t get in to the finish when the winner sprinted home in 27secs off the front.
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There was a bit of drama one race later, when Stewards were forced to abandon a maiden race on the point of the home turn.
Just under a lap earlier, Shadow Captain had choked down and fallen to the track in the hands of co-trainer Logan Hollis.
With attendants unable to move the stricken horse before the field came back in to the home straight, Stewards were left with no option but to abandon the race.
This was done in both the interests of safety, and to be fair to punters who had backed horses further back in the field that would not have had any room to mount challenges as the leaders coursed wide down the straight.
Hollis reported after the race that the horse was fine.