Big raps on Kahlua Flybye in Sydney

By Adam Hamilton

Champion driver Luke McCarthy expects Kiwi raider Kahlua Flybye to win tonight's NSW Oaks.

Nobody knows the Menangle track and form better than McCarthy and he’s convinced Kahlua Flybye will make light of her wide draw (she will start from eight) in Saturday night’s $200,000 feature. The race is go to go at 11.06pm. 

“I think she’s just better than them,” he said. “Her form back home is outstanding and she had a perfect run to win her heat easily.

“We know she’s versatile from what she’s done back home and while there are some nice fillies in this race, she’s not up against any stars.”

Most notably, the powerhouse Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin stable has bypassed the Oaks with all its fillies, headed by the megastar Major Delight.

McCarthy doesn’t think the draw will be any real issue for Kahlua Flybye,

“It’s 2400m, not a mile and that’s something else in her favour. You know she’ll run it right out,” he said.

“Throw in the fact Soho Seraphine has drawn the outside and I think she’s the second-best filly in the race … everything points to Kahlua Flybye for me.”

McCarthy has more to back up his stance given the Team Telfer horses have stabled at he and wife Belinda’s Cobbitty Equine Farm during their NSW raid.

Although McCarthy will be watching the Oaks from the sidelines, he will still be a key player on the night with star trio Bondi Lockdown, Expensive Ego and Spirit Of St Louis in the two qualifying sprints for the Miracle Mile.

All the focus is on recent stable addition Bondi Lockdown and McCarthy understands why.

“He’s shown he’s a bit special at times,” he said. “But I still think we will learn more about him this week. There’s still a bit of wait and see how he goes when they run 1min49sec or quicker, which they’ll probably do this week.

“Against that, his two runs for us have been perfect in that we’ve been able to let him relax early, teach him and let him run home.

“But he’s ready to go harder this week and he’ll have to be used early from the pole. He’ll lead. Remember he almost crossed King Of Swing in the Miracle Mile last year, so he’s very quick out.”

McCarthy warned not to sell Spirit Of St Louis and Expensive Ego short despite their indifferent recent form.

“Bondi Lockdown has everyone’s attention, but I don’t think there is much between our three,” he said.

“Spirit Of St Louis is great. He went well in the Hunter Cup after that speed burn and remember he came off a good big Hunter Cup showing to run second to King Of Swing in last year’s (Miracle) Mile. I think he’s as good as last year.

“It’s as simple as getting Expensive Ego back to Menangle, which he loves.

“It’s clear he’s at his best on the big track here and it wouldn’t surprise me if he came out, went like a jet and went 1min48sec or quicker.”

McCarthy will drive talented former Kiwi mare Fairy Tinkerbell in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Mile (formerly Ladyship), but concedes she’s up against it.

“I think it’s really Jack Trainor’s pair (Stylish Memphis and Braeview Kelly) against Emma and Clayton’s two (Tough Tilly and Amore Vita) in that one,” he said.

“I’m with Tough Tilly. I don’t think she’s that far off Ladies In Red at her top and she’d win this race easily.”

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