King Of Swing goes back to back in Miracle Mile
By Adam Hamilton
King Of Swing looks the right horse to create Miracle Mile history.
Fresh from becoming the seventh horse to win back-to-back Miracle Miles, King Of Swing’s next year will be built around trying to complete a three-peat in Australasia’s premier speed test.
Given he’s only a six-year-old, hasn’t been overly taxed with 67 starts and is still on an upward spiral, the powerhouse entire will almost certainly get his chance.
The great Smoken Up came close to a Miracle Mile three-peat, but in reverse so speak. He ran second to Monkey King in his first attempt in 2009 and then won in 2010 and 2011.
“We’ll just keep spacing his races, focusing on the big ones and hopefully he’ll be racing at this level and winning for another couple of years yet,” co-trainer and driver Luke McCarthy said.
“He’s a better, more seasoned horse now than he was 12 months ago and he’s knows he’s good now, too.”
After a week of talks about whether Ignatius or Alta Orlando would lead early and the difference each scenario meant to King Of Swing’s chances, it was actually Newcastle Mile winner The Black Prince who led them all easily from the pole.
And that effectively won the race for King Of Swing.
McCarthy was able to balance-up, then fire forward and take the front from The Black Prince without spending much petrol in a comfortable 26.6sec opening quarter.
When King Of Swing hit the halfway mark in 55.2sec, the race was beyond doubt.
“That’s the difference with no Lochinvar Art in the race. There wasn’t a horse to come and put the pressure on us, so I could turn it into just a dash home,” McCarthy said.
King Of Swing zipped home the last 400m in 25.9sec for a 1min49.2sec mile, the equal slowest Miracle Mile in the past seven years and 1,2sec slower than he clocked to beat Lochinvar Art last year.
It further capped the phenomenal success story of King Of Swing’s move from WA to NSW.
In 18 starts for Cobbity Farms – first Craig Cross and now Belinda McCarthy – King Of Swing has won 14 times, finished second three times and third once. He’s won almost $2 million in that time.
“It’s a combination of things, the swimming and water walker at our place and how much he loves racing at this big track,” Luke McCarthy said.
“We loved him from the day he arrived and he’s just kept getting better.”
King Of Swing will now have a short break before being set to defend his Group 1 Blacks A Fake crown at Albion Park in July.
“He’ll be back to have a couple of lead-up runs, probably at Menangle, and then head back to Queensland,” McCarthy said.
Stablemate Expensive Ego continued the terrific recent record of Chariots Of Fire winners in the Miracle Mile when he produced the run of the race for second after stand-in driver David Moran made a midrace move to sit parked.
It’s the five year in a row the Chariots winner has been placed in the Miracle Mile.
“It was another step-up for him and gee he went great,” McCarthy said. “King was always holding him, but he just keep giving. He’s come so far, so quickly.”
“He’s been invited to that new race in Queensland, the Rising Sun, and that’s his next big target. He’ll have just a short break now and get ready for that in winter.”
Anthony Butt was thrilled with the strong finish of his emerging star Wolf Stride to snatch third.
“It was another huge run to make up that sort of ground after the winner got things all his own way. He just keeps stepping-up,” he said.
Butt will decide this week whether to keep Wolf Stride going for the $100,000 Group 1 NSW 4&5YO Championship at Wagga on April 4.
“I want to give him a good spell and I’d turn him out now if Lochinvar Art was going to Wagga, but that sounds unlikely so I’m leaning towards keeping him going for that race,” he said.
Star Kiwi mare Stylish Memphis, lining-up for the fifth consecutive week, smashed the clock again despite only finishing sixth.
“Mark’s talking about leaving her here and targeting the Queensland Winter Carnival, but there’s a chance she could duck back home for the Harness Jewels,” caretaker trainer and driver Jack Trainor said.