Bye Bye Bling
By Adam Hamilton
LUKE McCarthy knew the time had come.
As he drove Bling It On back off the Menangle track last night (Saturday), he knew it was the last time the superstar pacer would contest a race.
It was Bling It On’s 86th and final race start. A staggering 49 of them were at Group level.
He retires with 45 wins, 20 placings and earnings of $1,656,656.
“He went to this race as a D-day. He needed to go really well to continue on and he didn’t,” McCarthy said. “We made excuses for him first-up and then trialled quite well, but he didn’t do enough last time. It’s the right time to retire him.
“The timing works well actually. The breeding season isn’t far away. He served 130 mares when he was at stud recovering from his injuries last year and hopefully he can get another 100 mares or so this year to give him a chance to make an impact as a stallion.”
McCarthy quickly declared the 2017 Hunter Cup as Bling It On’s greatest moment on the track.
“That was the most special to me, but there were so many others. His Queensland Derby win, that Breeders Crown win as a two-year-old and that Gold Coast Cup where he won and smashed the track record,” he said.
“He was such a great horse from day one and just about all of his runs were against top opposition.”
McCarthy was proudest of how Bling It On recovered from horrific injuries sustained in a fall at Albion Park on June 17, 2017.
“I still look back at the photos of the injuries to his knees and wonder how he made it back to the races,” McCarthy said.
“To think he came back and won his first three starts and went 1min50.8sec in one of them, which was his career-best.
“You can only marvel when a horse can comeback from that and still be so good.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing the impact he make at stud. He’s from such a great family with Baby Bling and now Bletchley Park along as a few others. He’s got everything going for him.”