Mach Shard heading to Kilmore Cup

by Adam Hamilton

There is life in the old legs yet.

Champion horseman Luke McCarthy is thrilled with how former classy Kiwi pacer Mach Shard has returned from a spell and thinks he will be a major player in Friday night’s $80,000 Group 2 Kilmore Cup (2690m).

It’s a stepping-stone towards the $300,000 Group 1 Victoria Cup on October 8.

Mach Shard hasn’t raced since a luckless finish to his Queensland Winter campaign when fourth in the Sunshine Sprint and then sixth in the Blacks A Fake on July 23.

“Gee he’s come back well. We’re really happy with him,” McCarthy said.

“We tossed around which of our horses to take to Kilmore, but we really think it’s a suitable race for Mach Shard.

“He’ll like the long trip and he’s drawn nicely, too.”

Despite the absence of big guns like Copy That, Expensive Ego, Bondi Lockdown, Spirit Of St Louis, Bettor Eclipse and others, this is still a strong and fascinating Kilmore Cup.

Victoria’s top stable unleashes three of its Victoria Cup hopefuls in Honolua Bay, Like A Wildfire and Beyond Delight.

Stable driver Mark Pitt is on Like A Wildfire (gate nine), which has opened the door for a much needed boost for David Moran, who has picked up the drive on Honolua Bay (gate 11)

It comes just days after Moran learned he had lost his superstar pacer Lochinvar Art.

Moran only returned from a seven-month suspension last Sunday.

Possible NZ Cup raider Rock N Roll Doo is also in the race for trainer-driver Mick Stanley. He has gate five.

Other key players in a Cup with depth are last year’s Victoria Cup winner Max Delight (gate two), the in-form Torrid Saint (one) and Supreme Dominator (four).

With Spirit Of St Louis bypassing Kilmore, his only Victoria Cup lead-up run will most likely be in a free-for-all at Menangle on Saturday week.

“That’s what we’re thinking,” McCarthy said. “A Gs White Socks will probably be in the same race, so if he happens to go really well, we’d think about taking him down to Victoria as well.

“Expensive Ego has come through his first-up win well (last Saturday night at Menangle) and we’re now tossing-up whether we give him another run or just a trial before the Victoria Cup.”



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