Blow to Ego in Hunter Cup

By Adam Hamilton

The Hunter Cup has lost one of its big guns.

Team McCarthy scratched young gun Expensive Ego late yesterday after he failed to please them in trackwork yesterday morning.

“The guys told me he felt flat in work he pulled up with a bit of a higher heart rate,” co-trainer Luke McCarthy said.

“I spoke to the owners straight away and then they didn’t want to take any risk and to scratch him.”

The setback continues an awful feature race run for Expensive Ego.

The five-year-old “won” the Inter Dominion final at Menangle on December 12, but was stripped of it in the stewards’ room on protest.

Just last Saturday night, Expensive Ego was again first past the post in the Group 2 Casey Classic at Melton, but lost on protest.

“The protest aside the other night, he should’ve won it more easily. We weren’t that happy with him, so have been watching closely since,” McCarthy said.

“It’s disappointing and we’ve had a frustrating couple of months with him, but we think very highly of him. He’s only a young horse with it all still ahead of him.”

Expensive Ego will head back to Team McCarthy’s superb Cobbity Equine farm so they can prime him for a tilt at the Miracle Mile.

Team McCarthy still has two major players in the Hunter Cup with King Of Swing and Spirit Of St Louis.

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Anthony Butt is clear to drive champion Kiwi mare Amazing Dream in Saturday night’s Hunter Cup.

Butt was suspended recently, but can drive on a stay of proceedings pending his appeal.

He was delighted when Nathan Purdon’s mare inside the back row (gate eight) where she will follow out favourite and probable leader King Of Swing.

“As long as King Of Swing leads, which you think he would from the pole, we should get a great run behind him,” Butt said.

“That’s how she really loves it. We just hope it’s a genuinely run race and she’ll be hard to hold out.

“Her run at Ballarat was fantastic and she’s shown plenty of times in the past she’s good enough to beat the boys with the right run.”

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Carter Dalgety’s wonderful NSW trip continued at Menangle yesterday.

Not only is he caretaker trainer of high-class filly Just Remember Me, but he also took the reins on her to beat older horses at Menangle.

In a race to keep her up to the mark for the NSW Oaks heats, Dalgety worked Just Remember Me across from a wide draw (seven) to lead and dictated with a cosy 56.6sec first half. She then zipped home in 56.3 and 27.6sec to win without being extended by 14.8m in a 1min52.9sec mile.

Dalgety has another big night Saturday with Chariots Of Fire favourite Krug trying to qualify for the race via the $50,000 Group 2 Hondo Grattan (1609m) at Menangle.

As impressive as Krug was winning at Menangle two weeks ago, it will be a big test from an outside draw (gate 12, but will start from the outside in 10) in the sprint race.

There is some quality opposition, headed by Spring In His Step (gate two), Titian Raider (seven), Better Call Me (eight) and Chevron Art (11).

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