Galleria excites McCarthy
By Adam Hamilton
LUKE McCarthy thinks there is a really big win in Star Galleria.
Sure the former Kiwi pacer’s first run and win for McCarthy and Craig Cross was little more than trackwork at Menangle last Saturday night, but it’s what he’s been showing at home which most excites.
McCarthy immediately tabled plans for Star Galleria to join past winners King Of Swing and Bling It On towards the Hunter Cup at Melton on February 6.
And Star Galleria could even head down earlier for the Group 1 Ballarat Cup on January 23, but that hinges on the ease or otherwise of NSW/Victoria border crossings because of COVID-19.
“On his work at home, he’s right up with our very best horses and it was great to get away with what was more like a trial the other night,” McCarthy said.
“We didn’t the chance to trial or him or even private trial him, which we like to do with all our new horses. That his was first time away from home when he won the other night.
“He did it easily and he’ll improve a lot for it, so we’re setting him for the big races.
“We’re looking at Ballarat, but otherwise he’ll just go straight down and back for the Hunter Cup like the other two (King Of Swing and Bling It On).”
McCarthy said training Star Galleria “rehab style” in the water walker had helped overcome his niggling injury issues.
“It took a while and plenty of work to get him right, but he’s really well now. How we train them really seems to suit the older horses who have their issues,” he said.
King Of Swing, freshened after his Group 1 Blacks A Fake win on December 12 at Albion Park, returns to racing in a Menangle free-for-all on Saturday night.
“He’ll run this week, then again a fortnight later (January 16) and then it’s two weeks again into the Hunter Cup,” McCarthy said.
“Bling It On showed in the Victoria Cup he’s still up to these races and he loves the staying races like the Hunter Cup. He’s been freshened-up and goes to the Goulburn Cup (January 17) for his lead-up race.”
McCarthy said he and Cross were also plotting Victorian raids with buzz four-year-old Expensive Ego and star mare Bettor Enforce.
“Expensive Ego has a tendon history so he’s really thrived in our training system. He’s the real deal,” he said. “He’ll go down for the 4YO Bonanza and there’s a feature mares’ race on Hunter Cup for Bettor Enforce.”