Bling It On ready for Auckland raid

By Adam Hamilton

It's full-steam ahead for Auckland with comeback hero Bling It On.

All that’s changed is how trainers Craig Cross and Luke McCarthy plan to prepare for the Kiwi raid.

In a surprise switch, McCarthy confirmed Bling It On would not race again before the opening round of Inter Dominion heats at Alexandra Park on November 29.

That will mean seven weeks between races, given his last run was that record-smashing Victoria Cup win on October 12 at Melton.

“Don’t worry, he’ll be fit enough for that opening night for sure,” McCarthy said.

“He won’t be racing, but we’ll be working him two or three times at almost race speed, going the Auckland direction, at Menangle.”

And the depth in Cross and McCarthy’s open-class stocks mean they certainly have the horses to ensure Bling It On has serious partners in those Menangle workouts.

“We weighed everything up in those few days after the Victoria Cup and think this is the best option,” McCarthy said.

“If he runs at Menangle, he’ll have to start from the outside, will probably get parked and have a gut-buster. Instead, we can do as much as need to with him in those workouts at Menangle and give him experience the Auckland direction at the same time.”

McCarthy said Bling It On would return to work this week after “an easy 10 days” following his Victoria Cup win.

“It was always the plan to give him a little freshen-up after the Victoria Cup because he’s been in work for six months for his comeback,” he said.

“The freshen-up is ideal and then we’ll start getting serious with him again.

“It’s so exciting to have him back and racing like this. He’s at least as good as he’s ever been, maybe even a little better.”

McCarthy was thrilled to hear the numbers of Aussies slated to tackle the Auckland pacing series looked strong.

“Isn’t it great Steve Turnbull’s taking three and Amanda’s taking one as well. That’s fantastic for the series,” he said.

“It looks like we’ll have some good numbers and quality flying the flag over there.”

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