Awkward draw for King Of Swing
By Adam Hamilton
If King Of Swing’s back row draw worried Luke McCarthy, you wouldn’t know it.
Just moments after King Of Swing drew gate 11 (three-out on the back row), while gates three and four were still available, McCarthy grinned and said: “I like it, I like it a lot.”
McCarthy is mindful of the marathon 3009m trip of Saturday night’s Inter Dominion and being able to settle King Of Swing into a rhythm while those off the front burn early and jostle for positions.
“I’ll just sit back, let them go at it and sort out their positions, then go around them when I’m ready,” he said.
“The draw was never going to be as important over a long trip like this around a track like Menangle.
“I’d actually rather be there than out wide. Maybe three or four would’ve been better, but I’m very happy where we are.”
McCarthy confirmed he will drive King Of Swing, David Moran will be aboard Expensive Ego, Jack Calllaghan on Alta Orlando and his father, John, will take the reins on Spirit Of St Louis.
Strangely, Expensive Ego’s final odds were slashed from $3 to $1.90 after he drew barrier one, which looks to present more challenges than positives. He’s already eased to $2.10 and will surely start closer to $2.80.
McCarthy said Moran would have to “throw everything at him early” to try and use the draw, but Boncel Benjamin is one the fastest beginners in NSW, especially from wide draws, and he looks near certain to cross them from gate seven (he’ll start from six if emergency Mach Dan doesn’t get a run from gate two).
Moran’s tussle is more likely to be with another quick beginner, Malcolms Rhythm, next door to him in gate two. If he can’t hold him out, Moran will be desperate to angle straight away from the inside rather than be locked away on the marker pegs.
Former Kiwi stayer Triple Eight was a winner from the draw (gate four, comes into three). Greg Sugars will be looking for a sit in the running line not far off the pace.
It will be interesting to see what John McCarthy does on Spirit Of St Louis from five (comes into four) given he must be a query at a strong 3009m.
Majestic Cruiser is a strong stayer and could keep working forward from gate six (comes into five) to try and get the front from stablemate Boncel Benjamin.
Blistering beginners Alta Orlando and Max Delight lost the use of one of their great weapons (early speed) from back row draws (nine and 10 respectively).
Balraj (12), Our Uncle Sam and Bundoran (14) look in a world of pain from wide back row draws.
It’s important to note the matrix will be six off the front and six off the back row, with a “no move-up rule” and the emergencies – Mach Dan (two) and The Black Prince (eight) – both drawn the front row.