Big swing in draws for the King
By Adam Hamilton
Even rival driver Anthony Butt concedes the $250,000 Group 1 Blacks A Fake is King Of Swing's "race to lose."
A somewhat deflated Butt admitted repeating his win with Copy That over King Of Swing was going to be a huge ask after the barrier draw.
King Of Swing will start from the pole and looks almost certain to lead without much stress or pressure, while Copy That has gate five.
"The draw has made King Of Swing very hard to beat," Butt said. "We had the better of the draws last week and took advantage of it, but he's got the early edge on us this time."
Looking for positives, Butt insists this trip has taken Copy That to another level.
"He's loving it here and thriving, seemingly getting better with each run," he said. "The way he's going he gives me the confidence to put him into the race if need be. But he's so versatile.
"You never know what can happen and, as I've said before, I never get too carried away with draws, but we'll need a fair bit to go our way.
"I do think the longer trip will suit him as well. He's shown he's a great stayer, his Auckland Cup run was huge."
Luke McCarthy was thrilled with King Of Swing's draw, one of four runners in the race for he and wife, Belinda. The others are: Spirit Of St Louis (three), Expensive Ego (10) and Bright Energy (13).
"It's a perfect draw for him with his gate speed," he said. "He was terrific last week and he's had an ideal preparation."
McCarthy said Ricky Thurlow would drive Expensive Ego, while talks over the next 24 with connections would finalise drivers for Spirit Of St Louis and Bright Energy.
Nathan Purdon is also sweating on a driver for Amazing Dream, who drew well in gate four.
He's offered the drive to Blair Orange, who is town to drive Krug in the Queensland Derby, but he is also understood to be in the mix for one of the Team McCarthy runners.