King Of Swing claims Miracle Mile
by Adam Hamilton
FORMER star Kiwi juvenile pacer King Of Swing iced one of the sport’s great resurrection stories with his powerhouse Miracle Mile win at Menangle last night.
It was only a few months back the five-year-old’s career was at the crossroads and he was the great enigma of the Western Australia pacing.
Now, the space of just a few weeks, he’s completed the massive Hunter Cup/Miracle Mile double and is the toast of the sport.
It all changed when former trainer Gary Hall Sr told connections he wasn’t the man to train King Of Swing any more and they should send him to Craig Cross and Luke McCarthy to try something different.
“I never liked the horse. I don’t know whether we didn’t get along or he didn’t like my training style, but he never excited me,” Hall Sr said.
“I’m in awe of Craig and Luke. He’s a different horse now, he travels so much better and it’s great to see him doing this for the owners. I’ve still got a share in him, so I’m as excited as any of them.”
In contrast to Hall Sr, McCarthy instantly fell in love with King Of Swing.
“I was big on him, huge in fact, as soon as I drove him,” he said. “Even before he had his first run for us, I told the owners we should look at the Hunter Cup if he goes as well as I expect.”
King Of Swing was beaten on debut for Cross, but has won all four starts since, three of them at Group 1 level.
While the doubters still lingered after his Hunter Cup win, surely they were answered last night when King Of Swing powered to a 1min48sec Miracle Mile win.
King Of Swing was headed off early by Alta Orlando and Majordan, but McCarthy summed the race up superbly and whizzed around to take the lead from Majordan after 500m.
“I wanted to lead and when they crossed me early I was always going to go searching for the front again. Once he got there I knew he’d be hard to beat,” McCarthy said.
Trainer-driver David Moran made a booming midrace move on Chariots Of Fire winner Lochinvar Art to sit parked and pressure through a 26.3sec third split.
But King Of Swing just kept finding and won strongly by two metres over a brave Lochinvar Art, with the winner’s stablemate, Alta Orlando, driven by Mark Purdon, running on well for third.
Alta Orlando’s run was excellent when you consider he was such a big part of the 25.9sec lead time and still finished so strongly.
Kiwi star AGs White Socks was shuffled back to near last from the pole and smashed the clock with a 52.5sec last half along the inside to finish a fantastic fourth.
King Of Swing is set for a break now before a likely return for the Len Smith Mile and a Queensland Winter Carnival assault.
“We’ve still got to talk it through with the owners, but there’s nothing much on now so it makes sense to give him a rest them look at Queensland in Winter,” McCarthy said.