Former Kiwi looming as Vic Derby player
By Adam Hamilton
Champion horseman Luke McCarthy insists former Kiwi pacer Cantfindabettorman is the forgotten horse in the build-up to this stellar Victoria Derby.
All the talk is about Catch A Wave, Leap To Fame and now the highly spruiked Captain Ravishing, but McCarthy is adamant Cantfindabettorman will be a major player.
And fans will get a glimpse of the Sweet Lou gelding when he returns from a break at Menangle on Saturday night.
“I think he’s right in it,” McCarthy said. “He beat Leap To Fame in the Redcliffe Derby and then was only beaten a neck by him in the Queensland Derby.
“That was all in his first campaign for us and I’m sure he’ll come back even better again after the little break he’s had.”
Cantfindabettorman hasn’t raced since that close second in the Queensland Derby at Albion Park on July 23. He won three in New Zealand for trainers Graeme Anderson and Mike Love before heading across the Tasman in June.
“He’s working like a really good horse at home,” McCarthy said. “He had a private trial with a couple of our open-class horses and well and truly held his own. We really like him.”
Cantfindabettorman won his first three starts for Team McCarthy before the Derby second.
His return is just part of a big few weeks for Team McCarthy, who will also have Expensive Ego return Saturday night, Mach Shard back a week later and Spirit Of St Louis is ready to go as well.
McCarthy said former Kiwi filly Cover Girl is also ready to resume with a view to the Victoria Oaks heats at Melton on October 1.
The powerhouse stable will have three, maybe even four, runners in the Group 1 Victoria Cup on October 8.
“The definites are Expensive Ego, Spirit Of St Louis and Mach Shard,” Luke said. “Old A Gs White Socks is a possible, too.
“We were really happy with that first-up run of A G’s White Socks last Saturday night. He did all the work and was stiff not to win.
“He’ll run again on Saturday week and if he wins or goes really well, then we might add him to the Victorian team.”
Expensive Ego, who was stripped of last year’s Inter Dominion final, is back for a campaign of redemption.
“We gave him a long spell and bypassed Brisbane,” Luke said. “He needed it. That Inter Dominion took more out of him than we realised at the time and he wasn’t quite the same horse that next campaign.
“But he’s back. His trial the other day was fantastic.
“He is, without doubt, our best horse, our best chance in the big races.
“He’ll run this week over 2300m at Menangle and then we’ll decide whether he runs again or goes straight to the Victoria Cup.
“Mach Shard will run the week after he seems terrific.
“Spirit Of St Louis’ plans are not certain yet. There’s a chance he’ll go down earlier (to Victoria) for the Kilmore Cup (October 23) as we try and keep our best horses apart as long as we can.”